Are Sublimation Tumblers Dishwasher Safe?

You had your morning coffee in the sublimation tumbler today. But when you went to wash it, you got stuck. You started wondering if you could put sublimation tumblers inside the dishwasher or not. Is it safe? Does it affect the sublimation ink? 

To remove all your confusion, I’ve written this article on washing your sublimation tumblers safely; especially what to do when washing in a dishwasher. So, keep reading till the end to learn about sublimation tumblers’ cleaning procedures.      

Are Sublimation Tumblers Dishwasher Safe?

No, sublimation tumblers are not usually dishwasher safe. The heat produced inside the dishwasher can discolor the sublimation print. But if the manufacturer labels them as dishwasher-safe sublimation tumblers, you can clean them with a dishwasher.

Again, the quality of the sublimation ink and tumbler indicates whether a sublimation tumbler is dishwasher safe or not.  

Are Cricut Sublimation Tumblers Dishwasher Safe?

Yes, Cricut sublimation tumblers are dishwasher safe. But the safety depends on the quality of the tumbler and the detergent ingredients. If your dishwashing liquid or detergent contains 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde, or bleach, it will affect the designs of the sublimation print.  

Are Sublimation Stainless Steel Tumblers Dishwasher Safe?

Sublimation stainless steel tumblers are also dishwasher safe. But you have to make sure that they’re not exposed to more than 300°F temperature and any harsh elements.

Also, never scrub the stainless steel tumblers with abrasive scrubbers before putting them in the dishwasher. Otherwise, the design will fade and the print will start to come off.   

Maintaining Sublimation Tumblers Quality In The Dishwasher

Though you can use sublimation tumblers in the dishwasher, they require special care. You need to take some precautions to ensure the sublimation on the tumblers is protected. 

Here are the tips that will help you to maintain the sublimation tumbler quality in the dishwasher. 

Use the Top Rack of the Dishwasher

Always place the tumbler on the top rack of the dishwasher. It will help to keep the sublimation tumbler away from the heating elements. So, there’s a low risk of affecting the sublimation design. 

Avoid Harsh Detergents

Remember to use a detergent that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like dioxane, formaldehyde, or bleach. These ingredients are corrosive and can discolor the sublimation print on tumblers. That’s why it’s best to use only a mixture of mild soap and water. 

Use Lukewarm Water for Washing

When it comes to using water, you must avoid hot water altogether. Use cold or lukewarm water in the dishwasher and activate the gentle washing cycle. This is how you’ll be able to maintain the sublimation tumbler in a dishwasher.  

Never Soak the Sublimation Tumblers

Another maintenance tip for washing sublimation tumblers in the dishwasher is to avoid soaking them in water. No matter how dirty the tumbler is you should never soak it. If it’s hard to clean, you can use a soft brittle brush to scrape the dirt and then clean it in a dishwasher. 

Air Dry the Sublimation Tumbler

To keep the sublimation tumbler’s print intact, you have to shut down the dishwasher’s drying cycle once the tumbler is cleaned. The drying cycle produces heat that impacts the sublimation print. So, in this case, you must air dry the sublimation tumbler.  

As you can see it’s quite hectic to maintain sublimation tumblers while cleaning in a dishwasher. In case you don’t want to take the trouble, you can try out other safe washing techniques for sublimation tumblers. 

Safe Washing Methods For Sublimation Tumblers

So, there are 2 safe washing methods for sublimation tumblers that you should know about. Here are the methods explained below. 

Handwashing the Tumbler

The safest way to wash a sublimation tumbler is to handwash it using mild soap and water. The water should be either cold or lukewarm. In case you need to scrub off any acidic or coffee stains, you should use a glass cleaner with a soft brittle brush for it. 

Note that you should never use abrasive scrubbers or harsh detergents to clean the tumbler. Or else, the ink will start to fade or peel off.

So, after you scrub the debris, gently rinse it with lukewarm water. Make sure you wash it thoroughly. Any dirt residue poses the threat to damage the dye sublimation. 

Finally, take a microfiber cloth and wipe away the excess water from the tumbler. It’ll prevent the tumbler from getting water spots after dried out. You’ll have to air-dry the tumbler here.  

Using Ultrasonic Cleaner

Now, there’s another washing technique that isn’t much popular. It’s using an ultrasonic cleaner to clean sublimation tumblers. Though it’s not a common technique, it’s effective and safe. 

For this, you just need to fill in the cleaning solution in the ultrasonic cleaning machine. Then, place the sublimation tumbler carefully inside the chamber. Turn on the machine and it’ll remove all the dirt and debris from the tumbler. 

Now, it can be a costly procedure since ultrasonic cleaners are expensive. But you’ll be able to clean the hard-to-reach areas with this method.   

How to Make a Dishwasher-Safe Tumbler?

You can make a dishwasher-safe tumbler in two methods – one is using mod podge and the other is using self-adhesive vinyl or vinyl shield. In both methods, these ingredients are used as sealants.

You need to apply them before you sublimate on your Tumbler. After transferring the sublimation, you’ll have to reapply one or two coats, and the sublimation seals completely. 

What Kind Of Tumblers Have to Use For Sublimation?

Tumblers that are compatible with polyester coating have to be used for sublimation. Usually, you’ll find stainless steel and aluminum tumblers that support sublimation. However, you’ll also find blank sublimation tumblers in shops for working on DIY projects.  

Can You Do Sublimation On A Regular Tumbler?

No, you can’t do sublimation on a regular tumbler. It’s because regular tumblers can’t bind with sublimation ink. The tumblers you want to sublimate on must have a polyester coating. This coating helps the sublimation ink to embed in the tumbler body permanently.  

3 Best Dishwasher-Safe Blanks Mugs 

To speed up the sublimation process, you can use blank mugs which support sublimation inks. Here is the list of the top 3 dishwasher-safe blank mugs that you can check out.  

