Are Painted Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

There are conflicting opinions on whether painted mugs are dishwasher safe. Some agree that painted mugs are dishwasher safe, while others may argue they are not dishwasher safe. However, the answer depends on the quality of the paint job; if the paint used on the mug is good quality, that makes the mug dishwasher safe.

The glaze applied to mugs is what makes them dishwasher safe. Mugs with a low-fire glaze are unsafe for the dishwasher, while those with a mid to high-fire glaze make mugs dishwasher safe. Certain acrylic paints are also safe for dishwashers, provided the dishwasher heat setting is not too high.

Suppose you are uncertain whether your favorite coffee mug is safe for dishwasher use. In that case, this article will assist you by answering any questions you may have on how to make your painted mugs dishwasher safe and which paints to use to ensure your painted mugs are dishwasher safe.

Are Painted Mugs Really Dishwasher Safe?

Painted mugs bring a personal touch to your morning coffee or tea. But are they dishwasher safe? The short answer is yes. They are dishwasher safe, provided you follow a few guidelines to ensure they are dishwasher safe and safe for human use.

Firstly, if your mug is hand-painted, it is best to hand wash it to prevent paint damage. If you have to wash your favorite painted coffee mug, I suggest you avoid using harsh detergents or scouring pads. These can scratch and damage the paint.

If you must use a dishwasher, place your painted mug on the top rack and use a gentle cycle. It is also good to check the manufacturers’ instructions before placing the mug into the dishwasher. This will tell you whether your painted mug is safe for the dishwasher.

Most commercially purchased mugs are pre-glazed, which automatically makes them dishwasher safe. Those mugs without a glaze are called Bisque. Bisque mugs are ideal for painting because of the porous clay, which soaks up the paint.

Once the Bisque mugs come out of the kiln, a glaze is applied to them. It is this glaze that renders your painted mug dishwasher safe. A Bisque mug without a glaze unsafe for the 

dishwasher. There are glazes and varnishes you can use to protect your mug and make it dishwasher safe.

How To Make Painted Mugs Dishwasher Safe

If you want to give your favorite coffee a makeover or add a bit of bling to your mug, painting them is a fun, easy DIY project that you can undertake. And if you use the correct paint and sealer, your painted mug will be dishwasher safe.

There are specific grades of glaze, which ensure your painted mugs, are dishwasher safe.

1. How Dishwasher Safe is Low-Fire Glaze?

Low-fire glazes denote the low firing temperatures between 1940 Deg F to 2109 Deg F (1060 Deg Celsius to 1154 Deg Celsius) at which the mugs are fired. At these low temperatures, the colors are more vibrant and brighter.

However, those low-fire glazed mugs are not dishwasher safe, and the glaze materials used at these low temperatures are also toxic. So if you enjoy your favorite beverage out of them, these mugs also require a food-safe glaze.  

2. Is Mid-Fire Glaze Really Dishwasher Safe?

Mid-fire glaze refers to glazes between Cones 4 to 6, which gives the mugs their vibrant contemporary colors. When Mid-fire glazes are applied to painted mugs, they render the mugs more durable and safe.

Mugs that have been glazed in the mid-fire range are safe for the dishwasher. So you may enjoy your favorite coffee brew as many times in the day as you wish, with complete confidence you will not damage the paint on the mugs.

3. High-Fire Glaze Is Always Safe

High-fire glazes found between cone 8 to cone 14, approximately 230 Degree F (1260 Deg Celsius) to 2530 Degree F (1390 Deg Celsius), are applied to stoneware and porcelain mugs. However, this glaze’s color range is limited but still robust.

High-fire glazes on painted mugs are safe for dishwasher use. It is always acceptable to revert to the label attached to the mug if you are unsure whether a painted mug is dishwasher safe or not. And if in doubt, it helps to hand wash your favorite painted coffee mug.

How To Make Acrylic Painted Mugs Safe For The Dishwasher

Painting a mug with acrylic paints is easy and fun, and you can be assured your mug will stand out! For a long-lasting paint job on your favorite mug, use acrylic paints. Acrylic paints are dishwasher safe, ensuring your design will withstand many washes.

Acrylic paints are ideal for coffee mugs because they are fast-drying, water-soluble, non-toxic, and available in a broad spectrum of colors. And above all else, they are dishwasher safe.

A few necessary measures are needed for the paint to set into the mug that prevents bleeding or running over and make the mug dishwasher safe.

1. Oven Set Paints Will Make Painted Mugs Dishwasher Safe

The mug must be baked in a kiln or a regular oven, which is also helpful. Place your glazed mug into a cold oven, set to about 350 Deg F (180 Deg Celsius). Placing the mug into a cold oven instead of a pre-heated one is to prevent the mug from exploding in a heated oven. Allow four to six hours before using the mug or putting it into the dishwasher.

2. Can Mod Podge Make Your Painted Mug Dishwasher Safe?

The second method to seal the paint on your mug and render it dishwasher safe is to use Mod Podge. Mod podge acts as a paint sealant, protecting the mug and ensuring the paint is dishwasher safe.

By using a sealant like Mod Podge, you not only make the mug dishwasher safe but also protect the acrylic paint from peeling.

3. Can Varnish Make Your Painted Mug Dishwasher Safe?

Another technique you can use to seal your paint job and ensure your painted mug is dishwasher safe is to add a layer or multiple layers of water-based varnish. Varnishes act as a protective layer over the painted mugs, making them dishwasher safe.

You have the choice of spray varnish or a non-spray one. You point the nozzle towards the mug and evenly spray on the varnish. The spray type is available in an easy-to-use and convenient aerosol can.

Then with the non-spray varnish, you need to apply the varnish to the surface of the mug in smooth, even brush strokes using a clean paintbrush. You must apply multiple layers of varnish, allowing it to dry completely between each application.

In all three of these techniques, you need to apply multiple layers of paint and glaze, then allow it to dry entirely up to 24 hours before baking, applying Mod Podge or varnish.

Hints To Dishwashing Painted Mugs

The good news is that most painted mugs are dishwasher safe. However, with a few extra precautions, your painted mugs can stay in good condition.

Here are a few tips for washing painted mugs in the dishwasher.

  • Avoid using harsh detergents or abrasive scourers.
  • Please don’t put your mugs into the dishwasher at the highest heat setting.
  • Allow your painted mugs to air dry completely before storing them.
  • If your mugs have intricate designs, it is best to hand-wash these instead of putting them into the dishwasher.


Painted mugs are a great way to add a personal touch to your kitchenware collection. But before you start painting, it’s essential to know that not all mugs are created equal when it comes to dishwasher safety. Some mugs are unsuitable for the dishwasher, and the paint may peel and chip over time.

So, if you’re planning to paint a mug, check the manufacturers’ instructions first. With a little special care and diligence, your painted mug will be dishwasher safe and last for years.


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