Thank goodness for dishwashers.

They’re a wonderful time saver, and they’re a great place to ‘store’ dirty dishes when you need to clean up the kitchen.

But you can’t put everything into a dishwasher.

Here’s a guide:

WOOD

Wooden Utensils: The hot water and heat for drying is too harsh for mixing spoons, spatulas or any other tool with wood on it. The material may warp or soften – and shorten their lifespan.

Wooden Cutting Boards: Hot water will affect the finish of wooden cutting boards, making them dull and possibly warp. Wipe the cutting board clean with warm soap and water, and occasionally use an antibacterial cleaner.

METALS

While it’s no problem to wash stainless steel cutlery in the dishwasher, you have to be careful with various pots and pans.

Cast-iron Skillet: If you have to season a skillet for use, don’t put it into the dishwasher. Instead, rinse it with warm water, sprinkle with salt (which acts as a mild abrasive) and rub clean.

Garlic Press: You’ve probably noticed that garlic gets sticky when it’s in paste form, and it sticks to crevices in a garlic press. A dishwasher can’t necessarily clean up this dried-on gunk. Instead, wash this helpful utensil by hand. You may need to use a scrub brush to remove garlic pieces.

Aluminum Cookware: If you’ve ever made the mistake of putting aluminum cookware into the dishwasher, you know that it will discolour after one cycle. Wash this cookware by hand instead.

Copper: Copper is another metal that needs a little TLC when it comes to cleaning. A dishwasher can cause copper surfaces to dull. Hand-wash copper mugs, pots and pans instead.

Fancy Chef Knives: Be careful with sharp knives in the dishwasher – the hard plastic might be nicked during the wash cycle. Rinse by hand, and make sure your knife block is out of the reach of children.

VALUABLES

Vintage Plates: Protect the family china set and wash it by hand (dishes that are dishwasher-safe are typically labeled). The hot water and detergent can eat away at gold trim or hand-painted details.

Crystal: Keep your special crystal dishes out of the dishwasher. High water temperature may leave crystal cracked or dull their natural shine. Some crystal is now dishwasher-safe, but you should check with the manufacturer.

CLEANING CHALLENGES

Cheese Grater: Parmesan cheese, for example, is often left stuck in holes in a cheese grater and this is a tough clean for the dishwasher. Use soap and a cloth or brush to wash it by hand.

Burned-on and Baked-on Stains: Dark stubborn burn stains in baking dishes will not come out magically in a dishwasher. It’s likely going to take some soaking and elbow grease to get rid of these tough stains.

Insulated Mug: Some newer travel mugs are dishwasher safe, but for others, your dishwasher will destroy the insulation. Wash them by hand to ensure they continue to work properly.