The short answer to whether you can put non stick pans in the dishwasher safely is no. That’s not the complete picture however since some manufacturers of non stick pans will claim otherwise. Non stick coatings such as teflon and ceramic are evolving and becoming much more robust but dishwashers can be quite harsh on their surfaces. Even the very best non stick coatings have a limited life expectancy under the best of conditions. Continue reading to learn more about non stick coatings, their durability, and how dishwashers affect them.
Teflon Coated Non Stick Cookware
Teflon is the most effective and most popular non stick cookware coating on the market today. It does have some issues that have caused it to fall out of favor some but you can’t deny that it is the best performer on the market. Many companies, like Farberware as shown in the video above, tout their Teflon non stick cookware as being dishwasher safe. Teflon coatings don’t last forever. Generally you can expect to get 3 to 5 years of life from any Teflon coated cookware product. Placing the cookware in the dishwasher will accelerate the wear to the surface and shorten its lifespan even further.
Farberware backs their non stick cookware with a lifetime warranty. After reading the fine print it is unclear what they consider the duration of lifetime to mean. Normal wear and tear is not covered by the warranty. I don’t doubt that they have been able to make their Teflon coating more robust and able to hold up better to dishwashers but non stick coatings that are durable forever are not realistic.
How to care for Teflon non stick cookware
- One of the most important things to know about Teflon cookware is that it is not compatible with high temperatures. Teflon breaks down at temperatures above 400 degrees and can cause flu like symptoms in humans and is lethal to birds. Never place your burners on high heat with Teflon coated cookware.
- Always use soft utensils with Teflon non stick surfaces. Wood or silicone are great choices. I’m a big fan of bamboo personally. Metal utensils can easily scratch the non stick coating and begin to allow it to peel away or flake off into your food as you cook.
- Even though some manufacturers claim their non stick cookware is dishwasher safe, it’s best to avoid the harsh abuse of a dishwasher on this delicate coating. What makes non stick coatings great for cooking also makes clean up super easy. Dishwashing just isn’t necessary. Simply rinse and wipe out your non stick cookware and store. If you do happen to have some bits that are more difficult to remove be gentle. It usually doesn’t take much to dislodge burnt on food from Teflon. If you find that you’re having trouble you may be approaching time to replace your cookware with a new one.
Ceramic Coated Non Stick Cookware
Ceramic coated non stick cookware is the new kid on the block. Ceramic coatings perform very well but you likely won’t find a manufacturer that claims ceramic coatings are dishwasher safe. This is because ceramic coated non stick cookware doesn’t hold up to even normal use nearly as well as Teflon. Ceramic coatings far more delicate. Our research from customer feedback is that their ceramic coated cookware looses it’s non stick properties shockingly fast. While Teflon coatings typically last 3 to 5 years, we often found customers complained that their ceramic coatings rapidly lost their non stick properties around the 6 month mark despite taking extra precautions to care for the surface. If you’re considering purchasing a set of ceramic coated cookware we don’t recommend going through with that purchase.
How to care for ceramic coated non stick cookware
- If you already have some ceramic coated cookware definitely don’t place it in the dishwasher. This will rapidly deteriorate the non stick properties of the coating.
- Do your best to be as gentle as possible with the surface as you can. Use only silicone or wood utensils when cooking. Never use metal or other hard edged utensils with your ceramic coated cookware.
- Like Teflon, ceramic non stick coatings do not react well to high heat. You needn’t worry about about toxic fumes as ceramic is inert. But high heat will rapidly cause the surface to loose its non stick properties.
Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Cookware
Despite some manufacturers claims to the contrary, our opinion on the question of non stick cookware being dishwasher-safe is no. While advances in Teflon application to cookware has undoubtedly advanced significantly over the years, Teflon is still a rather delicate material and should be treated carefully to prolong its useful lifespan.
Ceramic coated non stick cookware on the other hand is without a doubt not dishwasher safe. We are very disappointed with customer feedback we found from all price points on this new non stick cookware solution. Even though it performs exceptionally well initially, the lifespan of its non stick properties appears to be a shockingly short 6 months for many customers. Even those that decided to spend hundreds of dollars hoping to be getting a more durable quality product. Not only that, but the non stick properties don’t seem to fade slowly but rather vanish extremely quickly. If you’re a fairly infrequent cook then ceramic coated cookware may serve you well for a reasonably long time given your circumstances but we don’t recommend spending a lot of money on that experiment.
There’s a reason that non stick cookware isn’t the majority of cookware found in commercial kitchens. It just can’t take the high level of abuse. Treat your non stick cookware with as much care as you can to extend its life and don’t place it in the dishwasher. There really isn’t any need to do so given how easy it is to clean.