Steak knives are excellent tools. No other knives are as good for cutting meats during a meal as steak knives. However, cleaning these knives can be challenging, and many people wonder if it is safe to wash them in a dishwasher. Does putting your steak knives in the dishwasher cause them to rust and go dull?
You should not put steak knives in the dishwasher. Washing steak knives in a dishwasher can lead to rust and tarnish. Wooden knife handles swell and becomes damaged in the dishwasher. High-carbon knives will rust in the dishwasher, and the humidity will damage all steak knives over time.
There are many opinions about washing steak knives in a dishwasher, and the reality is that some knives should only ever be washed by hand. Do steak knives fall into this category?
Let’s explore what happens if you use a dishwasher to clean your steak knives to better determine if this is a safe thing to do for the knives.
Can You Put Steak Knives In The Dishwasher?
Kitchen knives are more delicate than you may imagine, and steak knives are no exception. Steak knives are generally tougher and less easily damaged than other kitchen knives.
However, these knives must still be well taken care of, especially if they are high-quality.
Steak knives should be washed by hand because they can be damaged in a dishwasher.
Why You Shouldn’t Put A Steak Knife In The Dishwasher
Several elements of dishwasher cycles can cause damage to steak knives, including the high temperatures, the jostling within the machine, the abrasive soaps, and the fact that items are left in a moist environment for long periods within a dishwasher.
Steak knives should be washed by hand and dried immediately after washing. This will prolong the life of the knives and make them much easier to use for much longer.
The way that a steak knife may sustain damage within a dishwasher depends on several factors, including the type of steel of the blade, the material of the handle, the size of the knife, how sensitive the knife is, and the overall quality of the utensil.
In addition, the harsh chemicals from the dishwashing detergent can cause chipping or cracking on the knife’s cutting edge.
Some steak knives are less delicate than others, and some dishwashers are less damaging to knives than others.
Still, if you care about the quality of your knives and how they are taken care of, it is always best to wash steak knives by hand rather than putting them in the dishwasher.
What Can Happen To A Steak Knife In A Dishwasher?
Steak knives are usually made from stainless steel. This type of steel is very hardy and is not easily damaged. However, the overall construction of steak knives means they are still not ideal for being washed in a dishwasher.
There are steak knives made from high-carbon steel, and these knives should, under no circumstances, be placed in a dishwasher.
High-carbon steel knives will rust in a dishwasher, regardless of how the dishwasher operates.
These knives must always be hand washed and dried immediately to maintain their condition and usability.
Steak knives with stainless steel blades are unlikely to sustain blade damage in a dishwasher, but damaging the rest of it is possible. Most steak knives have plastic or wooden handles, and these materials can cause problems in a dishwasher.
Wooden handles are very likely to be damaged in a dishwasher as the water will cause the wood to swell, which may unseat the blade from the handle.
This will allow water to seep between the blade and the handle, causing rust and potentially causing mold.
Plastic handles can deform in the dishwater, and hollow plastic handles can even melt if the dishwasher gets hot enough. Dishwashers typically heat to a temperature range of 120-150℉.
These hot water temperatures can quickly damage knives, Tupperware, etc.
If you or someone in your family accidentally wash a knife in the dishwasher, remove and dry it immediately after the cycle. Letting it sit in the humidity and high temperature can cause the knife to rust.
Even stainless steel knives may be tarnished or begin to rust in these conditions.
Is It Ever Safe To Out A Steak Knife In A Dishwasher?
We have established that the dishwasher is no place for steak knives, but the reality is that you can place some select steak knives in the dishwasher.
If you own a set of budget-friendly steak knives with non-wooden handles, you can put them in the dishwasher, but keep in mind that they might get damaged over time.
Knives you care about or want to continue using should be hand-washed and dried with a towel.
Using a dishwasher to clean steak knives is unlikely to cause the knives to go dull. Still, it will cause them to rust over time, and the abrasive soap hastens the process.
How To Clean A Steak Knife Without A Dishwasher
Cleaning a steak knife is crucial to maintaining its quality, sharpness, and durability.
The best way to clean them is to wash them by hand in warm water with gentle dish soap, like Dawn detergent.
First, mix a small amount of dish soap with warm water in a bowl.
Then, gently scrub the blade with the soapy solution using a soft sponge. Rinse the knife thoroughly with hot water, and dry it with a clean towel before storing it in its sheath.
This process is not time-consuming, and while all the other dishes wash in the dishwasher, you can spend a few minutes cleaning your steak knives to ensure that they do not sustain any damage along the way.
Dishwashers are very useful appliances and great time savers, but this is not the way to wash your steak knives if you want to maintain them well.
Take the time to wash your steak knives by hand; they will last much longer and remain much more usable over the years.
Using a dishwasher to clean your steak knives is never ideal, but if you need to, be sure to only place cheap steak knives with stainless steel blades in the dishwasher, and try not to do it too often.
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