Can You Put a Stainless Steel Pot in a Dishwasher?

When it comes to cleaning your kitchen tools, stainless steel pots are some of the most popular items. They are strong, durable, and great for cooking all sorts of delicious meals. But there’s one question that often pops up: Can you put a stainless steel pot in a dishwasher?

Yes, stainless steel pots can typically be placed in a dishwasher if they bear a “dishwasher-safe” label. However, certain risks like pitting and discoloration may occur over time.

Additionally, ensure that you don’t overload the dishwasher to guarantee that the stainless steel pot receives sufficient water and detergent coverage for effective cleaning.

To wash a stainless steel pot in a dishwasher:

  • First, Verify if the pot has a “dishwasher-safe” label.
  • Then, Place the pot upside down in the dishwasher’s bottom rack.
  • Finally, Select a suitable cycle, preferably pots and pans or the longest one, and start the dishwasher.

7 Considerations When Putting a Stainless Steel Pot in a Dishwasher

1Check for the “dishwasher-safe” label on the pot.
2Skip pre-scrubbing if the pot is not heavily soiled.
3Load the pot upside down or on its side in the bottom rack.
4Use dishwasher detergent suitable for cookware.
5Select pots and pans or the longest cycle for thorough cleaning.
6Start the dishwasher.
7Remove and dry the pot when the cycle is complete.
7 Considerations When Putting a Stainless Steel Pot in a Dishwasher

Key Takeaways

  • Always check for a “dishwasher-safe” label on your stainless steel pot before placing it in the dishwasher to prevent potential damage.
  • Load the pot upside down or on its side in the bottom rack and select an appropriate cycle for effective cleaning.
  • Be aware of potential risks such as pitting, discoloration, loss of induction compatibility, and the rare possibility of rust when washing stainless steel pots in a dishwasher.
Can You Put a Stainless Steel Pot in a Dishwasher

Facts About Washing Stainless Steel Pots in a Dishwasher

  • Different grades of stainless steel have varying levels of resistance to dishwasher wear. 304 grade (18/10) stainless steel is highly resistant, while other types may be less so.
  • If you’re unsure about your pot’s dishwasher safety or want to ensure its longevity, handwashing with mild soap and a soft sponge is a safe and effective way to clean stainless steel pots.
  • Dishwashing can affect the pot’s induction compatibility. If you have an induction cooktop, be cautious, as some pots may no longer work effectively.
  • To ensure your stainless steel pots stay in good condition, it’s essential to rinse them with hot water after use, use mild dish soap when needed, and dry them thoroughly to prevent rust.

What Types of Stainless Steel Can Go in the Dishwasher?

Not all stainless steel pots are created equal, and some can handle the dishwasher, while others can’t. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:

  • 304 Grade (18/10) Stainless Steel: This type of stainless steel is like the superhero of cookware. It’s tough, corrosion-resistant, and usually safe to go in the dishwasher. Many high-quality pots and pans are made from 304-grade stainless steel.
  • 304, 430, or 18/0 Stainless Steel: If your pot is made solely from these types of stainless steel, it can typically go in the dishwasher. However, they might not be as fancy as 18/10 stainless steel.
  • Cladded Cookware: Some pots have layers of different materials, like aluminum, sandwiched between stainless steel. These are not dishwasher-friendly. The dishwasher detergent can harm the non-stainless steel layers, so it’s better to hand wash them.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Pots & Pans in the Dishwasher

If your stainless steel pot is dishwasher-safe, here are some easy steps to follow:

Step 1. Check If Your Stainless Steel Dishwasher-Safe

Before you even think about putting your stainless steel pot in the dishwasher, check for a label that says “dishwasher safe.” This label is like a green light that tells you it’s safe to go.

Step 2. Skip Pre-Scrubbing

In the old days, we used to scrub our pots before putting them in the dishwasher. But with modern dishwasher detergents, you can often skip this step. These detergents are like superheroes themselves, designed to handle tough stains without any help.

Step 3. Load Pots and Pans

When it’s time to load your stainless steel pots and pans, remember these tips:

  • Positioning: Lay them on their side or upside down in the bottom rack. This helps the dishwasher’s spray jets do their job and clean your pots thoroughly.
  • Dishwasher Detergent: Use a dishwasher detergent that’s meant for cookware. Some detergents are specially made to break down and remove food residues from pots and pans without pre-washing.
  • Choosing the Right Cycle: If your dishwasher has a pots and pans setting, that’s the best option. If not, select the longest cycle available to make sure your pots come out sparkling clean.

Step 4. Start the Dishwasher

Once your pots and pans are safely loaded, it’s time to start the dishwasher. Just press the button and let it work its magic. When the cycle is complete, you’ll have clean, shiny pots ready for your next cooking adventure.

Risks of Dishwashing Stainless Steel Cookware

While dishwasher-safe stainless steel pots are convenient, there are some risks involved:

  • Pitting: Prolonged exposure to dishwasher detergents can lead to pitting, which are tiny spots on the surface of your pots. They don’t look pretty.
  • Discoloration: The heat and chemicals in dishwashers can cause your stainless steel to change color. You might notice some rainbow-like discolorations on your pots.
  • Loss of Induction Compatibility: If you have an induction cooktop, beware. Dishwashing can affect your pot’s compatibility with induction cooking, which means it won’t heat up as effectively.
  • Rust: Although it’s rare, stainless steel pots can develop rust if they are exposed to certain conditions in the dishwasher. Rust is like the arch-enemy of stainless steel.

Risks & Solutions of Dishwashing Stainless Steel Cookware

Pitting (small spots on the pot)Avoid using harsh detergents, pre-rinse acidic foods, and opt for a milder cycle.
DiscolorationUse dishwasher detergents specifically designed for cookware; hand wash if needed.
Loss of Induction CompatibilityHand wash or consider using a different cookware type for induction cooking.
RustEnsure pots are completely dry after washing and store them in a dry place.
Risks & Solutions of Dishwashing Stainless Steel Cookware


To sum up, you can put a stainless steel pot in a dishwasher, but there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, check if your pot has that all-important “dishwasher safe” label. If it does, you can skip the pre-scrubbing and load it carefully into the dishwasher. Use the right detergent and select a suitable cycle.

However, be aware of the risks. Pitting, discoloration, loss of induction compatibility, and the rare possibility of rust are all things to consider. If you have high-quality stainless steel cookware, you might want to hand wash them to keep them in tip-top shape.

So, go ahead and make your life a bit easier by letting the dishwasher take care of your stainless steel pots, but do it with caution and care to ensure they last a long time and keep serving you delicious meals.

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