Most dishwashers have a gentle cycle but if you treasure your grandmother’s china or crystal, it’s best to clean them the old-fashioned way, by hand. Our experts offer this advice.

When hand washing your fine china and porcelain, line the sink with an old towel to prevent chipping and use a mild dish detergent. Here are some other items that can be damaged or ruined if put in the dishwasher.

Wood. Wooden cutting board, salad bowls and spoons may swell and warp or crack.
Kitchen knives. Putting table knives in the dishwasher is fine but avoid washing your fine cutlery in the machine as the knives may become dull.
Gold. Gold-plated dishes or dishes or flatware with gold trim can become discolored or the trim may even wash away.
Crystal. Fine crystal is sensitive to heat and may crack. The detergent may also etch the glasses, causing them to lose their brilliance.
China. Expensive china, especially pieces with a pattern, may become worn with repeated washings.
Metal. Keep anything made of pewter, brass or bronze out of the dishwasher as it will tarnish.