Pitting of Cutlery in a Dishwasher

You may notice that small hollows or pitting are visible on the surface of your cutlery, these marks may also be surrounded by a rust mark.  These marks can be caused by:

  • Acidic or salty foods
  • Poor quality of the steel which could cause rusting
  • Electrolytic reaction causing by cutlery coming into contact with other metals, including silver

Causes and prevention

Pitting is often seen where stainless steel comes into contact with other metals including silver, but could be also where they touch the stainless steel lining of the dishwasher, or saucepans.

This can also be seen at the joint between the blade and handle of a knife for instance, this is because there are probably different qualities of stainless steel used, or even a different metal altogether.

You will often notice small areas of rust on stainless steel cutlery, and this is generally caused by poor quality cutlery.  Certain types of foodstuff, such as salty or acidic, will increase the risk of pitting as the electrolytic reaction is increased by these.


Unfortunately there is no way to return your cutlery to its former condition, although using a metal cleaner may improve the look it will not remove the pitting.

How to avoid pitting

Always buy good quality dishwasher safe stainless steel cutlery

Always separate different metals are kept apart during the dishwasher cycle

Rinse excess foodstuffs from cutlery before placing in dishwasher

Never allow stainless steel and silver items to touch during a cyle, as this will cause damage to both






Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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