One Thing You Should NOT Put in Your Dishwasher

This post contains one little ol’ Amazon affiliate link.
One Thing You Should NOT Put in Your Dishwasher at

As you know, I’m an Anti-Pre-Wash-Ite.

I get a thrill from putting stuff like this in my dishwasher:

Chocolate Cake in the Dishwasher at

Even my converted-from-pre-washing husband questioned my sanity, but it came out perfectly clean and totally chocolate-cake-less.

BUT . . . one thing you should never put into a dishwasher?

Paper labels.

Right. Washing things with paper labels is just asking for problems with your dishwasher.

So, if you’re a Costco shopper like me who was thrilled to FINALLY find soy sauce there, it’s best to use a razor to scrape the paper label off of the old soy sauce bottle before washing it so you can refill it from the monster-sized Costco bottle.

Do you pre-wash?


That link to the razor on Amazon? It’s an affiliate link. Expect to see lots of those during this big-time shopping season. It’s my ploy to get you over to Amazon on my affiliate link so I can get a commission on ANYTHING you buy over there. Muwahahaha!!! (That’s an evil laugh.)


--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1
    Ashley Hladik says:

    Oh yes, I am sooo a pre-washer. But, that’s because my dishwasher is old and it just became a habit.

  2. 2
    kayceeintx says:

    I’m a semi-pre-washer. It depends of what it is and how long it’s been there. My dishwasher is about 7 years old. It still works well, but not quite like it did when it was brand new. I have pretty much learned what it will take off right away and what I better pre-wash though. (I’m looking at you cheese.)

    I learned about labels years ago when I left a label on and later found it loose in the bottom of the dishwasher with burnt edges. I assume it happened during the drying cycle. Let’s just say that scared me straight.

    The best feature I have on my dishwasher is one where I can set it to start now or in two, four, or six hours. This wonderful for two reasons. First, I can load it after dinner, but set it to start running after baths. No more choosing between cold baths and forgetting to start it later! Also, if I have a load that has some more room in it and I am iffy on whether to go ahead and run it, I just set it to start in six hours. (Or however long is convenient.) If we produce something else in the meantime, we can add it in, but either way, it will go ahead and run and be clean when I need it to be. I <3 my dishwasher!

    • 3

      I love the idea of setting it to run later, just in case! I think I’ll need to do that.
      I use the delay start feature on my washer, so when I get up I go put stuff in the dryer, knowing that it hasn’t been sitting there all night getting “icky”…. but now on to the dishwasher delay feature! Weirdly excited to try it!

      • 4

        Ooooo, I have wondered if the delay feature was available on washers these days. My washer is still doing really well for its age, but since it is 17 years old, I have started dreaming about what I want when it finally goes. That will definitely go on my want list. (My dryer is hanging in there too, at 24 years old. In my wildest fantasies, they both kick the bucket at the same time and I replace them with a set.)

  3. 5

    I did try to not pre-wash anything, but apparently my dishwasher sucks. I had to run it again, even with the pretty little packets of Cascade (?). I am not, however, as picky about it as I was before. A quick swipe in the half a sink of water with my scrubby sponge and into the rack it goes. No rinsing now. Some things, of course, need a little more elbow grease (totally agree with kayceeintx on the cheese), but it’s easier…and I’m using it more often now.

    Good to know about the paper labels. I didn’t know they could screw the dishwasher up…or become a fire hazard. Now if I can just get the pipe coming off my hot water heater fixed today. Why is it that things like that happen on weekends? I’m tired of washing my hands in cold water. Let me tell you, cold water gets REALLY cold in Michigan when windchills are in the single digits! πŸ™‚

  4. 6

    Meh- sorta pre-washer. Crappy dishwasher with an attitude. We are temporarily renting and the dishwasher has to be at least as old as the unit- approx 10 yrs. So no delay feature. I’ve had to resort to spatula-ing the chunky gunk off, and stuff gets soaked with hot water first. Especially since there is no delay wash feature on this old thing. 2 more months max! YAY!!! so I will deal with it in the mean time, one of those single shallow sinks and crappy garbage disposal. I can live with all that. What do I miss most? THE SINK SPRAYER! Seriously how can a sink not have a #$%@%$@ sprayer?! Pure Blasphemy in my book. ugh. 2 more months, 2 more months… our house closes.

  5. 7
    Kristy Rainwater says:

    Another thing you should never put in your dishwasher is birthday candles! Just trust me on this! πŸ˜‰

  6. 8

    Whether or not you can get away without pre-washing is ENTIRELY up to your dishwasher. πŸ™‚ That, is, some dishwashers, it doesn’t bother at all. Others completely won’t function. I really like my new dishwasher’s removeable filter. I can put *anything* in the dishwasher now (even labels) as long as I rinse the filter afterward πŸ™‚

  7. 9

    I have been training my boys, ages 8 and 11, to bring their dishes to the kitchen after dinner and have just started on scraping food… so I still pre- rinse them. Just in case. But I am hoping someday to be past it! πŸ™‚

  8. 10

    Our dishwasher is almost 20 years old, and even when we pre-wash, if we don’t get every speck of goo off, its still there after running. If I had more counter space, I’d just wash by hand. Dishwasher is at the top of the wish list!

