Got No Time? A Quick Answer for You
Many stainless steel cocktail shakers are dishwasher safe, but handwashing is still the recommended method for thorough cleaning and long-term care. Avoid putting shakers in the dishwasher right after use when cocktail residue is still fresh. Allow shakers to fully air dry before reassembling them after washing to prevent mold growth. Inspect for damage after washing and discard shakers that show signs of warping or worn gaskets.
Can You Put Cocktail Shakers in the Dishwasher?
Cocktail shakers are essential barware for any home mixologist. But after shaking up martinis and Manhattans, the inevitable question arises – can you put cocktail shakers in the dishwasher for easy cleanup?
The answer depends on the shaker’s construction material. High-quality stainless steel shakers are generally dishwasher safe, but some care is still needed to prevent warping and deterioration over many wash cycles. Shakers with plastic, wood, crystal glass, or mixed material components should be hand washed to preserve their integrity.
Choose Stainless Steel Shakers with Tight Seals
Stainless steel is durable enough to withstand the hot water and harsh detergents of dishwashers. But look for shakers made entirely of stainless steel, as mixed materials may be damaged. Chrome plating can chip and peel off.
Shakers sealed with rubber gaskets around the cap and strainer maintain a tight seal to prevent leaks during shaking and the dishwasher’s turbulent wash cycle. Silicone gaskets are more durable and heat-resistant than rubber.
Avoid vintage or antique shakers with loose or worn gaskets. The intense water pressure and high heat of dishwashers can force leaks in deteriorated seals.
Handwash Specialty Materials
Wood, plastic, crystal glass, and ceramic shakers should always be handwashed. The hot water and harsh detergents in dishwashers can damage these delicate materials.
For example, repeated dishwasher cycles can cause:
- Wood to crack, warp, and deteriorate over time.
- Plastic to become brittle and degrade.
- Crystal glass to etch and become opaque.
- Ceramic glazes to fade and scratch.
Handwashing allows you to gently clean shakers made of these materials using mild dish soap and warm water. Be sure to thoroughly dry afterward to prevent mold growth in wood grain or cracks.
Let Shakers Dry Completely Before Reassembling
Drying is an important step after washing cocktail shakers in the dishwasher. Trapped moisture promotes bacterial and mold growth which can tarnish stainless steel over time.
After the wash cycle, remove caps, strainers, and lids from shaker tins. Allow all parts to air dry fully before reassembling them. Use a clean towel to dry any damp surfaces and crevices.
You may need to hand dry strainers and caps with intricate metalwork or hard-to-reach areas. Pay special attention to gaskets and silicone seals.
Fully dried shakers keep cocktail residues from sticking to interior surfaces and prevent cross-contamination of flavors between uses.
Avoid Washing Right After Use
For best results, avoid putting cocktail shakers in the dishwasher right after using them. Fresh cocktail ingredients and residues are sticky and difficult to fully wash out. Sugary syrups and citrus juices can bake onto metal and glass surfaces under heat.
Instead, do a quick rinse or handwash immediately after use. Then clean shakers thoroughly in the dishwasher once cocktail residues have had a chance to dissipate. Detergents work better on residue that has dried rather than freshly shaken sticky cocktails.
You can also fill shakers halfway with warm water and let them soak for 30 minutes before dishwasher washing to help loosen stubborn residues. Just don’t let shakers sit unwashed for extended periods, as this allows more time for residues to stick and mold to grow.
Secure Moving Parts During Washing
Cocktail shakers have many moving parts like caps, strainers, and built-in strainer springs. These small pieces can easily get lost in the turbulent wash cycle of dishwashers.
Before placing shakers in the dishwasher:
- Make sure caps and strainers are securely fitted onto shaker tins. Consider using a piece of tape or elastic band to keep them attached.
- Remove any loose accessories like muddlers and spoons and wash them separately.
- Check that any internal strainer springs are tightly coiled in place and cannot bounce around.
Taking these steps prevents small parts from falling off mid-cycle and getting damaged or lost down the dishwasher drain!
Inspect for Damage After Repeated Washing
While stainless steel shakers hold up well to occasional dishwasher washing, the intense heat and pressure can warp them over time. Some signs of wear include:
- Loose, ill-fitting lids that leak and wobble during shaking
- Compromised gaskets and seals with cracks or gaps
- Cloudy interiors where metal has deteriorated
- Thin, weakened walls prone to denting
Discard any shakers showing major signs of rust, flaking, or damage. For high-end shakers you want to preserve, handwashing is the safest practice.
With proper care and maintenance, a quality stainless steel cocktail shaker can deliver years of leak-free, dishwasher-safe shaking. Just take the time to inspect and thoroughly dry shakers after washing to keep them looking pristine behind your home bar.
People Also Ask About Dishwasher Safe Cocktail Shakers:
Are Boston shakers dishwasher safe?
The two-piece Boston shaker, made up of a metal tin and mixing glass, is only dishwasher safe in the metal tin component. The glass should always be handwashed to prevent etching and deterioration over repeated dishwasher cycles.
Can you put a Cobbler shaker in the dishwasher?
Stainless steel Cobbler shakers with tightly sealed caps and strainers can go in the dishwasher, but it’s best to handwash shakers with wood or plastic caps. Let all parts fully air dry before reassembling after washing.
Should you wash shaker tins separately?
Washing shaker tins separately instead of nested allows water to fully contact all interior surfaces for better cleaning. This prevents cocktail residue getting trapped between the tin and glass during washing.
Can cocktail strainers go in the dishwasher?
Stainless steel strainers are dishwasher safe, but those with plastic components should be handwashed only. Remove strainers from shakers before washing so debris trapped in the coil and rim can be fully cleaned away.
How do you clean a rusty cocktail shaker?
For stainless steel shakers with minor rust spots, scrub gently with baking soda and vinegar using a toothbrush. Rinse and dry fully. Discard shakers with extensive rust damage, as the metal is now compromised and pores allow flavors and bacteria to persist.
Dishwasher safety ultimately comes down to cocktail shaker construction. While stainless steel models can be washed in the dishwasher, handwashing is still the best practice for long-term care and preventing damage. Specialty materials like wood, plastic, and crystal should never go in the dishwasher.
No matter how you clean them, always disassemble shakers fully so all parts get exposed to cleaning. Dry shakers thoroughly before reassembly, and inspect for damage periodically. With proper maintenance, your favorite shaker can stay in tip-top shaking condition for years.