Here's Why You Should Never Wash Liquid Measuring Cups In The Dishwasher

Knowing what you should and shouldn't put in the dishwasher is key to using it correctly. While this appliance makes life easier when it comes to cleanup, certain items won't benefit from the all-in-one process and should instead be washed by hand. Liquid measuring cups are a good example, in answer to the question "Should I wash this in the dishwasher?" Mind you, not if it's dishwasher-safe, which many measuring cups are, but whether or not you should wash them in this way. In general, the answer is "No," not unless you want the measurements on the cups to fade away faster than they should.

Most pieces that can withstand the dishwasher process will notate this fact on the underside or on the packaging when you purchase them. On the flip side, dishes, cutlery, utensils, and other items that aren't meant to be placed in the dishwasher should say so in a similar way. If your liquid measuring cups don't have washing instructions, it might be a safer choice to hand wash them, and here's why.

Dishwashing liquid measuring cups could ruin them

The dishwasher in your home likely boasts three different wash cycles, starting with a rinse and pre-cleaning, followed by a thorough wash that removes tough stains, grease, and food. The last phase is the rinse cycle, which helps to clear away the detergent and any stray detritus. During each of these cycles, the items in your dishwasher are exposed to strong water sprays, heat, and, of course, soap. Dishwasher detergent, formulated to clean and disinfect, can be hard on certain items.

The prints on your liquid measuring cups weren't made to withstand such intense conditions, and the soap — along with the powerful jets of water — could peel, pull, or fade the markings over time. Once these markings disappear, you're left with labelless vessels that leave measurements up to guesswork rather than accuracy. While the main culprit is the detergent, the other elements involved in dishwashing can also be tough on text, as well as on hand-painted ceramics, wood, and crystal, to name a few.

Liquid measuring cup maintenance tips

Washing your liquid measuring cups by hand is the safer route versus the dishwasher, and should keep the printed-on measurements in good condition for longer. For the best results, opt for a gentle dish soap, which will leave your cups (and other hand-washed items) clean and sparkling while preserving the material, design, and overall integrity. Further, keep a sponge that doesn't have harsh bristles or scrubbers nearby; some abrasive sponges and/or brushes can also scratch print, so it's better to use gentler alternatives.

As for water temperature, even when washed in the dishwasher, it's advised to keep liquid measuring cups in the top rack and away from the appliance's heating element. This said, while hot water shouldn't harm the print on measuring cups when washed by hand, you could go with very warm water instead (note, it still needs to be hot enough to remove bacteria and buildup effectively). Once clean, lightly dry the cups with a soft towel before storing them away.