Can I Put Greasy Dishes In Dishwasher? (Explained!)

Can I Put Greasy Dishes In Dishwasher

Grease has been observed over time to be the major source of clogging in the dishwasher’s drain line. This ‘no greasy dishes’ rule might be a little bit tough to follow because most times, daily, we prepare our meals with oil.

Since using oil is an essential part of our daily cooking, do we then hand-wash our dishes every day? Or is there an amount of oil on our dishes that can be tagged “too much” or “permissible” to go down the dishwasher?

In this article, we’ll be going into all you need to know about putting greasy dishes in the dishwasher.

Can I Put Greasy Dishes In Dishwasher?

Greasy dishes can be placed in the dishwasher because the machine is built to handle tough stains and grease on the dishes’ surfaces. The dishwasher can lift off oil without leaving behind streaks. However, the leftover grease clogs the water flow when it is let down the pipe.

This drain blockage factor, thereby, gives people the impression that washing a greasy plate or pan in the dishwasher should be a “no-no”.

People often proffer different solutions to this cleaning issue because, actually, no one wants to hand-wash their dishes when they already purchased a machine to ease that stress.

One common solution often recommended is the pre-rinsing of the greasy dishes before putting them into the dishwasher, but how effective is that method.

Is It Okay to Pre-rinse Your Greasy Dishes before Putting Them in the Dishwasher?

You can pre-rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher but it will hinder the machine from effectively washing the dishes, consume time, and involve extra effort.

Pre-rinsing a greasy dish or pre-washing a greasy dish involves actively wiping off oil completely from a dish and putting it in the dishwasher for final cleaning or to get rid of the final residues here and there on the plates.

This might seem like the best way to avoid any clogging issues with the dishwasher and get the cleaning done effectively, but here are a few reasons you shouldn’t pre-rinse your greasy dish before putting it in the dishwasher:

Prevents the Dishwasher from Effectively Cleaning the Dishes

Do you know that when you pre-rinse your greasy dishes, you hinder the dishwasher from effectively cleaning them?

The dishwasher is programmed to recognize food stains, in which oil leftovers are included, and tackle them head-on.

Whenever you rinse the grease off the plates or even pre-rinse your dish, the dishwasher would not be able to find anything cogent to work with and might give it a short running cycle, letting the dishes come out without being effectively washed.

Time- & Energy-Consuming

A lot of opinions state that pre-rinsing dishes is an energy-saving method and a good way to ensure that the dishwasher cleans the grease without fear of blockage. This seems straightforward and effective.

But looking at it closely, pre-rinsing your greasy dishes before placing them in the dishwasher is actually a time-consuming and energy-sapping process that might not even guarantee that the dishes would come out clean.

How Does a Dishwasher Handle Grease?

A dishwasher is designed for cutting through grease and other hard-on food stains.

The dishwasher handles grease like any other food stain; however, its ability to tackle the grease is dependent on two factors: the amount of water available in the water pump and the type of dishwasher detergent, and the amount of grease on the dishes.

The Amount of Water Available in the Water Pump & the Type of Dishwasher Detergent

These two factors go hand-in-glove and can’t be separated, hence, the need to address them together.

When the detergent used is not strong enough to cut through and break down the oil, this would only result in oily balls retained on the surface of the dish and oil still floating inside the dishwasher, down into the drain.

Also, when the water flowing into the dishwasher is not hot enough or in enough quantity to clean the oil on the plate, the oil might overshadow the water making it hard to clean the soap off the dishes and oil streaks.

The Amount of Grease on the Dishes

The amount of grease on the dishes is equally important when it comes to running them in your dishwasher for a wash.

This is because the dishwasher, although capable of getting rid of grease and fat, can have its filters blocked and drain line, too when there’s too much of it.

That is why it is advisable to scrap dishes with excessive oil and fats before placing them in the dishwasher.

Can You Put Greasy Cast Iron Pan into the Dishwasher without Detergent?

No, you shouldn’t put your cast iron pan, greasy or not, into the dishwasher for a wash whether it’s with or without detergent.

The cast-iron pan is not dishwasher-safe because it does not fair well under the rigorous cleaning condition that would be undergone when placed in the machine.

Dishwasher detergent is often too harsh on the cast iron pan, alongside the heat temperature and pressure from the water used during the washing cycle.

But more importantly, is the fact that the cast iron pan will be exposed to prolonged immersion in water and that’s the crux of the problem.

