Is Permanent Vinyl Dishwasher Safe?

Many crafters have been debating the answer to this question for years: Is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe? No, permanent vinyl, while waterproof, is not dishwasher safe especially if the dishwasher has an automatic heating element, and especially because different dishwashers have different water pressure and temperature settings.. 

It is your choice to wash a mug or tumbler with permanent vinyl decals on the dishwasher. However, expect the print to not last for long. If you want your permanent vinyl to last longer and intend to wash it in the dishwasher, what you can do is apply a sealant and cure it.

Do you want to know more about this? Read further and find out why is not permanent vinyl dishwasher safe. Also, learn how to make a permanent vinyl dishwasher safe with a sealant.

Why Is It Important to Use Permanent Vinyl?

For merchandise that needs to be washed often, you need a vinyl that will last for a long time. Permanent vinyl is the answer for that. Permanent vinyl is generally safe for outdoor use, is UV resistant, for the great outdoors, water bottles, mugs, or even car decals.

Most permanent vinyl brands are available in different colors, textures, and patterns. Whether you use a glossy finish vinyl, matte vinyl, or glitter vinyl, it will look amazing on any craft project you have.

is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe
TeckWrap Craft pink permanent vinyl on a clear glass coffee mug

Why Is Permanent Vinyl Not Dishwasher Safe?

Permanent vinyl is not dishwasher safe because the decal may peel off when exposed to the heat inside the dishwasher. One feature of a dishwasher is an automatic heating element. What it does is sanitize the dishes with warm water. The water temperature inside the dishwasher may range between 130°F-140°F.

This heat may cause the adhesive of the decal to peel off. The same concept applies to microwaves. You cannot place a mug or tumbler with a permanent vinyl decal printed on it inside the microwave.

When permanent vinyl is exposed to heat or hot water, the decal will not remove instantaneously. However, the decal may start to peel off over time when continually washed in the dishwasher.

In short, when a decal is heated excessively, this may cause the vinyl to detach from the merchandise. Even if it’s a permanent premium vinyl, it’s better to handwash the merchandise.

permanent vinyl on mugs
Permanent vinyl printed beer can glass from TeckWrap Crafts
Original creation by @brvcreations using TeckWrap Crafts permanent vinyl

There are Dishwashers Which You Can Turn Off the Heat Settings 

Here’s another fact that needs to be clarified: there are dishwashers where you can turn off the heat settings. There are claims that for this type of dishwasher since there are no heating elements involved, the permanent vinyl tumbler or mug can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher and heat setting turned off.

That is if the decal was applied as flat as possible, wrinkle-free, and bubble-free. There are still doubts in this area, and it will depend on the vinyl brand you’re working with. That’s why it’s better to hand wash merchandise with permanent vinyl or either apply a sealant on it.

is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe
TeckWrap Craft permanent vinyl printed on wine glasses without base
Image from TeckWrap Craft

How Long Does Permanent Vinyl Last?

Typically permanent vinyl on mugs, when hand washed only, lasts for three to eight years, sometimes more.  That’s why it’s recommended to use permanent vinyl on merchandise that needs to be constantly washed.

For removable vinyl, the decal lasts for months only when washed all the time. It is recommended for indoor application, especially on indoor walls.

Furthermore, never use heat transfer vinyl or ironing vinyl on mugs, tumblers, or cups. Heat transfer vinyl is printed on fabrics using a heat press machine..

But what happens if you constantly wash mugs with permanent vinyl printed on them? Most likely, the decal may peel off over time, shorter than the expected period mentioned above. It is recommended to always wash merchandise with vinyl print by hand.

is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe
Permanent vinyl on a coffee tumbler
Creation by using TeckWrap Craft vinyl

How Do You Make a Permanent Vinyl Dishwasher Safe?

To make a permanent vinyl dishwasher safe, you need to cure the permanent vinyl with a sealant. An excellent product you can use is the Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. To be clear, it’s called Mod Podge, not Modge Podge, so let’s not confuse ourselves with this.

This product dries quickly, is non-toxic, water-resistant, is officially listed as FDA-approved, can be applied on glass, plastic, or ceramic, leaves a smooth finish, and of course protects the decal inside the dishwasher.

A Mod Podge helps protect the vinyl decal from washing in the dishwasher for many years to come. Mod Podge can withstand various water pressures of different dishwashers brand.

It is applied to the entire surface of a cup or mug, not just the decal part. This is to ensure the whole merchandise has a smooth and even finish. There are other sealants on the market, however, the Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge is the recommended sealant by many crafters for how many years now.

Haven’t worked with a sealant before? That’s okay! We’ll guide you through how to apply sealant on the vinyl design and how to cure it.

permanent vinyl on mugs dishwasher safe
Clear mugs printed with vinyl
Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Make Permanent Adhesive Vinyl Dishwasher Safe

For every problem, there’s a solution. In this case, if you want to give or sell vinyl-printed mugs, you want to make sure they will last longer. Don’t just hope that it will only last for up to three years, you should aim to make it last for a long time.

