Dishwashers might save time but not everything can be just chucked in. Here's how to give your things a good clean - and a long life.
"Never put your good knives in the dishwasher," says Marian Fletcher from The Cook Shop in Christchurch. "The dishwasher detergent deteriorates the steel." Knives can also knock against other things during the cycle, which over time will blunt their blades.
Instead Fletcher advises cleaning your sharp knives with hot soapy water and drying them with a soft cloth before storing them on a magnetic board or in a knife block.
There are many different types of non-stick cookware but abrasive cleaners and scourers are the enemy of them all. Warm soapy water and a soft cloth should be enough to keep them clean, provided you don't cook with them on really high temperatures - this can lead to scorch marks that are impossible to remove.
Cast iron pans should be cleaned with hot water while the pan is still hot. Leaving it to cool means grease and food will stick much more easily, while soaking it may cause it to rust. The patina or seasoning that builds up on cast iron should not be removed, but a mild soap can be used without damage on some brands. It's best to follow the manufacturers instructions in this case.
Hot soapy water and a soft cloth is best for cleaning bakeware, but the key is to line it properly so food doesn't stick in the first place. It's also important to remember to wash these before the first use.
Wooden chopping boards
Hot soapy water is enough to clean wooden chopping boards but it's important to let them dry with room for air to circulate so they don't go mouldy. Once in a while give them a deeper clean with paste of baking soda, salt and water. Fletcher occasionally rubs hers with a cut lemon, which has antibacterial properties and removes odours.
Your best glassware
Many people swear by washing glasses in the dishwasher for the shine it gives, but Shelley Neutze from glassware distributor Macvine says some dishwasher detergents are highly caustic. "Over time this etches into the glass surface, making them appear cloudy," she says. "There is nothing you can do about this, so select your cleaning agent carefully."
"It's also how you stack the dishwasher that's key," she says, advising little or no glass-to-glass contact. She recommends Spieglau brand glassware which undergoes independent testing of up to 1500 cycles but says some super fine or mouth blown glasses may still need to be hand washed.
- Stuff NZ/Homed