Guide To Dishwasher Safety Symbols

Guide To Dishwasher Safety Symbols

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If you are ever buying or manufacturing any dinnerware, one of the most important things you must understand is the dishwasher-safe symbol. Today so many people have dishwashers in their homes that they want to ensure anything they purchase for food is safe and can be washed in a dishwasher.  

Dishwasher-safe symbols are markings a manufacturer will place on the back of a dinnerware, plate, or food container.  The marks are usually found at the bottom side of the dinnerware piece next to the Made In (Country) name.  For a manufacturer to put on this mark, they should have done all the testing for the dinnerware to ensure it is dishwasher safe.  

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Guide To Dishwasher Safety Symbols

Dishwasher-safe symbols are a set of standardized markings used to indicate whether a particular plate, dinnerware, or food container can be safely washed in a dishwasher without getting damaged. 

These symbols are typically found at the bottom of the product or on its packaging and are next to a Made in (Country) label.  The dishwasher-safe marks are essential for ensuring that you do not accidentally damage your dishes by washing them in the dishwasher when they should not be washed in such hot water conditions.  

Here’s a guide to some of the most common dishwasher-safe symbols you might come across:

The Dishwasher Safety Symbol

The most common symbol is “dishwasher safe,” or an image of a dishwasher. This indicates that the product can be washed in the dishwasher without damage.

It also means that the manufacturer has tested the dinnerware or food container to ensure the items can safely be placed in almost any dishwasher. To learn more about the testing standards, you can check our sections on testing below.

Temperature Limits Symbol

Another common symbol is a set of temperature limits, such as “max 60°C” or “max 70°C”. This symbol means the product can be safely washed in the dishwasher if the water temperature does not exceed the specified limit.

If you see this symbol, you must ensure your dishwasher is not hotter than this temperature. The reason is that if your dishwasher is too hot, it can damage your dinnerware.

Not Dishwasher Safe Symbol

This symbol features a wine glass or dishwasher crossed out with a diagonal line, indicating that the product is unsafe to be washed in the dishwasher. This could be because the product is made of materials that could melt or warp under high temperatures or because it has a delicate design that could get damaged.

Sometimes you will not see this symbol but see a symbol or sign for hand washing. This also tells you the items should not be placed in a dishwasher.

Top Rack Only Symbol

The “top rack only” symbol shows an image of the product on the top rack of a dishwasher. This symbol means that the product can only be safely washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher, as the bottom rack might be too close to the heating element and cause damage. 

If you see this symbol on a dish, you should wash the item only on the top rack as the item has been tested only to be washed on that rack condition. 

Hand Wash Only Symbol

The “hand wash only” symbol features a basin with water and an image of hands washing the product. Other times it can simply say on the product, “hand wash only.”

This symbol means that the product should not be washed in the dishwasher but by hand.

Many products, such as wooden bowls, spun bamboo bowls, or even coconut trays and bowls, and some ceramics are hand washed only. This is because of the nature of the glaze and because washing them in the dishwasher will harm them. 

When a product is labeled as “dishwasher safe,” it means that it has been professionally tested and proven to withstand the heat and pressure of a dishwasher cycle without getting damaged. 

However, it’s important to note that even if a product has a dishwasher-safe symbol, it can still get damaged if it is not loaded correctly or comes into contact with other items that could scratch or chip it.  You must still place the item safely in the dishwasher to avoid getting damaged.  

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading and unloading the dishwasher and ensure you’re not overloading it.

Understanding and knowing the different dishwasher-safe symbols can help you avoid damaging your dishes and ensure they last longer. Always check for these symbols before putting your dishes in the dishwasher, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. 

Can Rubbermaid Containers Be Put In The Dishwasher?

As Rubbermaid continues to be a famous brand, many people want to know if their Rubbermaid containers are dishwasher safe.  

Most Rubbermaid containers are dishwasher safe. However, it’s important to note that not all Rubbermaid containers are created equal, and some may not be dishwasher-safe. 

To be sure, it’s best to check the bottom of the container or the product packaging for the dishwasher-safe symbol or any specific instructions from the manufacturer.

If the container is dishwasher safe, it’s recommended to place it on the top rack of the dishwasher to avoid any potential damage from the dishwasher’s heating element. Also, avoid stacking containers on each other to prevent warping or damage to the containers. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading and unloading the dishwasher and use a mild detergent to avoid any potential damage to the container. If you are unsure whether your Rubbermaid container or if you have an older Rubbermaid container and you are not sure if is dishwasher safe or not, it’s always best to hand wash it to avoid any potential damage or deterioration of the container.

I know from personal experience that I have always washed all my Rubbermaid and other plastic containers in a dishwasher without any problem.   I will usually place them on the top rack if I can.  

How Manufacturers Test To Ensure A Food Container Is Dishwasher Safe

Manufacturers of food containers, dinnerware, and other kitchen products must ensure that their products are dishwasher-safe before they can be labeled as such. Because they must ensure they are safe, there are a series of standard tests that most of them will perform on their product before they put on the dishwasher-safe product. 

