Can Kitchen Knives Go in the Dishwasher? Discover the Truth

No, kitchen knives should not go in the dishwasher as it can cause damage and corrosion due to the abrasive nature of the dishwasher and the chemicals in detergents used.

Reasons You Shouldn’t Put Knives In The Dishwasher

Dishwasher Abrasiveness

A common reason why kitchen knives shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher is because the dishwasher itself can be too abrasive for the delicate blades. The powerful water jets and harsh detergents used in dishwashers can cause the blades to rub against each other or the dishwasher racks, resulting in dullness or even chips in the edge of the blades. This can significantly affect the performance and longevity of your knives.

Potential Rust Or Corrosion

Another reason why it’s not recommended to put knives in the dishwasher is the possibility of rust or corrosion. The combination of moisture and high temperatures in the dishwasher creates an ideal environment for rust to form on the blades. This can not only compromise the structural integrity of the knives but also negatively impact their appearance. Stainless steel knives are not immune to this, despite their corrosion-resistant properties.

Damaged Tips And Handles

Putting knives in the dishwasher can also lead to damaged tips and handles. As the dishwasher goes through its cycle, the knives can bounce around and collide with other utensils or the dishwasher walls, causing the tips to become bent or chipped. The handles of the knives are also susceptible to damage, as they can swell or crack due to prolonged exposure to the hot water and detergents in the dishwasher.

Light Rust Or Discoloration

Even if your knives don’t suffer from severe rust or corrosion, they may still show signs of light rust or discoloration after being put in the dishwasher. This can be unsightly and affect the overall appearance of your knives. Additionally, the dishwasher may strip away any protective coating that the knives may have, further exposing them to potential rust or discoloration.

What Knives Should Not Go In The Dishwasher?

Dishwashers can be a convenient appliance for cleaning your kitchen utensils, but when it comes to kitchen knives, it’s best to avoid putting them in the dishwasher. The high temperatures, moisture, and abrasive nature of the dishwasher can significantly damage the quality and performance of your knives. Certain types of knives, such as stainless steel knives, chef’s knives, and high-quality knives, are especially vulnerable. Here’s why these knives should not go in the dishwasher:

Stainless Steel Knives

While stainless steel knives are generally durable and resistant to corrosion, they can still be negatively affected by the dishwasher. The high heat and caustic detergents used in the dishwasher can cause the stainless steel to discolor, rust, or develop spots. Additionally, the strong water jets and dishwasher racks can cause your knives to collide with other utensils, potentially damaging the blade or handle. To preserve the longevity and appearance of your stainless steel knives, it’s recommended to hand wash them with mild soap and warm water.

Chef’s Knives

As one of the most versatile and essential tools in a kitchen, chef’s knives require special care to maintain their sharpness and functionality. Placing chef’s knives in the dishwasher can lead to several problems. First, the high water pressure and rapid movement in the dishwasher can cause the knives to knock against other items, leading to chipping or dulling of the blade. Second, the heat and moisture in the dishwasher can affect the handle material, such as wood or composite, causing swelling or warping over time. To ensure the longevity and performance of your chef’s knives, it’s best to wash them by hand using a gentle dish soap and drying them thoroughly immediately after.

High-quality Knives

High-quality knives, such as those made from Damascus steel or with intricate designs, require extra care to maintain their beauty and functionality. These knives often have delicate edges and unique patterns that can be adversely affected by the harsh dishwasher environment. The high temperatures and strong detergents can cause the steel to lose its luster or even corrode. Additionally, the rapid movement and constant exposure to water can potentially damage any decorative details or handle materials. To protect your investment and keep your high-quality knives in optimal condition, hand washing is highly recommended.

In conclusion, while the dishwasher may be a convenient option for cleaning many kitchen utensils, it’s best to keep your knives out of it. Stainless steel knives, chef’s knives, and high-quality knives are best preserved and maintained by hand washing. By taking the extra time to wash and dry them properly, you’ll ensure their longevity, performance, and aesthetic appeal in the kitchen.

