Does Dishwasher Safe mean Microwave Safe?

I often see labels indicating that items are dishwasher-safe or microwave-safe. But do these labels mean the same thing? 

So if a cookware is dishwasher safe, is it also microwave safe and vice versa?

I decided to find out the differences so I don’t end up ruining my cookware.

What Do You Mean By Dishwasher Safe?

When you hear the term “dishwasher safe,” it refers to items that can be safely cleaned in a dishwasher without being damaged or causing harm. 

These items can withstand high heat, strong water sprays, and detergents used in the cleaning process. 

In many cases, it’s usually indicated on the product’s label or packaging with a symbol, such as a triangle with a dot in the middle source.

What Does Microwave Safe Mean?

When a product is labeled as microwave-safe, it means that the item has been tested to withstand the heat and energy waves produced by a microwave.

It will not melt, warp, or release harmful chemicals. You can rely on microwave-safe products for their ability to heat up quickly and evenly.

It’s important to note that microwave-safe dishes are specifically designed to be used inside a microwave. 

The microwave-safe symbol appears as a square with wavy lines inside of it, on the back of a dish or container.

Also read: Why Do Glass Plate Break in the Microwave?

Does Dishwasher Safe Mean Microwave Safe?

Usually, items that are microwave-safe are also dishwasher-safe. For example, microwave-safe plastic containers typically can handle the dishwasher too. 

However, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that they are also microwave-safe. 

While many microwave-safe dishes are dishwasher-safe and vice versa, these features are not always directly correlated.

For example, some ceramic dishware may be safe in the microwave but could have hand-painted or metal-rimed decorations that make them unsuitable for the dishwasher.

It’s always good to check the labels or packaging of each product to prevent potential damage or safety issues.

Also read: Are Air Fryer Parts Dishwasher Safe?

How to Know if Something is Microwave Safe?

To determine if your dishes are safe to use in the microwave, follow these guidelines.

Look For Microwave Safe Labels

First, look for any labels or symbols on the dish that indicate it is microwave safe. 

Microwave-safe symbols can vary, but they often include wavy lines, which represent radiation waves.

Microwave safe symbol

Some symbols might show an image of a microwave or a dish set below the waves. 

These markings indicate that the particular item is safe to use in a microwave.

Additionally, you may find written phrases like “Microwave Safe” or “Microwave Approved” on the item.

Perform a Test

If there are no visible labels, you can perform a test to check if the dish is microwave safe. Fill a microwave-safe cup three-quarters full with water. 

Place the cup and the dish you want to test in the microwave, ensuring they don’t touch each other. Microwave them on high power for one minute. 

If the dish remains cool or only slightly warm, it is likely microwave-safe. However, if the dish becomes hot, it’s not suitable for microwave use.

Also read: Is Pyrex Microwave Safe? Do’s and Don’ts!

Find Out the Material

Material is another factor to consider when determining if something is microwave safe. Common microwave-safe materials include glass, ceramic, and most plastics. 

Aluminum foil and some plastics are not microwave safe, as they can cause sparks, damaging your microwave.

If the material has a gold or silver rim, a metal lining, or decor, it is not microwave safe. 

Also read: Can you Microwave Tupperware?

How to Know if Something is Dishwasher Safe?

When trying to determine if an item is dishwasher safe, begin by looking for any markings or labels on the dish. 

Look For Dishwasher Safe Labels

Often, the words “Dishwasher Safe” or a specific dishwasher safe symbol will be present. Dishwasher safe symbols usually depict a square box with plates, glasses, or both inside. 

Dishwasher Safe Labels symbol

Sometimes these symbols may also display water droplets or diagonal lines representing water, to indicate the item is safe for dishwasher use. 

Check the bottom of your dishware for these symbols, as some items might have specific markings for top rack dishwasher safe only.

Keep in mind that not all dishware is dishwasher safe. If you see a circle with a line through it, this means the item should not be used in a dishwasher. 

A square with a line through it signifies that the dishware is safe for handwashing cycles only.

Also read: Are Yeti Cups Dishwasher Safe?

