If you’re unaware of what a paring knife is, it’s a small knife often used for fruits and vegetables. Once upon a time, before potato peelers were invented, they were even used to peel potatoes. They are much smaller then a chef knife or a meat cleaver.
However, people often wonder if paring knives are dishwasher safe.
Sure, you can wash them in your dishwasher, and it will clean them, but if you have a high-quality or expensive paring knife, then you are ‘best off’ washing it by hand. This is because dishwashers expose knives to many elements which degrade the blade’s longevity, such as moisture and heat.
(Related article: Solutions For Storing Paring Knives)
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When you place your knives in the dishwasher, they get exposed to a much higher level of humidity then they would if you washed them by hand. This can sometimes cause the blades to rust and degrade. Washing your knives by hand limits the moisture exposure.
Heat is another element which the dishwasher may expose your knives to. This actually isn’t good for the blades, and the damage can be even worse if they are being exposed to moisture at the same time. Nowadays it is also pretty common for paring knives to have a plastic handle and these types of handles can sometimes be damaged by heat.
The amount of time taken to wash the knife is much higher in a dishwasher. This is because a dishwasher has to wash many objects at once, so anything washed through a dishwasher is exposed to the elements for nearly the entire washing cycle.
Washing the knife by hand heavily limits the knife’s exposure to moisture and heat. This is essential to the knife’s longevity, and you will find your knives last much longer if you take the time to wash them by hand.
Another thing to take into consideration is that sometimes knives can get jostled around while in a dishwasher due to the turbulence of the dishwasher. This can potentially damage your knife, and is just another reason to wash your knives by hand.