    • 11

      Karla, I had a dishwasher just like that and ended up using as a drying rack and not even bothering to try and run the dishwasher. I was cleaning them thoroughly only to have to buy dishwasher tabs and use up the water to run a load so I ended up just stacking them in the dishwasher to dry.

      • 12

        LOL…we used ours as a drying rack for a while until we could get a new one. If I am going to prewash I just wash the dishes.

  9. 13

    I’m a wash by hander. We have a dishwasher but with our hard water and our habit of never emptying it, it’s just easier to wash everything by hand. We’ve tried everything for the hard water but we always have to rewash the film off so it’s not worth it to use the dishwasher at all. Plus, it works so crapily (is that a word?) because of the water causing deposits in the hoses that we would have to pre-wash anyway to make things come clean so we see no reason to wash just to wash again.

  10. 14

    My dish brush has become my dishwasher’s side-kick. I rinse and brush off before loading it into the dishwasher. So, not really a pre-washer but a rinse and brusher.

  11. 15

    My sister just replaced her dishwasher with the same exact one from Craig’s list a couple years newer than hers but the same kind for FREE. It pays to check it out for those of you with a super old dishwasher. Hers broke and they were to the point of realizing it couldn’t be fixed. She called some one with a month old ad on a whim. The woman was like at this point I want it GONE. You can have it for FREE. So those of you in need of a new one start looking on Craig’s list. It may not be awesome but it might be better than you have now. πŸ™‚

  12. 16

    I don’t prewash. Like my mil said the other day if you rinse why not just wash it! One thing we agree on. I use to have a dishwasher without the disposal. Hated it. Got it because a repair said they last longer with less repairs. Just last month it broke down although it was only 3 years old the repair was too expensive to justify so yay I got a new one with disposal and no more rinsing!

  13. 17

    No pre- washing. I read it isn’t good to pre-wash on newer dishwashers or the newer detergents. I have an older ( not ancient maybe 8 -10 years old) Maytag that I never pre-wash and I can’t remember the last time a dish or pan didn’t come clean.

  14. 18

    I don’t consider what I do to be a true “pre-wash”, but I do scrape food off the dishes with a small scrubby brush and warm water before I load them. I rinse out glasses that have dried milk or juice in them. My dishwasher does a good job if I do those two things.

  15. 19
    Brandie Longoria says:

    My husband taught me this trick. If you put really hot (but not boiling) water say, in a soy sauce bottle, and let it sit for a minute over the label (on the inside), it will peel right off, and you don’t have to use a razor!! Totally cool, and it really works. Saves on elbow grease.

  16. 21

    The only thing worse than paper labels in the dishwasher are tissues in the washing machine! I try to not be a prewasher but I can’t help myself!

  17. 22

    NO! I’d just as soon go ahead and wash them if I have to pre-wash.

  18. 23

    I rarely pre-wash. Instead I look at dishes when I unload them and occasionally have to hand wash a few items. That’s better than pre-washing everything before I wash them.

  19. 24
    Cameron says:

    I am a TOTAL prewasher. I mean, my dishes are completely CLEAN before they go into the dishwasher…I know it isn’t necessary, that’s what a dishwasher is FOR, after all, but the germ-a-phobe in me can’t seem to break the habit.

  20. 25

    I agree! If you prewash, you might as well wash! But I never get bought about labels. Thanks for the tip.

  21. 26

    I’m anti prewash too though more so since the dishwasher goes on about twice a week now. My mil and sil just wash clean before putting in the dw. I’ve got better things to do.

  22. 27
    gerri dumas domicolo says:

    I don’t prewash or prerinse,unless there are hunks of stuff on there….It;s just gross to let gunky chunks sit in the dishwasher all day…but otherwise,I always take the lazy way out πŸ™‚

  23. 28
    Andrea says:

    I never take labels off, I let the dishwasher do the work. But we never use the dry cycle. We push the AIR DRY button every time. We’ve never used the heat dry cycle on our washing machine. Not once. What a waste of electricity. They are dry by morning anyway.

  24. 29

    I pre-wash. My husband is an appliance repair man and I know that your chocolate cake plate that hasn’t been washed is going to cause you a lot more issues in the long run. Dishwashers aren’t made to wash your dishes, but to sanitize them and maje sure any residual germsand residue are gone. That’s all.

  25. 30

    I used to rinse my dishes until they looked clean. About 5 years ago I came to my senses and just flicked off the big lumps. Works like a charm!
    Betsy C.

  26. 31
    Catherine says:

    No I do’not pre-wash.
    I put everything in dishwasher.
    It comes out clean,that’s why you buy good dishwasher powder.

  27. 32
    Jennifer says:

    if i need to wash something that has a paper label, i usually bite the bullet and do a hand washing the first time. give it a good long soak in hot (seriously-almost scalding) soapy water. most labels will just slide right off after that. if it needs extra help, i scrub with a steel pad.

  28. 33

    I’m a NEVER pre-wash-er… with only a few exceptions. Eggs, avocado, and cooked cereal don’t like my dishwasher. Otherwise everything goes in filthy. πŸ™‚

  29. 34
    Queen Lorine says:

    In a restaurant kitchen, the dishwasher scrapes, and sprays down the trays of dishes before they are put through a machine so no shame there when I feel something should get a swish. If I put dirty dishes straight in, actually close the door and don’t give them time to sit on the counter, they come out clean. I don’t use anything in my kitchen that can’t go in the dishwasher if I can help it….lol

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