While the detergent isn't environmentally friendly washing everything by hand uses way more water and way more energy. So in that regards not using a dishwasher damages the environment even more.
Dishwashers are generally also not designed to wash pots and pans or fine dishes. Some have programs that claim to clean pots and pans, but anytdishes with painted ornaments are a no go for the dishwasher. If the environment is a concern, then phase out using the fine dishes and go with high quality plain white dishes. We use those and they look as new as on day one, including the fancy set.
I never realized that sharp knives aren't supposed to go in the dishwaher. I always put them in the dishwasher, sharp end down. Do dishwashers actually say in their manuals that sharp knives should be handwashed, or is this just considered common sense?
I don't use a dishwasher anymore, mostly because the detergent is so damaging to both fine pots and pans, as well as to good knives and other utensils, and also because it's so damaging to the environment. When I did, I always kept out good knives, and anything with wood on it, as well as most of my good cookware.
It is certainly true that those really sharp cutting instruments should not go in the dishwasher, not only because thye sharp edge may get banged up, although on the good stuff the sharp edge is quite hard, but more important, the detergent is hard on the high carbon hard steel. Cheap soft stainless knives will take a sharp edge, but they will not hold a really good edge, since they are soft. They can go in with the other stuff. But the really good ones with the much harder alloys are not all as resistant, so they get hand washed.
The fact remains, though, that unloading the dishwasher does take 100% concentration to do safely.
And it is indeed true that the "most serious" should be hand washed each time.
I guess I had to read a certain number of Made by Monkeys columns to realize that many consumer goods manufacturers must not realize how many engineers use their products, try to fix them when they misbehave, and write up their critiques here (and probably elsewhere on the web). If they did, they might care a bit more than they seem to now about making them right the first time.
Commercial kitchens are required to put the working ends up when they wash for sanitary reasons, i.e. everything drains away from the effector end. Butter knives, spoons, fork tines are hardly dangerous to your hands, given the ultimate delivery point is your mouth.
Decent cutting knives shouldn't be in the dishwasher, imho, and particularly in the cutlery area. Banging a nice sharp edge against cutlery is a good way to dull a knife. If you must put these in the dishwasher, I'd suggest you lay them down in the top shelf somewhere.
In your home you can do can do whatever you want, of course. If you are dropping sharp knives blade down in the cutlery area and damaging the bottom, then the clever work-arounds addressed by several here, is the way to go.
If we ever have a contribution here about a toilet paper dispenser made by monkeys, we'll have to debate the whole over the top vs out the bottom roll orientation issue.
I always put the sharp knives in handle first so that the blade does not work it's way through the bottom. Of course, I was also able to get a basket made of stainless wire screen. Taking a sharp knife out by the blade is only dangerous for those who choose to be careless or to not pay attention. But with a minimum of caution it is not hard to remove those sharp knives quite safely.
We are finding products made in far off regions of the world far away form our homes with little quality support and control. Evan part and factory service houses are finding themselves with miss label bags of parts and instructions that have little meaning or miss the mark altogether in explanations. LG is one company where I'm personally finding not only customers in frantic dismay but service and part houses frustrated. I have gone through hours and money trying to locate simple parts for our microwave oven and a dishwasher both only several years old and of course out of warranty. Parts ordered not only from LG own parts house but from several others and all can not obtain the correct parts even though the manufacture believes these parts are correct. Even authorized service houses are frustrated because they come to your home with parts in hand and the parts are clearly wrong when the service rep try's to install the parts. They go for days and weeks trying to make it right but run into the same brick wall as the consumer does. The part from LG is packaged for the model but the packaged part is wrong and LG will not do anything about it. I have an eight hundred dollar dish washer that is only five years old and I can not obtain the correct drain hose. Even the parts folks know the problem but they have nothing to offer. Bulbs for my microwave oven same thing. They send bulbs they believe is correct but clearly they are not. They will do nothing to try to resolve these fumbles. They seem to not care. All they want is for you to purchase their products and once you have it you are stuck with junk. Even the store where purchased contacted their factory LG rep to help us and they will not respond. Why would I ever recommend or purchase LG again should concern LG but I believe it just doesn't matter. I have heard customers also from other manufactures complain about the same problems also and those products are also made overseas.
It seems that having to grab "sharp" knives by the SHARP end is dangerous in itself and why can't Cutco make handles that can stand a dishwasher. Their knives are not a kitchen decoration. I've heard there are plastic materials these days that could be molded into knife handles.
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