The real question - why haven't you checked underneath for a third handle?
At an R&D meeting:
“So, the handle might melt under the heat of a dishwasher. I was thinking maybe we could use a better material for the handle.”
“Why don’t we just put a better handle underneath that one. Just for shits.”
*murmurs of agreement throughout the room*
Can I put my clothes in the dishwasher?
Consider yourself very lucky to have witnessed this!!
They tend to molt and shed their skin kind of like a snake does from time to time. Often brought on by stress and being run through a washing machine is just the type of stress to trigger an event like this!
I'm jealous you got to see it. I've been wanting to see this my whole life.
Hold on why would you put a potato masher in the washing machine?
Not a second handle per se, it's an overmolded handle. The plastic handle is the structural base, and the rubber that cracked/stretched/etc. was the overmold for a softer feel. Many soft-touch handles are made this way, otherwise they'd be floppy and unusable.