Can You Safely Wash Fine China In The Dishwasher? Maybe.

When you have guests over for a fancy gathering, or you’re celebrating an important holiday, some families like to haul out china. Maybe it’s a family heirloom, or maybe it was a pricey wedding gift that you regret not exchanging for a KitchenAid mixer. Either way, the more guests you have, the more important this question becomes: can fine china go in the dishwasher?

Advanced modern dishwashers have a specific setting for china and crystal, which is like the “delicate” cycle in laundry, only for dishes. The question is, how gentle is it? Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports do test dishwashers, but fine china isn’t part of the testing process. A reader wrote in to ask whether it was safe to put his china in the dishwasher, and the problem is that no one really knows in advance.

The reader’s china has gold edging, and it’s impossible how to predict how it will react to even the gentlest dishwasher cycle, especially if the china predates the time when dishwashers were common in middle-class homes.

When in doubt, CR’s dishwasher experts say, consult your dishwasher’s manual and check with the manufacturer of your china, if possible. If that doesn’t get you any conclusive proof, opt instead for the cleaning methods of your ancestors, especially if you’re using their antique china. Wash everything by hand.

Is Fine China Safe in a Dishwasher? [Consumer Reports]
Don’t put granny’s glassware in the dishwasher and other tips [Consumer Reports]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.