1. PYD Life Sublimation Blanks Skinny Tumbler

The PYD Life Sublimation Blanks Skinny Tumbler is by far the most appreciated dishwasher-safe blank mug around. It has a white, ready-to-sublimate background.

These tumblers are made from stainless steel which means you don’t have to worry about them in the long term. They help the sublimation stain to remain intact for years even after washing in a  dishwasher.    

2. MURRICON Sublimation Blanks Skinny Tumblers

Here’s another dishwasher-safe blank mug – the MURRICON Sublimation Blanks Skinny Tumblers. These blank tumblers come in 18/8 food-grade stainless steel material which provides the perfect insulation for your drinks.

If you love sublimating tumblers with bright colors, these tumblers will be the perfect option for you. You can keep the colors as vivid as they are after cleaning them in a dishwasher.

3. Tswofia Sublimation Blanks Tumblers

You can also try out the Tswofia Sublimation Blanks Tumblers. They are excellent for sublimating through a heat press or oven. They come in rust-resistant material which ensures their durability.

Also, these tumblers have double-walled vacuum insulation which doesn’t get affected in the dishwasher. You can sublimate them at a maximum 360F temperature for 5-6 minutes.

However, the tumblers don’t come with silicone bases. It might upset you a bit if you prefer non-slip tumblers. 

2 Best Tumbler Press To Make Dishwasher-Safe Tumbler

Now, if you want to keep the sublimation intact inside a dishwasher, you must use an appropriate tumbler heat press. Here are 2 of my favorite heat presses that provide dishwasher-safe sublimation on tumblers. 

1. POVOKICI Tumbler Heat Press Machine 

The POVOKICI Tumbler Heat Press Machine is one of the best tumbler presses that helps in creating dishwasher-safe sublimation tumblers. You can set it at 0-428℉ within 0-999 seconds for multiple presses.

The heat press is capable of printing a glossy sublimation finish. Also, the easy-installation process will save you time setting up the heat press machine. Overall, it’s the perfect heat press machine for sublimation tumblers. 

2. Findcolor Tumbler Heat Press

Here’s another great heat press machine that you would want to check out. It’s the Findcolor Tumbler Heat Press which is perfect for sublimating on skinny tumblers up to 30oz. It has adjusting knobs that can adjust according to the tumbler diameter (2.64-3.43 inches).

You can sublimate approximately 6 tumblers within an hour with this heat press. Now, that’s a winning deal for people in the sublimation business.  

2 Best Sublimation Inks To Make Dishwasher-Safe Tumblers

If you’re looking for high-quality sublimation inks that won’t fade out with dishwasher force, you can check out the 2 options below. 

1. Hiipoo Sublimation Ink

The first sublimation ink you should try out is the Hiipoo Sublimation Ink. This ink can create a strong bond with the polyester molecules, making it easier to sublimate tumblers.

As a result, the sublimation on tumblers becomes long-lasting and rarely fades away by washing it in a dishwasher. The best part about this sublimation ink is that it doesn’t create any clogs. So, the ink texture remains smooth all over the tumbler.  

2. Hiipoo Sublimation Ink Refilled Bottles 

Here’s another sublimation ink from Hiipoo, the Hiipoo Sublimation Ink Refilled Bottle. These are water-based dye sublimation inks that stick on the tumblers using high heat.

Paired with the Epson Eco Tank, this sublimation ink becomes more cost-effective. The quality of this sublimation ink is so noteworthy that you don’t need to worry about using a dishwasher for cleaning the sublimation tumblers.  


Can I use any type of sublimation ink for sublimation tumblers?

No, you can’t use any type of sublimation ink for sublimation tumblers. You should ensure that the sublimation ink is compatible with polyester materials, the sublimation printer, and the paper used. 

Are sublimation tumblers with glitter or metallic finishes dishwasher safe?

No, sublimation tumblers with glitter or metallic finishes are not dishwasher safe. But if you use mod podge or vinyl shield before and after sublimating, it’ll make the tumblers safe to wash in dishwashers. 

How long can the sublimation print on tumblers last in the dishwasher?

Sublimation print on tumblers last in the dishwasher for 2-3 years. However, if you frequently wash the sublimation tumblers, the print will fade over time.  

Are sublimation tumblers with double-wall insulation safe to wash in the dishwasher?

Yes, sublimation tumblers with double-wall insulation are safe to wash in the dishwasher. But if the tumbler is exposed to high heat, the print will come off.  

Can I use the drying cycle in the dishwasher for sublimation tumblers?

No, you can’t use the drying cycle in the dishwasher for sublimation tumblers. It’s because the drying cycle uses heat to convert the water on the tumbler into steam. The direct heat will destroy the sublimation ink on the tumbler. 

Can I use dishwasher pods or tablets for cleaning sublimation tumblers?

No, you can’t use dishwasher pods or tablets for cleaning sublimation tumblers. It’s because they contain corrosive ingredients like alkaline salts, Ceteareth, C12-14 Pareth-11, Deceth-6, Ppg-10-laureth-7, Laureth-7, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) that can affect the sublimation ink. 

What temperature range is suitable for sublimation prints on dishwasher-safe tumblers?

A temperature between 380 to 400℉ is suitable for sublimation prints on dishwasher-safe tumblers. However, make sure the dishwasher doesn’t contain more than 300℉ while washing the tumbler. Otherwise, the sublimation print will start to fade or peel.

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Robert Handel
Robert Handel

Robert Handel is a successful entrepreneur, blogger, and printing expert based in Colesville, Maryland. He began his journey in the printing industry back in 2012, when he started working in a small printing shop. Robert was instantly drawn to the process of printing and quickly learned how to use the printers on his own.

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