Can You Wash Pottery in Dishwasher?

You probably have thought about putting and washing pottery in the dishwasher. It’s the most logical thing to do; we live in a modern world where every second counts and some of us simply cannot spare one moment to hand-wash the pottery. However, is washing pottery in a dishwasher truly safe? Let us find out together. 

Most pottery can be washed in the dishwasher without any problems but, in order to keep those problems away in the long term, you should bear something in mind. Depending on the type of clay that was used to manufacture the pottery, there are pieces that can’t go in the dishwasher and must be hand-washed, and there are pieces that can be dishwasher very quickly.

This article will teach you how to keep your pottery safe and, through my example, you will understand how easy and productive pottery washing can become. 

Can You Put Pottery in The Dishwasher?

The most common type of pottery that will be the best to wash in a dishwasher is high-fire clay such as porcelain. High-fire clays are usually used for functional purposes because of their better durability. However, there are some chances for images or metallic trims to be damaged by the dishwasher, so be attentive to those things. 

Mid-fire clays such as stoneware can be washed as well as the high-fire, they have practically the same durability, and the water won’t soften them up either. 

Now, the problem is with low-fire clays such as earthenware. Not only do they soften up if held too long in water but also, due to their lower durability, they can be just broken into pieces by the high-pressure water that is used in most dishwashers. 

Why is Some Pottery Not Dishwasher Safe?

Unfortunately, when we are talking about dishwashers and pottery, water is not the only thing that could harm its structure. Most people use chemicals and some other sorts of washing substances to wash their usual dinnerware and don’t even think that the pottery might get broken from the action of those chemicals. 

It’s a good thing to know that a lot of modern chemicals have a direct influence on the structure of the pottery and, if it hasn’t broken the first time, it will surely die the next time. The problem is not just in the fact that unglazed pottery will get hurt. The chemicals, in tandem with the temperature and the pressure of the water used, will simply remove the glaze with time.

Another bad thing about using chemicals is the fact that, if you have dinnerware with a lot of images and hand-drawn scenes, with time, you won’t see them anymore. It’s the same situation with the glaze. The combination of temperature, chemicals, and water pressure simply can remove the paint from the pottery.

In order to not have such problems, you should just choose the soap properly. It should not contain Phosphates, Triclosan, or Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Those three chemicals will completely destroy your pottery, and you won’t even notice that. 

Can you Put a Pottery Mug Into a Dishwasher?

As I mentioned in the previous parts of my article, it’s no problem to wash a pottery mug in a dishwasher. There are just some rules that must be remembered, and you won’t have any problems. 

It’s a good thing to identify the type of pottery that was used to manufacture your mug, though. If you know nothing about the types of pottery, I will make a small resume on each one in order for you to better understand the topic. 

  • Earthenware:  It is typically thick, heavy, and with a rustic appearance. Hand-painted designs are a common thing for Earthenware pottery. It has a coarser and porous texture than the porcelain or even the stoneware and, in most cases, isn’t covered in glaze. This type of pottery is the worst type for dishwashers because, due to the lack of glaze, it will eventually absorb water and destroy itself. 
  • Stoneware: This type of pottery is a lot more durable than earthenware and has a better chance to survive the dishwasher, and it will if you won’t use any strong chemicals to wash it. It will show more signs of vitrification and glass forming, and this thing will add strength and durability. It isn’t as fine as the porcelain, but the glazing structure feels nice and delicate. It is harder to break or affect but, if not washed properly, it can be fastly affected by the chemicals. 
  • Porcelain: It is the most delicate and fine pottery you can find. Its glaze can typically resist all types of chemicals. However, it’s only weak point is also time, so if you want your porcelain dinnerware to be as beautiful as the day you bought it, the best thing to do is to take care of it, wash with weaker chemicals, and at lower pressure. This type of pottery is made at the highest temperature possible so, the price tag is accordingly high. 

Conclusion

It’s a common thing to wash pottery in a dishwasher so, if you have the need to do that, just do it. However, it is going to be great if you have followed all my instructions in order to receive the best outcome possible for you, your dishwasher, and your pottery. Take good care of it. Pottery is going to become just more expensive and loved with time. 

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