Is Sublimation Dishwasher Safe? Sublimation is a game changer when it comes to converting blank, dull looking cups, and tumblers to artsy looking ones. It involves a rigorous process and uses a sublimation intended ink or dye to add an artsy texture to your cups and mugs.

However, when it comes to washing them whether by hand or in a dishwasher, some people may get skeptical and wonder if the dye or ink will stay or get washed away.

If you have the same question “Is sublimation dishwasher safe?” or “Is sublimation ink washable?” look no further. Here’s a detailed answer to any questions you might have regarding sublimation.

What Is Sublimation Printing?

What Is Sublimation Printing

In layman terms, sublimation printing is a form of printing. It adds an artsy texture and design to a certain material. The material can include clothes, garments, cups, mugs, tumblers and so much more.

Since we’re dealing with cups and tumblers here, you should know that sublimation printing on cups, mugs, and tumblers requires a special type of build material. Ideally, there are two requirements for sublimation printing.

  1. The cups/mugs/tumblers should have a glossy ceramic surface.
  2. It should be able to retain the sublimation intended ink and dye.

The process of sublimation uses a special sublimation ink or dye and with the help of heat, it adds printed texture to any given material. To help you understand this better, imagine tattoos and how the work. The same process goes on here and instead of your skin, it is a cup, tumbler or any other product that needs an artsy look.

Sublimation also allows more freedom when it comes to getting customized cups/mugs and tumblers. Now that you have an understanding of what sublimation actually is, let’s move on towards the second question, is sublimation dishwasher safe? Is it washable?

Is Sublimation Dishwasher Safe?

u003cstrongu003eThe answer to this question is both yes and no.u003c/strongu003e

Sublimation is dishwasher safe, but, this is only true if you use a normal detergent and a gentle cycle. On the contrary, if you add highly potent or powered detergent, it will directly affect the sublimation ink. Any bright colored sublimation ink you may have used will eventually begin to lose its color.

Similarly, if you use hot water instead of cold water in the dishwasher, it may be unsafe and affect your sublimation. Here are some other factors that you need to consider to make sublimation dishwasher safe:

Is Sublimation Dishwasher Safe ! (1)
  • Avoid using harsh detergents.
  • Avoid exposing it to heat as heat is the primary means of removing sublimation. So, exposing it to heat will fade away your sublimed ink.
  • Avoid leaving your sublimation products to soak in the sink or exposed to water for prolonged periods as it may affect the quality.

Are Sublimation Tumblers Dishwashers Safe?

Yes, as long as you keep the tumbler away from the heating element, sublimation tumblers are dishwasher safe. However, if you place them near the heating element, it becomes unsafe and the ink or dye will more likely fade away.

In addition to this, it also depends on the quality of the tumblers itself. When it comes to poor quality tumblers with a non-glazed surface, the ink will fade away with only a few washes.

A good rule of thumb is to place the tumbler on the top/first rack of your dishwasher.

Tip: To avoid risking your sublimation tumbler, you should simply rinse it with water, handwash it and avoid soaking it in the sink. This will help retain your sublimation print for longer periods!

Are Sublimation Cups Dishwasher Safe?

Most of the sublimation cups are dishwasher safe depending on the manufacturer and whether they use glossy and ceramic surfaced cups or not.u003cbru003eHowever, as you might already know a dishwasher uses a high pressure washing mechanism along with heating components and detergents that help clean the dirt and grime from utensils.

Prolonged exposure to heat and high pressures will lead to the sublimation dye or ink fading away over time. So, if you do not place your sublimation cup in a dishwasher often, there is nothing you should be worried about.

Here’s a bonus tip for you:

When purchasing a sublimation cup you can always ask the seller for a specific reports of SGS/BV (proof of being dishwasher safe).

Are Sublimation Printed Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

Yes! Sublimation printed mugs are dishwasher safe as long as the correct sublimation ink is used on the mug. It should be able to withstand hundreds of cycles in the dishwasher.

However, keep in mind that the ink is prone to fading away over time and the only way to ensure that does not happen is to lower the number of times you place your sublimation mugs in the dishwasher.

Are Heat Sublimation Items Dishwasher Safe?

The answer to this is both yes and no. Heat sublimation items use heat to apply the sublimation ink to the intended items. So, ultimately the removal process of this would be exposing them to heat.

Based on this, if you place them near the heating components and expose them to hot water often, the ink will likely fade away. Whereas if you keep them away from the heating components, and preferably in the top racks of the dishwasher your heat sublimation items will be safe.

Is Sublimation Ink Dishwasher Safe?

Sublimation ink, like infusible ink and circuit infusible ink when applied to a ceramic surface is absolutely safe for a dishwasher. However, if it is applied to non-ceramic surfaces the ink will not adhere to the surface of the item.

In that case, it will likely be exposed to wear and tear due to the high pressures in the dishwasher thus making the sublimation ink unsafe for dishwasher.

Is Sublimation Printing Dishwasher Safe?

Sublimation printing is basically images applied to cups, mugs, and tumblers. It is dishwasher safe and if the correct ink is used, it will stay on the cup/mug for hundreds of cycles of being washed in the dishwasher.

However, the ink will ultimately fade, and the bright colors will become dull over time. Don’t worry, this is entirely normal and even the good quality inks are susceptible to fading away. There are certain steps you can take to prolong the life of the sublimation printing.

These include, applying aftermarket surface protectants that can be easily purchased from your local grocery stores and online stores. Alternatively, you can also prolong their life by making sure to keep them away from heating elements of the microwave and other heat sources such as frequent exposure to microwave heat.

Sublimation On Coffee Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

When it comes to sublimation on coffee mugs and whether they are dishwasher safe or not, it comes down to where you source the sublimation ink from or the sublimation coffee mug from. Sublimation inks comprise of different dyes (multi-colored) fused together. These include aqueous sublimation ink, and solvent based sublimation ink.

As long as a good quality sublimation coating like ORCA coatings is used, any sort of sublimation on coffee mugs can be dishwasher safe. In fact, it may even be microwave safe if a quality coating is applied to the coffee mug.

So, when you’re intending for sublimation on coffee mugs, make sure to look for ORCA coatings and avoid poor quality ink/dyes. This will ensure your printed images or the sublimed ink does not fade away when run through the dishwasher.

Why Is My Sublimation Mug Fading In The Dishwasher?

Is Sublimation Dishwasher Safe !

Is your sublimation mug fading in the dishwasher? Well, if it is fading after multiple washes in the dishwasher, it is considered normal and you shouldn’t be worried about anything. However, if the sublimation mug is fading with the initial wash, you should be concerned.

In the second case, usually the sublimation ink used on the mug is of a poor quality which is why it is more susceptible to fading away right from the initial washes in the dishwasher. To rule this out and lower the chances of mug fading in the dishwasher, there are certain steps you can take. Here’s an insight into this:

  • Ask the seller for tests reports of SGS/BV that distinguish whether the ink is dishwasher safe or not.
  • You can also inquire whether the dye used is based on ORCA coatings.
  • Alternative steps that you can take is to make sure you place the sublimation mug as far away as possible from the heating elements of dishwasher. For safer washes, you need to place it in the first rack of your dishwasher.
  • Similarly, you can also change your detergent and use one that is more gentle and soft on the items placed in the dishwasher. This will help you rule out whether the detergent is causing the ink to fade away.
  • If you’re washing the cup more frequently in a dishwasher, you can limit the number of times you place it in a dishwasher. Since in case of a mug, the stains may not be that harsh or rough, you can simply handwash it to clean it rather than placing the mug in the dishwasher every time it needs cleaning.  

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