A cast-iron pan or skillet should not be left in water for either a short or long period of time (which is the case whenever it is placed in the dishwasher), as this would only lead to losing the seasoning on the cooking surface, rusting, and flaking off.

The best way to clean a greasy cast iron pan is by hand-washing it.

Here are a few quick and easy steps:

STEP 1: Let the pan cool after taking it off the stove and serving the food out of it. Do not leave the food residue to become hard-on for easy removal.

STEP 2: Use a plastic spoon to scrape the food residue off the surface gently. Then, apply mild dish soap to a soft sponge.

STEP 4: Wet the sponge and begin to work it in and around the cast iron pan.

STEP 5: After the pan has been thoroughly washed, clean the soap off it with lukewarm water.

STEP 6: Do not leave it to air-dry; it is important to not let moisture sit on the pan for long. Instead, immediately after rinsing, pick a neat, soft towel and wipe the pan till it’s completely dried.

How To Remove Grease From Dishes (Best Ways!)

1- Dishwashing

Dishwashing your greasy plates is highly recommended as a cleaning method.

To use this method, you must be careful to remove excess grease from the dishes, firstly, by scraping it off with a plastic spoon or wiping it off with tissues in order to avoid build-up in the dishwasher and its drain line.

2- Hand-Washing with Hot Water & Dish Soap

Begin by wiping off excess grease with kitchen paper/towel. Then, immerse the greasy dishes into hot water or spritz hot water on the surfaces of the dishes with gloves on.

With that done, pour a good amount of dish soap or detergent on a sponge and wet it to make it foam. Scrub the dishes thoroughly and rinse under running water.

3- Salt, Lemon, and Dish Soap

Begin by wiping off excess grease with tissue paper. Then, sprinkle and spread salt on the dish generously.

Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before squeezing the juice of a half slice of lemon on the salty surface

Let the lemon juice immerse into the dishes for about 5-7 minutes.

After this is done, rinse the dishes under running water before finally hand-washing.

Can Grease Clog a Dishwasher?

Yes, grease can cause a clog in the dishwasher drain line. When excess cooking oil or grease goes down into the dishwasher drain line, it settles on the body of the pipes and eventually cools.

The oil that went down the drain eventually cooled and becomes thickened. This is capable of hampering the free flow of water down the drainpipe.

How to Get Rid of Grease Build-up in the Dishwasher?

Method: Vinegar & Dish Soap Mix

The vinegar and dish soap solution is safe and effective for removing grease clinging onto the inside of the dishwasher.


1- White vinegar
2- Dish soap
3- Soft sponge
4- Microfiber cloth
5- Dishwasher-safe bowl


STEP 1: Open the dishwasher, remove the racks and soak them in vinegar for 15-30 minutes or wipe them with a soft sponge dipped in vinegar. Then, rinse afterward.

STEP 2: Pour 3-4 cups of vinegar and ½ cup of dish soap into a dishwasher-safe bowl.

STEP 3: Place the bowl at the end of the dishwasher and run on a hot cycle.

STEP 4: After this has been done, if you notice traces of grease sticking to the body of the dishwasher you can wipe it off with a microfiber cloth that has been immersed in vinegar and dish soap.

STEP 5: With that done, run the dishwasher again.

How Do You Get Rid Of Grease From Dishwasher Drain Hose?


1- Long stick or straightened, thin iron rod
2- Vinegar
3- Baking soda
4- Plier


STEP 1: Unplug the dishwasher from the power source.

STEP 2: Use a pliers to loosen the clamp around the drain hose.

STEP 3: Use the thin iron rod into the drain hose to clear out the grease and food residue.

STEP 4: Now reconnect the drain hose, then head over to the inside of the dishwasher.

STEP 5: Mix vinegar and baking soda into a cup and pour the mixture down the drain. Let the mixture for about 10-15 minutes.

With that done, run the dishwasher and you can be assured that the drain hose would have been unblocked.

Final Thoughts!

The dishwasher is designed to deal with several stains, grease inclusive.

Because of the nature of grease, the dishwasher’s drain line stands the risk of being clogged. In this article, we have discussed all you need to know about putting a greasy dish in the dishwasher, preventing a clog, and also unclogging.

Caution: Using a plunger in your dishwasher can have a damaging effect on the drain hole. Use other methods for unclogging, whenever you need to.

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