Is it safe to use an enamel colander that's been scratched in the dishwasher? Yes I know, I should have hand washed it! Thanks!
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By choosing an enamel colander carefully, it's possible not only to have a decorative kitchen accent piece, but a well-functioning draining utensil as well. An enamel colander with a sturdy, raised base may be a good choice, as this design avoids soaking up water and bacteria from the sink. In addition to visually examining a colander before purchase, it also is important to read the product packaging — not not all enamel colanders are designed for draining both hot and cold foods. Also, make sure you choose a colander with comfortable handles and one with the right size draining holes for the job.
Cheaper types of enamel colanders may chip or bubble after being used to drain hot liquids. If the label even seems to suggest that the product be used only for rinsing fruits and vegetables, it's best to avoid purchasing that colander if you want to use it for draining pasta or other hot foods. Choosing an enamel-coated colander with a product description that indicates it is for use on both hot and cold foods is a good idea. If the colander comes with a guarantee against chipping or bubbling, that may be the best choice.
Even if the product label states the enamel-coated colander is dishwasher safe, it's still usually best to hand wash the item. Enamel colanders should also be dried well after using to prevent rusting. Sometimes, the space between the top of the base or stand and the bottom of the colander bowl may get rusty — either from placing the piece in the dishwasher or not drying it well. For this reason, it's advisable to choose an enamel colander with a well attached stand section.
Since enamel colanders, with their vivid powder-coated paint in fun colors such as yellow, red and turquoise, are meant to be decorative as well as functional, it makes sense to choose one in a color that coordinates with your kitchen decor. Some cooks like to leave a colorful enamel colander sitting out on a kitchen island or counter top to hold fresh fruits. If you are considering buying, or already have, other enamel kitchen pieces, such as cookware or a kettle, adding a colander in the same color can give you the look of a set.
The loop handle on each side of the enamel colander you're considering buying should comfortably fit your fingers. If you want to display the colander, decide whether you prefer styles with enamel or chrome handles. Also consider the colander's capacity and whether the drain holes are large enough for speedy draining. While you'll need a large colander for draining pasta, miniature colanders are the ideal size when working with canned or jarred olives and fruits as well as for washing small quantities of berries or grapes.
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