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How to Clean Silverware in a Dishwasher

It might have been handed down to you from your grandparents or you may have purchased a set yourself. Silverware is beautiful and elegant on the dining room table and it’s certainly worth looking after. However, there are some important questions that arise when it comes to cleaning silverware, such as cutlery or silver plated crockery. These include whether you can wash silver in the dishwasher. If you want to preserve your silverware, keep it clean and untarnished when cleaning it, here are some tips you may want to consider.

But first things first. Can you put sterling silver in the dishwasher? While the short answer is “yes”, there are some caveats that you should know about before plonking your silver knives, forks and spoons in the dishwasher and running a cycle. Here they are:

Rule number one: always ensure that you only put flat silverware in your dishwasher. This means that anything that has handles which are glued to the silverware, hollow handled knives, anything with pearls attached, etc. are a no-go.

Rule number two: when asking if you can put silverware in the dishwasher, the second rule to keep in mind is that you should always rinse off your silverware first before placing it in the dishwasher. The reason for this is that it will prevent immediate and future issues such as corrosion or even pitting.

Dishwasher full of dishes

Rule number three: now that you’ve rinsed the silverware and have carefully selected the right items to be washed in the dishwasher, it’s time to pack it. However, there is something very important that you need to keep in mind. And that is that you should always place your silverware in the dishwasher in separate compartments that do not touch other metal cutlery or crockery. This is irrespective of whether they are made of stainless steel or another metal. The reason for this is that a reaction will occur when the two metals touch each other under a mixture of water and detergent. Therefore, this should be avoided at all costs. Also worth remembering when loading your dishwasher and carefully compartmentalising your silverware is making provisions that the silverware can move during the wash cycle as a result of the spray arm dispensing water inside. Therefore, make sure that the silverware is very carefully spaced out from the rest of your cutlery to prevent any blemishes from arising.

Rule number four: once you’ve loaded your dishwasher with your silverware, you should also remember to place it on a light, normal or delicate cycle. Heavy-duty cycles should be avoided.

Rule number five: finally, if you are worried about tarnishing or blemishing your silverware and you’re curious about whether silver plated cutlery can go in the dishwasher, this will also be highly dependent on the detergent that you use. Sources indicate that you should steer away from detergents or dishwasher tablets which contain lemon, citrus or phosphates. The reason is simple: these can damage your silverware and no amount of polishing later on will help you remove these permanent stains.

If you are experiencing difficulties getting good results from your appliance, professional diagnostic service is not out of the question. Call Exclusive Repairs for a next day appliance diagnostic and repair service.

Final thoughts

Looking after your silverware is an important part of ensuring that you look after all your household items. They have value - both aesthetic, personal and financial - and they should be carefully looked after. However, if you’re curious about whether you can put silver rimmed china in the dishwasher or if you can put silver plated silverware in the dishwasher, our answer is “yes” with an exception. And that is that it is always advisable to follow the five rules mentioned above in the event that your silverware is a gift or inherited or to speak to the professional you purchased your silverware from in the event that it’s a purchase. Either way, take care of your silverware well and it will remain a loyal companion to your dinner table for many years to come.