Are Sublimation Mugs Microwave Safe?

Sublimation or printed mugs make a wonderful gift and adorable addition to your mug cabinet. Sublimation mugs are always welcome, whether you received them from a friend or made them yourself. However, there are a few questions one can ask about sublimation mugs and how to care for them. One question is – are sublimation mugs microwave safe?

Sublimation mugs are microwave safe if the mug itself is microwave safe. Sublimation printing does not make a mug unsafe to use in the microwave, but rather the material the mug is made of does. There are ways to test if a mug is microwave safe and other care instructions for sublimation mugs.

Most mugs will have care instructions on the bottom. These instructions will indicate if the mug is microwave and dishwasher safe. However, some mugs might not come with care instructions. Fortunately, there are ways of testing if a mug is microwave safe or not. This article discusses how to test if a mug is safe for the microwave and how to care for sublimation mugs properly.

Are Sublimation Mugs Safe To Use In The Microwave?

Sublimation mugs are an easy way to give your kitchen some character. They are fun to drink from and don’t require much special care. However, as sublimation mugs involve printing on the mug, one might wonder if a sublimation mug is then safe to use in the microwave? Fortunately, they are.

The dye used in sublimation mugs doesn’t influence the structure or composition of the mug and is safe to microwave or dishwasher. However, if the mug can actually be microwaved depends on the mug’s material. In most cases, there will be care instructions on the bottom of the mug that show you if they are safe for microwaving or not.

However, in some cases, the mug might not have care instructions on the bottom, and you will not be sure if the mug can be used in the microwave or not. Fortunately, there are ways of determining if a sublimation mug is safe for the microwave or not. Here is how: 

Pour some water into the mug and place it in the microwave. Put the microwave on its highest setting and let it run for approximately one minute. If the mug is cold and the contents inside are hot, the mug is safe to use in the microwave. However, if the mug is extremely hot on the outside, it indicates that the mug is not microwave safe.

If this happens, the material used to make the mug does not insolate heat energy. As a result, the mug could crack or burst while used in the microwave or seriously burn you. Therefore, if the mug gets hot while in the microwave, don’t microwave it again.

However, suppose a mug says it is microwave safe. In that case, you can safely use it in the microwave, regardless of whether it is sublimated or not. One advantage of sublimation mugs is that the images don’t lift or peel as they do when vinyl is used to decorate them. Although sublimation mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe, there are specific tips to follow to ensure the mugs don’t fade or lose their shine.

Care Instructions For Sublimation Mugs

Sublimation mugs are much better than vinyl-printed mugs in terms of their longevity. Because sublimation mugs don’t have any raised parts, they don’t peel or lift. However, if you don’t take care of your sublimation mugs, the image might get scratched or faded over time.

Fortunately, there are some great tips to ensure your sublimation mugs remain in peak condition for a long time. Here are some tips for making sure sublimation mugs last.

1. Keep Sublimation Mugs Away From Hot Elements

Although sublimation mugs are dishwasher safe, using the dishwasher to clean them might cause the image to fade because the water is so hot. Therefore, it is best to wash a sublimation mug by hand. However, if you want to wash it in the dishwasher, always put the mug in the top section, as far away from the water dispenser as possible.

2. Don’t Use Abrasive Sponges On Sublimation Mugs

When washing a sublimation mug by hand, don’t use an abrasive sponge to do so. The course side of a dishwashing sponge will scratch the image on the sublimation mug, and over time the image will start to fade. Therefore, instead, use a soft cloth and warm water to wash a sublimation mug.

3. Don’t Use Chemicals Or Bleach On Sublimation Mugs

Bleach or other harsh chemicals will fade the image on a sublimation mug. Therefore, don’t use any harsh chemicals on a sublimation mug if you wish to keep it looking good. If you want to put bleach on the inside of the mug to remove stains, be careful not to let the bleach spill on the outside of the mug.

If bleach or other chemicals spill on the mug, rinse it with clean water immediately. Dish soap and other mild soaps are fine to use on sublimation mugs and will not cause the image to fade.

4. Don’t Leave A Sublimation Mug In The Sun

Long-term sun exposure will also cause the image on a sublimation mug to fade. For example, if you have a ceramic travel mug with a sublimated print, don’t leave it on the dashboard of your car for long periods. Instead, keep the mug in a shaded area to prevent the sun from fading the image.

Fortunately, using a microwave cannot fade or scratch the image on a sublimation mug. Therefore, a sublimation mug is not only microwave safe, but a microwave also won’t have any adverse effects on the mug.

Following the above tips will help prevent any damage to your sublimation mug and will keep it looking new for years to come.


Sublimation mugs are microwave safe if the mug itself is microwave safe. Doing sublimation printing on a mug doesn’t cause it to become unsafe to use in a microwave. The ink used on a sublimation mug is safe to put in the microwave or dishwasher, and sublimation mugs will not lift or peel as vinyl images do.

There are certain precautions for using and caring for sublimation mugs. Don’t use any abrasive sponges or tools when washing the mugs. Place sublimation mugs in the top section of a dishwasher. Don’t use chemicals on sublimation mugs and keep them out of the sun. These tips will keep your mugs looking fresh for many years.


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