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Does the Dishwasher Dull Knives?

Q: Does the Dishwasher Dull Knives?

This is a very common question among home cooks. Many people want the convenience of using their dishwasher on their good knives but are worried about the effects.

We took a look and will share our results with you and what they mean for your knife cleaning.

A: Yes, the Dishwasher Will Dull Your Knives (And More)

The short answer is that the dishwasher definitely dulls your knives and can potentially ruin their handles. Between the jostling of the blades against other silverware and the chemicals in the detergents washing your knives in the dishwasher is not a good idea.

We’ll look at some of the issues more in depth:

Dishwasher Knife Dulling

The main reason knives get dull when they are run through the dishwasher is because they get banged into other silverware, plates, and other things in the dishwasher. This causes the edge of the blade to bend and develop nicks and scratches.

If you look closely at a dull knife you can see that the edge of it is no longer forming a perfect point. These bends and wrinkles are what causes knives to get dull so quickly and is one of the reasons you should use a honing steel before using them everything.

While these dents and bends are caused by normal use, running knives through the dishwasher not only speeds up the process but also creates ones that are much worse than normal. Often times this makes the honing steel less effective until you sharpen the knives.

Dishwasher Affects on Knife Handles

While the dulling of knives in the dishwasher can be counteracted by sharpening them more often, the dishwasher also has another adverse effect on knives. The chemicals contained in most dishwasher detergents are very harsh and can react with knives and their handles.

These chemicals can cause the knife handle to discolor or even become pockmarked, especially the synthetic handles common on many knives.

The knife blades themselves can also be affected by the dishwasher detergent chemicals. The chemicals can stain and discolor the knife blades or even corrode them.

Proper Knife Cleaning

After using, clean your knives promptly in the sink, by hand, without the use of harsh chemicals. Dry them and put them away right after you wash them. This will ensure that your knives stay sharper between uses and won’t discolor or corrode.

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