For as long as we can remember, we have been dissuaded from using the dishwasher to clean our copper cookware and utensils. What’s the point of a dishwasher if it’s picky and we still have to worry about hand-washing the dishes.
It has been discovered that the heat emitted inside a dishwasher, amongst other factors, can pale the appearance of the copper whenever it passes through it. If that is true, can the fault also be from the quality of the copper? And if there are other causative factors, is there any solution for them?
In this article, we’ll be delving into all you need to know about putting your copper cookware and utensils in the dishwasher (or whether not to) and the best ways to clean and care for them.
Copper in Dishwasher! (When to Put? & When NOT to Put?)
When To Put Copper In Dishwasher?
1- When the Copper Utensil Is Made “Dishwasher-Safe” By the Manufacturer
In order to tackle the stress of hand-washing cooking equipment (That is unsuitable for dishwashers because of the sensitivity of their make-up), manufacturers are beginning to fortify cooking utensils (like those made from copper) with extra, high-quality, and wear-resistant copper to make cleaning them in a dishwasher a reality.
Only when your copper pots, pans, and cups are explicitly made this way (wear-resistant or dishwasher safe) can they be washed with the aid of a dishwasher.
To discover if your cookware is designed this way, check the body of its package box; the unique design notification is usually indicated in a conspicuous place on the package of the cookware or utensil.
2- When the Copperware or Utensil Has Been Scathed
If you already have a copperware or utensil that has become dull due to varying factors like age, harsh detergents, hard water, or as a result of washing it in a dishwasher, then tossing it into a dishwasher for a wash might not be a big deal anymore.
Although the dishwasher might not destroy the copper cookware, continuous usage would only cause the appearance of the utensil to degrade.
If you do not mind that the look continues to worsen, you could continue to wash it via the dishwasher –you have nothing to lose.
3- When You Need to Get Rid of Foul Odor
Sometimes, the odor can be a big problem in the dishwashers and it makes your utensils also stink. This is a neat little hack to use copper in the dishwasher to eliminate the smell.
The steps to achieve this have been laid out later in this article.
When Not To Put Copper In Dishwasher?
1- When the Manufacturer Does Not Indicate That It Is Dishwasher-Safe
It is essential always to follow instructions laid down by the manufacturers of any equipment to enjoy the best of it, and the cooking utensils are no exception.
Copperware has been seen to be unable to withstand a wash from a dishwasher, and when this happens, the copper coating begins to slowly but surely fade away.
If the manufacturer does not indicate the cookware or utensil to be dishwasher-safe, do not place it in the dishwasher.
Can You Put Your Copper Mugs, Pots, & Pans In Dishwasher?
You shouldn’t place your copper mugs, pans, and pots in a dishwasher if you care about your health and the durability of your kitchen utensils.
below are a few reasons why you shouldn’t put your copper mugs, pots, and pans in the dishwasher:
1- Dishwasher Damages the Inner Lining, Which Can Compromise One’s Health
Usually, while making copper mugs, pans, and pots manufacturers use stainless steel or tin as an inner lining.
While washing your copper utensils in the dishwasher, the heat and rigorous cleaning can gradually scratch off the inner lining, especially when the inner lining is not made of non-reactive solid metal.
This, in turn, would eventually lead to the copper being exposed, which invariably leaks into the food and drinks placed on that utensil and can cause stomach upset and other allergic reactions to the individual who ingest such.
2- It Risks Being Corroded
A dishwasher produces heat during a wash that one might not be able to regulate, and this often leads to rust spots over time, and if the washing continues, the sizes of the rust spots on the surface would be magnified.
Using Copper In Dishwasher To Get Rid Of Smell
DIYers and plumbers can attest to the significant role that a copper piece plays in restoring a dishwasher that has been laden with an awful smell.
If you have tried various methods to get rid of that foul odor oozing from your dishwasher, below is a step-by-step guide that would get the job done with a piece of copper:
1- Pure copper wire
2- Bleach or Vinegar
STEP 1: Begin by cleaning your dishwasher; if there are dishes, wash them up and clear the dishwasher of dirt, grease, and food remains.
