Mug Torture Test

Do your mugs survive the Mug Torture Test?

It is our aim to always offer the best quality mugs with the most resilient dishwasher-safe properties. To this end, we now test the mugs that we sell using the following "Extreme Mug Test".

Before you read on, 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. We do not put mugs that are not claimed to be dishwasher-safe through our "Extreme Mug Test", although we may sometimes use our more "normal" real world test.

"Extreme Mug Test" - the specifics.

Our "Extreme Mug Test" involves immersing the mugs in a dishwasher-tablet water solution at boiling point for one hour. The reason we call this an "extreme" is because all factors of this test are well above any real world cleaning cycles that the typical domestic dishwasher will put the mug through.

  • Extreme Temperature: Domestic dishwashers do not reach 100°C boiling point. They typically run at 55°C - 75°C. Newer detergents require lower water temperatures (55°C-60°C).
  • Extreme Immersion: Domestic dishwashers do not immerse mugs in a concentrated solution. They typically spray water jets onto the items to be cleaned.
  • Extreme Duration: Domestic dishwashers do not boil mugs for an hour. A dishwasher may reach 75°C for the final sanitising cycle during the final rinse - the temperature rises until the thermostat trips, so this is a very short process.

To be perfectly clear, this "Extreme" test is very much a Torture Test. Should a mug survive this, it should survive anything. Even if a mug fades a little bit, it will still survive many regular domestic dishwashing cycles. Even mugs that fade noticeably would survive regular dishwashing, just perhaps not so many. A mug that fades significantly after this test may still survive occasional dishwashing, but it would be recommended to handwash only.

For the purposes of this test, the dishwasher tablet used was Fairy All In One.

Extreme Mug Test


During testing, the boiling solution did not cover the entire mug and, due to the bubbling nature of the water and the shape of the pan, the water didn't consistently reach the same height on all mugs. This is why some of the mugs show lesser fading at the top of the print. Comparisons should be made below the mid-point of the image.

One of the mugs faded significantly in the Extreme Mug Test. This mug was described by the supplier as being capable of surviving occasional dishwashing, but not regular dishwashing. We would recommend handwashing only, but it would probably survive if the mug is inadvertently put in the dishwasher once or twice.

All of the other mugs tested would survive regular use and daily dishwashing.

Two of the mugs show a "brightening" of the image (one moreso than the other). This brightening is consistent across the print, and would be virtually unnoticeable in the real world because the effect would be imperceptible with daily wash. The second mug shown doesn't look to have brightened as much, but closer examination shows that the yellows have begun to fade. This causes the blues, browns, and greens, to become slightly redder. This is more noticeable than the brightening effect of the other mugs - you would notice if a green tree turned blue/purple, but you wouldn't notice if it just got a little brighter.


Only the very faded mug should be classed as "handwash only". As stated in the beginning, this is an extreme test and, in "real world use", none of the other three mugs would show any sign of brightening or colour shift. All three are fully safe for daily use with a domestic dishwasher.

Here at, we perform this test every time we plan to change suppliers. If the new mugs do not perform as well, or better, than our previous mugs, we will not use them. We also repeat this test every three months to ensure that quality hasn't changed from batch-to-batch.

The following mugs are currently tested using this procedure:

We only sell mugs in the above categories that survive our "Extreme Mug Test" the best.

We plan to test other mugs in the future. Other mugs are currently tested using our previous real world test - this test involves placing the mug in the back of a domestic dishwasher and left to wash over multiple wash cycles and then examined for signs of fading.  The "real world test" has not let us down in the past and the only reason for our new "Extreme Mug Test" is to provide our customers with added confidence that they are buying only the very best mugs that are available.

Note that we always recommend that 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.

While we acknowledge that our "Extreme Mug Test" puts the mug through a process more torturous than it would experience in the real world, we do this to ensure that our customers receive the very best product. If you currently buy from elsewhere, ask them for details of their dishwashing tests.

Thank-you for reading,