Are You Ruining Your Metal Serving Dishes? The Truth About Washing Them with Dishwashing Soap Bar

Many of us have experienced the disappointment of seeing our beautiful metal serving dishes lose their shine and colour over time. This is often due to the way we clean them. One common culprit is the use of dishwashing soap bars. While these soaps are great for cleaning our regular dishes, they may not be the best choice for our metal serving dishes. Let’s delve into why this is the case and what you can do to keep your metal serving dishes looking their best.

The Impact of Dishwashing Soap Bars on Metal Serving Dishes

Dishwashing soap bars are designed to be tough on grease and food residue. However, this strength can also lead to damage when used on delicate materials like metal. The harsh chemicals in these soaps can strip away the protective coating on metal serving dishes, leading to discolouration and dullness. Over time, this can significantly degrade the appearance of your dishes.

What Should You Use Instead?

When it comes to cleaning metal serving dishes, gentler is better. Opt for a mild dish soap that is free from harsh chemicals. You can also use a solution of warm water and a small amount of mild detergent. This will effectively clean your dishes without causing damage. Additionally, avoid using abrasive scrubbing pads or steel wool, as these can scratch the surface of your dishes.

Proper Drying is Key

Another important factor in maintaining the appearance of your metal serving dishes is how you dry them. Leaving them to air dry can result in water spots, which can dull the shine of your dishes. Instead, dry them immediately after washing with a soft, lint-free cloth. This will help to maintain their shine and prevent water spots.

Consider Professional Cleaning for Valuable or Antique Dishes

If you have valuable or antique metal serving dishes, it may be worth considering professional cleaning. Professionals have the knowledge and tools to clean these dishes without causing damage. They can also provide advice on how to maintain the appearance of your dishes in the future.


In conclusion, while dishwashing soap bars may be convenient, they are not the best choice for cleaning your metal serving dishes. By choosing a gentler cleaning method and taking care to dry your dishes properly, you can help to maintain their shine and colour for years to come. Remember, the key is to treat these dishes with the care they deserve.