Cutlery should last. Good quality stainless steel cutlery is an investment and the most popular choice of material. Most often it is 18/8 composition which relates to the chromium and nickel ratio.
While the description of ‘stainless steel’ might make you think it is indestructible, it is not really. There are some simple and effective things to do to prolong its life.
- Rather than tossing the cutlery straight into the cutlery basket or tray of the dishwasher simply rinse first. Food residue from eggs, vinegar, tomato and salt can pit the surface and can cause stains.
- Use a normal cycle – about 65°C.
- Don’t leave them soaking for a long period of time, this can cause staining
- Polish to remove stains or marks with stainless steel polish
- Avoid washing with non-stainless steel metals – for example don’t put aluminium in the dishwasher with stainless steel – this will cause rust stains which is really obvious on knives.
- Make sure you clean your dishwasher regularly. The build up of the dishwasher liquid or tablet on the food and water residue means the chemicals are concentrated.
Caring for timber handled cutlery:
Timber handled cutlery is beautiful and should last if you look after it. Like all timber, the dishwasher is not its friend. This cutlery should be hand washed and dried immediately.
Timber is porous – so soaking it is a big no. Simply wash in warm water with dish soap and dry. Every few months, give the timber a drink with board oil, orange oil or lemon oil. Let it soak in and polish off.
Any stains on the blade can be cleaned with a stainless steel polish. Just try to avoid the timber.
‘Laguiole’ style cutlery has been incredibly popular over the last 15 years, but you need to know whether yours is horn, plexiglass or ABS.
Generally the plexiglass or ABS looks like resin – and is fine for the dishwasher. So follow the stainless steel cutlery advice – it is made for high heat.
Horn handled cutlery however must be hand washed and cared for like timber cutlery.
It’s as easy as following these simple steps to prolong your cutlery’s life. Take good care and it will reward you with longevity.