These tests are not done on every item but on one sample product.  They are usually also done at a professional testing lab that will give the manufacturer a certificate showing that the item has passed the test and can be labeled dishwasher safe.

The manufacturer will send one or a few samples to a testing lab to have the product professionally tested. The lab will help ensure the product not only meets but, in many cases, exceeds the legal requirements for putting on a dishwasher-safe label on the product.  

Here are some of the ways manufacturers test to ensure a container is dishwasher safe:

High-Temperature Testing

One of the main ways manufacturers test to ensure a container is dishwasher safe is by subjecting it to high-temperature testing. This involves running the container through multiple dishwasher cycles to see how it responds to the high temperatures and water pressure.

This is usually done in a professional testing lab, as they will monitor the container for any warping, cracking, melting, or discoloration.

Chemical Resistance Testing

Manufacturers may also test the container’s chemical resistance to ensure it can withstand exposure to detergents and other dishwasher cleaning agents. This involves soaking the container in a dishwasher detergent and water solution for a specified time and checking for any damage or discoloration.

Durability Testing

Manufacturers may also test durability to ensure the container can withstand repeated use and cleaning. This involves simulating long-term use by running the container through multiple washing, filling, and emptying cycles.

Load Capacity Testing

In addition to testing the container itself, manufacturers may also test its load capacity to ensure it can hold up to its advertised weight and volume without getting damaged.

Overall, the testing process for dishwasher-safe containers involves subjecting the product to various stress tests to ensure that it can withstand the heat, pressure, and cleaning agents used in dishwashers without getting damaged or deteriorating. 

Once a manufacturer has completed the necessary testing and is satisfied that the product meets the necessary standards, it can be labeled dishwasher safe.

You can see that for your product to have a dishwasher-safe sticker on the bottom, it must go through a rigorous testing standard to ensure that it is about to be safely put in a dishwasher without damage.

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What are dishwasher-safe symbols?

Dishwasher-safe symbols are markings or icons placed by manufacturers on dinnerware, plates, or food containers to indicate that they have undergone testing and are suitable for cleaning in a dishwasher.

Where are dishwasher-safe symbols typically located on dinnerware?

Dishwasher-safe symbols are usually found on the bottom side of dinnerware, next to the “Made In” country name or other manufacturer information.

What does it mean if a dinnerware piece has a dishwasher-safe symbol?

A dishwasher-safe symbol indicates that the manufacturer has tested the dinnerware to ensure it can withstand the dishwasher’s cleaning and heat cycles without being damaged.

Why is it important for manufacturers to test dinnerware for dishwasher safety?

Testing dinnerware for dishwasher safety ensures that the pieces can withstand the rigors of dishwasher cleaning without experiencing damage, such as cracking, fading, or warping.

What kind of testing is typically done to determine dishwasher safety?

Manufacturers may subject the dinnerware to various tests, including exposure to high temperatures, strong detergents, and mechanical stresses, to assess its durability and resistance to dishwasher conditions.

Can all dinnerware be safely cleaned in a dishwasher?

Not all dinnerware is dishwasher-safe. Some delicate or hand-painted pieces may require handwashing to prevent damage or fading.

What happens if you put dinnerware in a dishwasher that is not dishwasher-safe?

Dinnerware that is not dishwasher-safe may become damaged, discolored, or distorted when exposed to the high temperatures, powerful jets of water, and strong detergents used in dishwashers.

Can dishwasher-safe dinnerware be used in microwave ovens?

Dishwasher-safe symbols specifically indicate that the dinnerware is safe for cleaning in a dishwasher. Microwave safety is indicated by separate symbols or markings.

How Can You Tell If A Ceramic Dish Is Oven Safe?

If the ceramic dish is oven safe, there should be a symbol or words at the bottom that states the dish is oven safe. If there are no symbols, you can contact the manufacturer to determine if the ceramic plate is oven safe. To ensure a dish is oven safe, a professional agency should test the ceramic dish to verify it is oven safe.

You can read our blog on How Can You Tell If A Ceramic Dish Is Oven Safe? by clicking here.

Luxury Bathroom Accessories, A Complete Set, For Product Development

A complete set of luxury bathroom accessories includes a wastepaper basket, tray, canister, tissue box, soap dish, and pump. We can help you manufacture these in various materials from lacquer, gold or silver leaf, mother of pearl, faux paper, metal, ceramic and woven.

You can read our blog on Luxury Bathroom Accessories, A Complete Set, For Product Development by clicking here.

How Does The Firing Temperature Effect Ceramics Production?

If a ceramic piece is not fired at the correct temperature, it will significantly affect the final product’s outcome. It is also essential that the proper kiln is used for the production process. This is because many things must be considered when using a kiln to fire ceramics. Many things can cause the final product to fail or crack during the firing process.

You can learn more by reading our blog, How Does The Firing Temperature Affect Ceramics Production? by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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