I have written about this a couple of years ago.
The knives of my dinner cutlery service are and have been suffering from
a crusting on the blades only, when washed in the dish washer. All other
aspects of the service are OK.
I was advised at that time to remove any carbon steel knives from the
area and see how I got on.
I am down to the point of not putting anything other than the basic
knife, forks and spoons into the dishwasher, of the same set, along with
the plates we have eaten from and the knives are still coming out of the
dish washer with the same crusty brown marks on them. It is a raised
from the blade sort of thing and doesn't look like it is eating into the
What are they made of?
(Mind you, by the time you've put them in the dishwasher you could have
rinsed them under the tap, dried them and put them away...)
If they are silver, get an aluminium takeaway container of the right size,
put a tablespoon of washing soda in it and pour hot water over to dissolve.
Put silver item in; cleans quite quickly. Then buff up with shammy with a
bit of light cooking oil on (not sunflower - it is an almost indestructible
glue when it 'dries' - makes good fly paper though)
If they are 'stainless' possibly the knives have been heat treated more than
the 'softer' items, and haven't been polished properly, as sst does tend to
go brown when hot and some 'polishes' would tend to cover this up rather
than cleaning it off. Then the dishwasher just washes off the polish. You
might find polishing it with something even as mild as toothpaste gets the
brown film off.
Mind you, I find dishwashers tend to make things dirty anyway... And they
make a right mess of glass - especially the good stuff!
On the same theme, I know that our stainless cutlery has a near
invisible join between the knife blade and the handle. The two parts are
made of significantly different alloys - and I'd assume this to be quite
common. I think that if you washed the knives alone you'd still get the
marks. Further, I guess that process that is making the marks is indeed
eating away the blades, at least to some extent.
So the only possibilities for curing the problem I can come up with are
a) trying a different detergent (although they might all be so similar
as to make little difference); b) adjust the water softener settings to
the absolute minimum (included for completeness rather than any real
expectation of it working); c) wash the knives separately.
There are dishwashers and dishwashers.
And users and users.
Load it carefully, choose your detergent VERY carefully and choose your
temperature and program carefully and a dishwasher will be as gentle as
hand washing. Jam the machine full of dishes or glasses and start it
with regular dishwasher detergent on its standard program and you've got
a recipe for ruining your best china or crystal. Or china AND crystal.
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