Check the Manufacturing Instructions

If your dish doesn’t have a clear indication, check the manufacturer’s instructions or guidelines for cleaning methods. 

They will usually mention whether the item is dishwasher safe or not. 

Contact Customer Care

In case the instructions are unavailable, contact customer care. You can also search online for information about the specific product on the manufacturer’s website.

To keep your cookware and dishes in good condition, always verify their dishwasher compatibility before washing them.

Watch the video below for visual clarity:

What Materials Are Microwave Safe?

When using your microwave, it’s important to know which materials are safe to use. Here’s a list to help you identify the ideal options:

  1. Glass containers are a popular choice due to their durability and resistance to heat. Make sure they’re labeled as microwave-safe before using them.
  2. Similarly, ceramic dishes can withstand high temperatures without breaking or cracking. Just check for a microwave-safe label.
  3. Although it may seem surprising, some stainless steel dishes are specifically designed for microwaves. However, not all stainless steel cookware is compatible, so look for items that are clearly marked as microwave-safe.
  4. Plastic containers can also be used, but only if they are BPA-free and labeled as microwave-safe. This means they won’t release harmful chemicals when exposed to heat.
  5. A type of plastic that is often used in dinnerware, melamine can be safe for microwaving as long as it has the appropriate label. Otherwise, it may break or release chemicals.
  6. Known for its flexibility and heat resistance, silicone is another material suitable for microwave use. Make sure the item you’re using is specifically designed for microwaves, though.

For clarity, watch the video below:

Also read: Are Mason Jars Microwave Safe?

What Materials Are Dishwasher Safe

When it comes to determining whether an item is dishwasher safe, there are several materials that generally withstand the heat, pressure, and detergents used in a typical dishwasher cycle. 

You can confidently place these materials in your dishwasher without worrying about damaging them.

  1. Glass and ceramic are two common materials that are dishwasher safe. They are designed to withstand both the heat and the water pressure from the dishwasher, making them ideal for daily use. Fragile glassware should not be used in the dishwasher.
  1. Stainless steel is another material that is dishwasher safe. This metal is known for its durability and resistance to corrosion, making it an excellent choice for utensils, pots, pans, and other kitchen items. 
  1. Plastic items that are BPA-free are generally considered dishwasher safe. These plastics have undergone testing to ensure they can withstand the dishwasher’s heat and pressure without releasing harmful chemicals. Make sure you check the label or packaging for BPA-free status before placing plastic items in the dishwasher.
  1. Melamine, a type of plastic, is also dishwasher safe. This material is often used in lightweight, sturdy dishes and utensils. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for unbreakable dinnerware that can handle dishwasher cycles without issue.
  1. Silicone, a flexible and heat-resistant material, is another dishwasher-friendly option. Silicone bakeware, utensils, and other kitchen items can be easily cleaned in your dishwasher without fear of damage.
Also read: Do Dishwashers Dull Knives?

What Happens If You Microwave a Non-Microwave Safe Material?

When you microwave a non-microwave-safe material, several issues can arise. For instance, materials like plastic might release harmful chemicals when heated. 

These chemicals can potentially contaminate your food, posing health risks. It’s important that your dish is labeled as microwave-safe to avoid such problems.

Using non-microwave-safe materials, like metals, in the microwave can cause more severe issues. 

Metal dishes can catch fire, damaging not only the dish but also your microwave, or even causing injuries. 

Remember that microwaves work by reflecting microwaves off metal surfaces, so introducing one could lead to an uneven distribution of heat, resulting in hotspots.

Ceramic dishes that are not microwave-safe may contain lead or other harmful materials. 

When heated in a microwave, those substances can leach into your food, causing potential health hazards. 

Besides, non-microwave-safe ceramics might not withstand the intense heat and could crack, break or explode, leading to a mess and possibly injuries.

Lastly, when it comes to glass, it is generally safe to use in the microwave. However, not all glassware is microwave-safe. 

Some glass containers might have impurities or air bubbles that expand upon exposure to heat. This can cause the glass to crack or shatter, posing a danger to you and your appliance.

Also read: Are Instant Pots Dishwasher Safe?

