I got two circular cake pans for Christmas, and finally put them to use for home-made yellow cake layers. Feeling lazy, I tossed them into the dish washer afterwards instead of hand-washing, and realized afterwards that I didn't know if they were safe for it.

After coming out they've turned from silvery to looking like they have a chalky white "coating" all over, that won't wash off. It feels very strange to the touch, almost like a chalk board.

The "coating" (I'm guessing it's actually a lack of coating, that the dishwasher destroyed) is very uneven over the pans.

Nothing comes off on your fingers when you rub or scratch at it, though.

Are these still safe to bake with? I'm perplexed and don't know what to do with them now.

Cake pan

  • Had some trouble with tags since the ones I wanted to use don't exist. :(
    – Sapph
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:26
  • cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/8375/… missed this one, possibly related. Not sure what material my pans are.
    – Sapph
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:28
  • 1
    Please add a photo.
    – hobodave
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 20:40
  • @hobodave: Added.
    – Sapph
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


That sure looks like anodized aluminum that has been put through the dishwasher. I have never seen a non-stick coating that washes off in the dishwasher.

If it is anodized aluminum then it is harmless to continue using the pan.

I suggest contacting the manufacturer (stamped on bottom) if you want to be safe.

  • Did a web search for "anodized aluminum dishwasher" and found other people describing it the exact same way I did (chalkboard!), so it definitely seems like it's adding up. Thanks, learned something today!
    – Sapph
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 22:57

I'm assuming that the pans were originally non-stick coated. Most cake pans like that are.

I'm also assuming that either the detergent you used or maybe the "heat dry" cycle of your washer ruined the non-stick surface. So the chalky surface is probably the wrecked non-stick.

In any case, I wouldn't use them out of fear I'd wind up ingesting something awful from that surface. You could test them and see, but you'd never really know what's going on unless the surface flakes off on your food, and really--how expensive are those pans? Wouldn't it be better to chalk this one up to a lesson learned and get new ones?

  • Non stick coatings don't wash off in one dishwasher run as if they have never been there - rather, they fail by damaged spots getting worse due to flaking off/or corrosion underneath. Commented May 12, 2017 at 18:44

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