Remember, that quality comes first before anything else. So the solution to a non-dishwasher safe vinyl is to apply a sealant on it and cure it.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make a permanent adhesive vinyl dishwasher safe. But first, you need to gather the needed supplies.

is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe

Project ideas using pastel-colored matte adhesive vinyl from TeckWrap Craft

Supplies Needed

  • Cutting machine (Silhouette or Cameo)
  • TeckWrap Craft permanent adhesive vinyl
  • Clear transfer tape
  • Weeding tool or tweezer
  • Squeegee or a used credit card
  • Food-safe sealant for a mug
  • Brush
  • Clean cloth or paper towel
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Microwave for baking (optional)

Step1: Print the Design on the Merchandise

We won’t get into too much detail when applying vinyl to merchandise. But to refresh your memory, here are the summarized details:

  • Choose a design
  • Upload the design on the cutting machine’s software
  • Adjust the design size
  • Do not mirror permanent vinyl
  • Place the permanent adhesive vinyl on the cutting machine, with the plastic backside down
  • Send the vinyl to the cutting machine for cutting
  • Weed the excess vinyl
  • Transfer the decal to the transfer tape using a squeegee
  • Clean the merchandise and prepare so stick the decal
  • Remove the vinyl backing
  • Stick the decal and make sure it’s wrinkle-free
  • The finished product should look like the photo below
permanent vinyl on glasses

Peacock blue opal vinyl on a flat base wine glass

Step 2: Clean the Merchandise

Once you’re happy with your creation and have ensured the vinyl is wrinkle-free and bubble-free, proceed with cleaning the merchandise. You should have cleaned the merchandise before applying the vinyl, but you have to clean it again. Use a clean cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean the whole merchandise.

Step 3: Apply the Coating

Here’s where you need to take out the Mod Podge and the paintbrush. It’s advisable to use a brand new paintbrush for better strokes on the mug. Just a heads up, if you apply Mod Podge on clear glass, the brush strokes from the Mod Podge may become visible.

This will cause the whole look of the glass to be frosty. So here’s the step-by-step process when applying the coating:

  • Apply the coating on the whole merchandise and make sure to apply the strokes in the same direction.
  • Apply a very thin coating
  • Avoid holding the Mod Podge stroked part and let the first coating dry for one hour.
  • You can use a blow dryer for a faster drying process. The first coat will dry for 15-30 minutes
  • Repeat the process and apply the second and third layer
  • Once the third layer is done, proceed to cure
  • You can cure the mug without the microwave. Place it in a clean, dry place for 28 days and let it just sit there
  • If you want to cure the merchandise using the microwave, set the microwave to 350°F for 30 minutes
  • After 30 minutes, don’t let the merchandise let out of the microwave just yet. Let the microwave and mug completely cool off before taking it out. Wait for at least 15 to 30 minutes
  • Store it in a cool, clean, and dry place for 72 hours
  • Then you’re done! The permanent adhesive vinyl is now dishwasher-safe

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make a Permanent Vinyl Dishwasher Safe?

To make a permanent vinyl dishwasher safe, you can place a sealant like Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge over the decal and cure it. Generally speaking, vinyl mugs are not dishwasher safe, and it’s recommended to be washed by hand.

Can Permanent Vinyl Be Washed?

Yes, permanent vinyl can be washed. When putting vinyl on merchandise like mugs or glass, it is recommended to use permanent vinyl. Permanent vinyl is water-resistant and is advised to be washed by hand.

Do I Need to Seal Permanent Vinyl on a Mug?

If you want to make a vinyl mug dishwasher safe, it is recommended to seal the permanent vinyl. If you only plan to wash it by hand, you don’t necessarily need to seal the permanent vinyl.

Is Permanent Vinyl Dishwasher Safe?

No permanent vinyl is not dishwasher safe, even if it is waterproof, due to the different water pressure and temperature settings. If you want to make a permanent vinyl dishwasher safe, you can apply a sealant on it and cure it.

Can Permanent Vinyl Withstand Washing?

Yes, permanent vinyl can withstand washing particularly if done by hand and will last for many years. IF you want to make sure the vinyl adheres for longer periods, you can seal and cure it. 

is permanent vinyl dishwasher safe

Starbucks tumbler using permanent vinyl

That’s It!

There you have it! Now you know that permanent vinyl is not dishwasher safe. To conclude it all, permanent vinyl printed merchandise is recommended to be washed by hand. If you want to make it dishwasher-safe, apply a sealant and cure it.

What kind of products can you place permanent vinyl on? Mugs, glasses, tumblers, cups, and even notebooks. You can also place permanent vinyl on outdoor signages, use it as a car camping decal, or business signages on the window’s establishment.

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