STEP 2: After that has been done, get a pure copper wire (remove other alloyed metals attached if there are any) or a well-cut disc from a copper pipe and place it in the dishwasher.
Note: You could either do this with the dishwasher opened or shut. It is also best to try this hack after doing the night dishes so that the properties of the copper can leak into the washer overnight.
STEP 3: When it’s morning, remove the pure copper wire and pour about a half cup of bleach or vinegar through the dishwasher.
STEP 4: Try this for 1-2 weeks, and you will notice that the horrible smell will have been eliminated.
How To Clean Copper In Dishwasher? (If You Want To)
Perhaps you have no choice but to use the dishwasher to clean your copper cookware and utensils.
If that’s the case, you must be ready to continuously take certain preventive and maintenance measures to ensure that the aftereffects of the dishwasher do not settle on the utensils.
1- Mild dish soap
5- Baking soda
6- Two dry towels
STEP 1: The first preventive maintenance step is to use mild dish soap to wash the copper cookware and utensils.
STEP 2: With that said, pour a few drops of mild dish soap into the soap section of the machine, then sprinkle a tiny amount of baking soda before clicking the wash button.
STEP 3: After the dishwasher has cleaned the copper cookware and utensils, get these ready for actual maintenance to prevent tarnish or corrosion.
For a copper mug, pot, and pan, pour 3oz cup of baking soda into a bowl, then about 1oz of vinegar into the mixture, and stir the two ingredients into a pasty texture.
STEP 4: With that done, dip the sponge into the paste and gently scrub within and around the copper mug, pot, and pan.
The goal is to coat the utensils with the mixture, not scrub them.
STEP 5: When every part of the copper cookware and utensils has been generously covered with the vinegar and dishwasher mixture, let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, after which you can rinse off.
STEP 6: Rinse the utensils properly to ensure that no residue remains on the surface.
STEP 7: After that is done, take the first towel and use it to dry the utensils to ensure that the moisture is efficiently wiped off, use the second towel to wipe off the surfaces neatly.
STEP 8: Finally, leave to air-dry.
Better Ways To Clean Copper
1- Hand-Washing with Mild Dish Soap
This ranks as the best and safest way to clean your copper utensils. With hand-washing, you can take proper care of the knives and will be able to handle their sensitivity.
While hand-washing your copper cookware and utensils, use mild dish soap and warm water to gently scrub through. When you are done, clean up with two dry towels and leave to air-dry.
2- Salt and Lemon Juice
Just like the baking soda and vinegar mix, the salt and lemon juice combination ensures that the copper cookware and utensils are fortified against tarnish or oxidation.
It shouldn’t be a replacement for conventional washing.
Here are the steps:
A. Get a medium-sized lemon and squeeze it into a bowl; remove the seeds, after which you pour in 4-5 tablespoons of salt.
B. Ensure that the salt overshadows the juice.
C. With that done, take a sponge and gently scrub in and around the utensil.
D. Let the mixture sit for about 5-15 minutes before rinsing off.
E. Do not forget to dry with two towels and leave to air-dry, too.
Apply ketchup on a soft bristle toothbrush and generously scrub across the body of the copper cookware and utensils and let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing off, drying with two towels, and leaving to air-dry.
4- Copper Cream Cleaner
The copper cream cleaner is another way to clean your copper cookware and utensils and ensure that they maintain their sparkle.
It is not a substitute for soap and water; it is produced to keep your utensils free of tarnish and maintain a long-lasting shine.
You have to take into cognizance that you are only meant to apply it on the body of the copperware and not within it.
This is how it works:
Apply a good amount of copper cream cleaner to the body of the cookware or utensil, and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing off. Do not forget to dry with two towels and leave to air-dry, too.
Copper cookware is becoming increasingly popular these days in many homes. So there is a great demand for the right cleaning procedures for these utensils.
We have discussed the safety of washing copper pots, pans, mugs, etc. in the dishwasher and given you the reasons why it’s not the best idea. In certain cases, it might not be harmful to clean these using your dishwasher.
We have also shared all the essential steps for cleaning and maintaining your copper cookware.