How to clean stainless steel in the dishwasher

What you can put in your dishwasher is often a tricky business. Although the thought of piling your entire day’s worth of cutlery and crockery into your machine might seem like the easy option, not all materials fare well in the dishwasher’s hot and humid environment.

Fortunately, stainless steel is an alloy formed of iron and chromium, which protects the metal from corrosion[1] – not only making your favourite stainless steel cookware dishwasher-safe, but also virtually rust-proof.

Read on for our top tips on getting the most out of your dishwasher (with a little help from Finish®  detergents!) when cleaning a variety of stainless steel kitchen items.

How to clean stainless steel water bottles in the dishwasher

These days, it’s common to see people carrying a reusable water bottle under their arm. After all, just as keeping hydrated is imperative for our health, so is avoiding plastic bottles to help the environment. But are stainless steel water bottles dishwasher-safe? The answer is yes! Just follow the steps below to ensure a sparkly clean.

  1. Check to make sure your stainless steel drink bottle is definitely dishwasher-safe by reading the label. Some drink bottles that are painted or insulated might not be suitable. [2]

  2. Place your stainless steel water bottle in the dishwasher upside down with its lid off.

  3. Place any detachable parts – like the lid, straw or filter – in the dishwasher, too.

  4. Add a detergent like Finish® Max in 1™ Power&Free™, which has less harsh chemicals than Finish® All in One.

  5. Opt for a regular cycle and afterwards, allow your drink bottle to dry completely before use.

How to clean stainless steel pots and pans in the dishwasher

Even though stainless steel is one of the safest materials to put in the dishwasher, there’s a still a few tips to remember to avoid ruining your favourite cookware.[3]

  1. Remember to remove any solid scraps from your dirty pots and pans beforehand to avoid any food particles from clogging your machine.

  2. Check your item for a ‘dishwasher safe’ label. Stainless steel might be dishwasher-safe but aluminum, for example, is not.

  3. Consider how you stack your dishwasher – dirty pots and pans should either go on their side, or mess-side-down on the bottom rack.

  4. Add some detergent like Finish® ® All In 1™ Tabs Fresh Scent and set your machine on a specific pots and pans cycle (if possible). If your dishwasher doesn’t have this setting, simply opt for the longest cycle to really blast those baked on stains.

Don’t forget! Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure particularly valuable items are treated with the right care.

How to clean stainless steel chafing dishes

Chafing dishes are often found at food buffets, in restaurants or at special events. Similar to a bains marie, chafing dishes keep food warm whilst on display but do not continue cooking food once out of the oven.

To clean stainless steel chafing dishes, simply pre-rinse and clean in a commercial dishwasher (due to the size). Since chafing dishes involve fuel and an open flame, never use flammable cleaning chemicals when washing up. [4]

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To learn how to clean your cutlery and utensils in the dishwasher, including silverware, take a look at our article here.