Dishwasher Test

Dishwasher Safe Mugs

What's the difference?

We at Mugs&Gifts are often asked what the difference is between regular mugs and dishwasher safe mugs. Many companies sell all manner of mugs, some of which are cheaper than ours, surely they're all the same aren't they?

To determine the difference between mugs, we've recently experimented with three different types of mug. This page details our findings.

Before we begin, we should stress that not all of the mugs we sell are dishwasher-safe. Unless we specify this on the web-page, it should be taken that we do not recommend the use of the product in a dishwasher. We sell some mugs that are dishwasher safe which are suited to everyday use, others that are best suited to infrequent use and hand-washing only, and others still that are suited best to ceremonial or decorative purposes only.

The Experiment

We took a regular mug from three of our different ranges and placed them at the back of a home dishwasher. These mugs were subjected to a regular dishwashing, in a domestic family environment, every day for a month. The results are shown below.

This procedure is a "real world test". To determine which mugs have the greatest resilience to extremes of washing, we put our mugs through an extreme torture test.  Please click here for details of our "Extreme Mug Test".

Typical Non-Dishwasher Mug

Dishwasher Test

For the Non-Dishwasher Mug, we took one of our Animal Mugs. The picture above clearly shows that the majority of the image has been washed away. Under no circumstances should a mug like this be introduced to a dishwasher of any kind. Gentle handwashing should be used but it is best if this type of mug is kept for ceremonial or display purposes.

Typical Mug

Dishwasher Test

For the Typical Mug, we took one of our Non-Dishwasher Safe White Ceramic [WHCM] Mugs. Our supplier suggests that these mugs can withstand occasional dishwasher use but doesn't recommend it for regular dishwasher cleaning. We don't recommend it for dishwasher use at all. The picture above shows the colour has faded quite significantly and some of the print is running into unprinted areas of the mug. This mug is best suited to gentle handwashing only.

Dishwasher Safe Mug

Dishwasher Test

For the Dishwasher Safe Mug, we took one of our Dishwasher Safe White Ceramic [WHCMDS] Mugs. The picture above clearly indicates that the mug has survived multiple dishwashing without any ill effects. There is no fading, and no print running. This mug is safe for regular use and for dishwasher cleaning.


It should be stressed that these mugs were washed regularly over a period of one month in a dishwasher, but it also quite apparent that only the mug we state as 'Dishwasher Safe' proved itself to be dishwasher-safe. That may sound rather obvious, but it's important to be wary. Sometimes you may come across mugs sold elsewhere that claim to be dishwasher safe but, in truth, they're like our Typical Mug example in that they may survive one or two washes, but they may not survive frequent washes.

Sometimes you don't need the full dishwasher-safe properties. You may prefer to buy more delicate mugs that you wouldn't tend to put in the dishwasher anyway (such as china mugs) or mugs that you want to personalise for commemorative or display purposes (such as silver or gold mugs). The conclusion is clear, however, that if you want a mug for regular use then a 'Dishwasher Safe' type is the one to go for. Even if you don't have a dishwasher, you can be sure that a 'Dishwasher Safe' mug will survive regular hand-washing better than any other mug.

We strive to ensure that we only state 'Dishwasher Safe' when we know that the mug will survive in a dishwasher. The way we do this is two-fold. Firstly, we seek out suppliers of mugs with known dishwasher-safe properties; Second, we run the mug through multiple dishwasher cycles to check for ourselves. If we detect any sign of premature fading at all, we will not recommend it for use in a dishwasher.

All personalised items should be treated with care and no personalised item should be washed in an industrial dishwasher (these tend to achieve much higher temperatures than domestic dishwashers). If in any doubt, handle with extreme care.

If you have any questions regarding the dishwasher safe properties of any of our products, please don't hesitate to contact us for more details.