T-fal Cookware Turned Grey in the Dishwasher

I'll try to be brief. I have a new Kenmore dishwasher. I have a new set of T-fal non-stick cookware. I use Finish powder and a name brand rinse aid. Lately I have been noticing a discoloring/staining/lightening on the exterior of my cookware. Another way of describing it is a pot I haven't used yet has glossy dark charcoal finish on the exterior, and the pots I've run in the dishwasher now have a dull light grey exterior.


Customer Service at Finish tells me it's due to the new law regarding phosphate in the soap and what I'm seeing is a soap film. They advised me to wipe with vinegar or use "Brasso", neither worked.

Then I called T-fal. They suggested I use a solution of baking soda and dish detergent. I haven't tried that yet, but I doubt it will restore the finish on the exterior.

Has anyone experienced the same or have any suggestions? I'm getting this feeling in my gut that my new cookware is irreversibly damaged, and I'd like to learn why, so I don't repeat it.

From what I've learned lately, it's not supposed to be a good idea to put pots and pans in the dishwasher, duh! What's a dishwasher for?!

Thanks group.

By Larry Kreitman

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March 1, 20110 found this helpful

I believe it's better not to put nonstick cookware in the dishwasher frequently as it tends to discolor. I've experienced this, too. There are usually washing instructions that come with new pots.


I rarely have room for pots & pans in the dishwasher but I will put one in occasionally. The T-Fal wash out by hand very easily and will look better that way. Non-coated stainless steel cookware would be safe to use in the dishwasher on a regular basis.

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March 1, 20110 found this helpful

If the pots are anodized aluminum, they may not go in the dishwasher, as the detergents can remove the anodization. I regularly put my stainless pots and pans in with no difficulty; and my non-stick frying pans. I suspect it may shorten the life of the non-stick pans; but once they start getting nicked, they must be replaced anyway. I do always spritz them with Pam before cooking, just to be sure...

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March 2, 20110 found this helpful

I've experienced the same thing with my t-fal pans. I've been doing it for several years and the exterior finish just keeps dulling, but the pots still work.


I always thought it was the very hard water we have around here. But I suppose maybe it's just the harshness of the dishwasher. Hope someone here has a solution!

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March 3, 20110 found this helpful

Update on my problem with exterior dulling/staining on T-fal cookware: Thank you folks for the suggestions. I just tried the baking soda/dish soap solution recommended by T-fal, actually made it much worse.

It's obvious my new cookware is ruined (yes, the inside is fine, and I can still cook in it. I blame this on two things:
The warnings for cookware that are absent on the dishwasher detergent containers and the cookware manufacturers packaging. Surely both entities are aware of the possibilities of damage, and are not alerting the consumers to it properly.



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March 3, 20110 found this helpful

Chemically treated pots and pans are not healthy and can leach into your foods. Also burning teflon and other chemically laced pans give off poisonous fumes which can kill your pet birds and fish. Some even come with warnings. Just because they make it does not mean its safe for you.

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March 4, 20110 found this helpful

T-Fal is not the only cookware that will end up with a 'gray-ing' finish when put into the dishwasher. I have several really expensive saute pans that have done the same thing and a good old scrubbing with SOS pads brings the shine right back on them. It's a lot of elbow grease to do it, but if you want a shiny exterior then scrub away. I'm not sure if the shiny exterior helps the cookware heat more or if it is just for a visual appeal. Mine work either way.

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March 5, 20110 found this helpful

I have been reading the safety of nonstick cookware and I have tried to do away with all mine and go with stainless steel. The only thing with stainless steel is that with the frying pans you must use a spray or oil in them before you cook.


My son forgot and ruined my pan and I can not get it clean. Before I got rid of my nonstick pans I put them on the top rack of my dishwasher. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to clean my stainless steel pan, or do I need to get rid of it and get another one!

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