The Proper Way To Clean Kitchen Knives


Handwashing With Mild Detergent And Warm Water

  • Always handwash your kitchen knives to maintain their quality and sharpness.
  • Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the knives thoroughly. Avoid using harsh, abrasive cleaners that can damage the blades.
  • Be sure to clean both sides of the blade, the handle, and the area where the blade meets the handle to remove any food particles or residue.
  • Gently scrub the knife with a sponge or dishcloth, being careful not to apply too much pressure that may scratch the blade.
  • Rinse the knife thoroughly with warm water to remove all soap residue.

Drying Immediately After Washing

It is crucial to dry your knives immediately after washing them to prevent moisture from causing rust or corrosion. Leaving moist knives to air dry can also lead to bacterial growth, which can be harmful.

After rinsing the knife, use a clean, dry towel to carefully dry the blade and handle. Pay attention to small crevices where water may accumulate.

Ensure that the knife is completely dry before storing it to prevent any potential damage.

Storing Knives Properly To Avoid Damage

Storing your knives properly is essential to protect them and prevent accidents.

Consider using a knife block, knife drawer insert, or magnetic strip to keep your knives organized and safely stored.

When using a knife block, ensure that the blades are facing upward to avoid dulling the edges.

If using a knife drawer insert, make sure the knives fit securely and are separated to avoid blade-to-blade contact.

If using a magnetic strip, ensure the knives are attached securely to prevent them from falling off.

It is also a good practice to store knives away from other utensils or objects that may cause damage or dull the blades.

Expert Opinions On Dishwasher Use For Knives

Tali Ovadia’s Perspective On Knife Damage In The Dishwasher

According to Tali Ovadia, owner of The Whole Bowl, putting kitchen knives in the dishwasher can be detrimental to their quality. Ovadia warns that dishwashers are often too abrasive and the detergent used during the process can cause rust or corrosion. When knives are taken out of the dishwasher, they may be dull, have damaged tips, swelled or cracked handles, and even develop light rust or discoloration. It’s important to note that running knives through a dishwasher can pose risks not only to the knives but also to anyone handling them afterward. Therefore, Ovadia strongly advises against using the dishwasher to clean kitchen knives.

Ina Garten’s Stance On High Temperature And Moisture In The Dishwasher

Ina Garten, the renowned chef and television personality, acknowledges that the high temperature and moisture in the dishwasher can cause serious damage to both the steel and the handle of a knife. According to Garten, the water jets in the dishwasher can potentially cause the knife to knock into other items in the dishwasher, which can lead to further damage, especially to the knife’s edge. In her opinion, putting knives in the dishwasher is a surefire way to quickly ruin them. As a result, Garten advises against using the dishwasher to clean knives, emphasizing the potential harm that can be inflicted on these essential kitchen tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Okay To Put Kitchen Knives In The Dishwasher?

It is not recommended to put kitchen knives in the dishwasher. Dishwashers can be abrasive and cause rust or corrosion to the knives. The high temperature and moisture can also damage the steel and handle of the knives. It is best to hand wash and dry knives to maintain their quality.

Can Stainless Steel Knives Go In The Dishwasher?

Stainless steel knives should not be put in the dishwasher. The dishwasher can cause damage to the knife, such as dullness, damaged tips, swelled or cracked handles, and rust or discoloration. It is not safe and can damage the knives.

What Knives Should Not Go In The Dishwasher?

Kitchen knives should not go in the dishwasher as it can damage the quality, cause rust or corrosion, and dull the blades. The dishwasher’s abrasive nature and high temperature can also lead to cracked or swelled handles. It is best to hand wash knives to maintain their longevity.

How Do You Clean Kitchen Knives?



It is not recommended to put kitchen knives in the dishwasher. The abrasive nature of the dishwasher can damage the quality of the knives, causing rust, corrosion, and dullness. The high temperature and moisture can also harm the steel and handles of the knives.

To preserve the longevity and sharpness of your kitchen knives, it is best to clean them by hand using mild detergent and warm water.


I am a prolific writer covering the intersections of technology, education, and personal finance. With over a decade of experience reporting for major publications, I provide insightful commentary on how advances in technology are shaping learning and how smart money management can lead to lifelong security.

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