As much as dishwashers save us from the manual pain of washing dishes, mugs, utensils, etc. by hand, not all your kitchenware is safe to be washed by a dishwasher.
Loading the wrong items on your dishwasher harms your items more than your dishwasher. Out of the many unsafe items you’re likely to run into, mugs are one of the most common.
Let’s face it, mugs are more of a hassle to wash by hand and nothing can be more frustrating than being unable to automatically wash your favorite one that you use most frequently.
So why are some mugs not dishwasher safe? This is a confusion that many of you must have had by now if you own a dishwasher, which we are about to clarify today.
Why Are Some Mugs Not Dishwasher Safe?
The reason behind why some mugs are not safe to be washed in a dishwasher can be either, few or all of the following.
One of the top reasons why a mug is not dishwasher-safe is due to the material it is composed of.
Some of the top materials that are unfit to be used in your dishwasher regardless of whether it’s your mug or some other kitchenware include Aluminum, wood, fragile glass, copper, crystal, thin plastics, etc. sometimes, it’s also recommended to not wash stainless steel mugs and other items in your dishwasher.
This is because, dishwashers use strong sprays of water and higher temperatures which all materials cannot withstand, resulting in your unsuitable mugs getting damaged.
For example, some thin plastic mugs can melt or soften due to the heat and get deformed. Wooden mugs might get warped and split due to exposure to hot water. Fragile glass mugs can crack or break due to temperature fluctuations and strong water sprays.
Washing aluminum mugs in dishwashers is a major sin. This is because, the dishwashing cycle with the hot water, the ingredients in your dishwasher detergent, and the presence of minerals in your water will altogether react with the aluminum surface, turning them black and splotchy.
Copper items lose their gloss or shine due to similar reasons, while stainless steel can sometimes face some corrosion due to the extensive cleaning cycle inside the dishwasher. Glass and fragile items like crystals may be too weak to handle the powerful cleaning and them rattling inside may cause them to break, chip, or crack.
Mugs composed of fine China are also not suitable for dishwashers as the chemical composition of the dishwasher detergent will take a toll on their color. They may also get chipped or crack during the powerful wash cycle.
Another reason many mugs are not safe for dishwashers is that they are composed of a mixture of materials where some are safe to be washed in dishwashers, while others are not. Hence, you end up with the same issue of those mugs not being dishwasher-safe.
Due to some mugs being specially engineered, such as insulated or thermal mugs to keep your drinks hot or cold, they are not suitable to get washed in the dishwasher.
Insulator mugs possess an outer and inner layer with vacuum in between which aids in the insulation process, keeping your beverages hot/cold for long durations.
Hence, washing these mugs in the dishwasher is strictly prohibited as the powerful wash cycle of the dishwasher at high temperatures may damage or break the vacuum barrier, causing your mug to lose its insulation properties. So if you don’t want this seal to break, refrain from putting such mugs in the dishwasher.
If your mug has special chemical coatings to enhance its beauty or durability, including paints, it is advised to not put them in the dishwasher unless they are mentioned to be dishwasher-safe.
This is because chemical-coated or hand-painted glass mugs, no matter how well they have been cured, are not suitable to be washed extensively in dishwashers. The paint or the chemical coatings are likely to be highly intolerant to heat, making them unsuitable for the hot wash cycles and drying of your dishwasher.
Washing such mugs by hand is recommended as the powerful wash cycles of your appliance will otherwise remove or damage the paints/coating within a few washes.
Intricate or fine design works on your mugs may also get in the way of them being suitable for dishwasher cycles.
This is because there is a chance that they won’t get properly cleaned as all the nooks and crannies are less accessible by the wash cycles. If the designs include fragile parts, they might get chipped or damaged as well under the harsh cleaning cycle.
Hence, it is always better to handwash such mugs for thorough and gentle cleaning.
Though most mugs come in regular sizes that fit your dishwasher safely, oversized mugs are to be avoided in the dishwasher as they will not sit inside properly. This will result in the big mugs rattling or moving inside too much during the heavy wash cycles, which might result in them breaking or cracking.
How To Know Which Mugs Are Dishwasher Safe?
The main and the most foolproof way of determining whether your mug is dishwasher-safe is to look for the dishwasher-safe logo on them while making your purchase.
You can also look for materials such as stainless steel, thick plastic, glass, porcelain, ceramics, etc. as these materials are dishwasher-safe. Given that no other materials are mixed in and the mug itself is not an insulation mug, you can put in mugs composed of these few materials to be safely washed in your dishwasher.
If painted or coated with some special chemicals, ensure with your mug manufacturer if they are dishwasher-safe. When confused, it’s always better to be safe than sorry by handwashing them.
Dishwashers are the lifesaving appliances that provide us the shortcut to get all our annoying dish loads clean and it’s no surprise that many of us impulsively drop our mugs in too.
But not all mugs are suitable for dishwashing cycles which leads to one confusion- why are some mugs not dishwasher safe?
The answer to this is simpler than one would expect which you hopefully realized from our discussion above.
Hence, after going through it all, you will surely think twice before dropping your favorite mug in the dishwasher for the sake of its durability.