What Happens If You Use a Non-Dishwasher Safe Item in the Dishwasher?

Sometimes, you might accidentally place a non-dishwasher-safe item in your dishwasher. 

While this isn’t ideal, it’s important to understand the possible consequences and how to avoid them in the future.

One common issue is that the paint or decoration on certain dishes, such as fine china, can chip or wear off due to the abrasive nature of dishwasher detergent and high heat. 

Therefore, it’s best to hand-wash fragile items like these to preserve their appearance.

Additionally, placing non-dishwasher safe dishes in the dishwasher can cause some plastics to warp or become discolored, as these materials may not be able to withstand the high temperatures. 

Wooden items, such as cutting boards, can also crack and warp due to the combination of heat and moisture.

In some cases, using non-dishwasher-safe items can even result in damage to the dishwasher itself. 

Heavier or bulky items can interfere with the spray arms or bend the dishwasher racks, leading to poor cleaning performance or further complications.

For more clarity, watch the video below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions: 

Is Porcelain Safe for Both Microwave and Dishwasher?

Yes, porcelain is generally safe for both microwave and dishwasher use. 

High-quality porcelain is designed to withstand high temperatures, so you can use it in the microwave without worrying about damage. 

Similarly, most porcelain dishes are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean after use.

What Materials Are Generally Microwave and Dishwasher Safe?

Materials like glass, porcelain, stoneware, and some types of plastic are usually safe for both microwave and dishwasher use. 

It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations or symbols on the item, as not all products made from these materials may be safe for both appliances.

Can Oven Safe Items be Considered Dishwasher Safe?

Most oven-safe items can also be considered dishwasher-safe. 

However, some items, especially those with intricate designs or delicate parts, may not be suitable for the dishwasher’s high heat and water pressure. 

It’s best to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines before using such items in the dishwasher.

Are Ceramic Items Suitable for Microwave and Dishwasher Use?

Ceramic items made from materials like earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain are generally suitable for microwave and dishwasher use. 

However, be cautious about ceramics with metallic decorations, as they can cause sparks or damage in the microwave. 

Check the labels or guidelines for specific ceramic items before using them in your appliances.

Do Dishwasher Safe Items Also Withstand High Heat?

Dishwasher-safe items are typically designed to withstand high heat, as dishwashers use hot water and drying cycles to clean your dishes. 

Items made from materials like glass, porcelain, stainless steel, and heat-resistant plastics are generally considered dishwasher safe.

Is Microwave Safe Plastic also Dishwasher Safe?

Yes, most microwave-safe plastics are also dishwasher-safe.

Both microwaves and dishwashers use heat during operation, and plastics rated microwave-safe have been designed to withstand that heat.

However, always check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure that a microwave-safe plastic item is dishwasher safe as well.

If a Plate/Mug is Dishwasher Safe, Is It Microwave Safe?

Not necessarily. While many dishwasher-safe plates and mugs may also be microwave safe, it is crucial to check for specific guidance from the manufacturer. 

Some materials, like certain plastics or dishes with metallic decorations, might not be suitable for the microwave even if they are dishwasher safe.

Also read: Can You Microwave Paper Plates?


In summary, it’s important to understand that dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe are not always synonymous. 

While many items may be safe for use in both appliances, some materials and products may have specific guidelines and limitations.

Most microwave-safe items can withstand high temperatures and radiation exposure without melting or releasing harmful chemicals. 

On the contrary, dishwasher-safe items have been treated to withstand high temperatures, water pressure, and detergents used in dishwashers.

To determine if your dish or container is suitable for both appliances, always check the labels and packaging for clear instructions. Keep in mind that using items in the wrong appliance can lead to damage or even safety hazards.

Keep these points in mind when shopping for and using kitchenware. You’ll be able to confidently handle all your cooking and cleaning needs. All the best!

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I’m Jueria and I am a regular contributor on In my articles, I share time-saving techniques, appliance wizardry, and health-friendly recipes to bring taste and wellness to your table. So raise a glass (or a spatula) with me, to good health and good food, made easy!