What Symbols Show Dishwasher-Safe Dishes?

Kathy Adams

While you may be tempted to throw every dirty dish, glass and utensil in the dishwasher rather than cleaning them by hand, not all items stand up to the rigorous cleaning action and temperatures in the appliance.

Inspect the bottom of dishes for a symbol or words indicating care instructions.

Modern dishware typically includes a symbol or a phrase indicating the piece is dishwasher safe, although no single symbol is universally used among companies to indicate care.

Sample Symbols

Many manufacturers mark their dishes and products with care information, such as "ovenproof" or "dishwasher safe." Look for imagery or symbols reminiscent of dishes or glasses in a dishwasher. Though the images vary, examples include an upturned goblet with droplets of water on it or a depiction of a group of dishes and glasses with water spraying on them. These markings, which are typically on the underside of the dish, may be near the brand or style name. Such symbols may appear on a variety of items, from plastics to gold-rimmed china.

When Unsure

If the dishware has no words or markings on it indicating whether the piece is safe to put in the dishwasher, consult the manufacturer or retailer for more information. Look up the style or pattern name on the company website for specific care instructions or call the customer service phone number listed on the company website.