Can You Put Crystal Glasses in the Dishwasher

Crystal glasses are known for their elegance and ability to enhance the dining experience. However, many people are unsure whether it’s safe to put these delicate glassware items in the dishwasher. In this article, we will explore the dos and don’ts of cleaning crystal glasses in a dishwasher, providing you with valuable insights to help you preserve your precious glassware.

Understanding Crystal Glassware

What is Crystal Glass?

Crystal glass is a type of glass that contains a higher percentage of lead oxide than regular glass. This composition gives crystal its distinct brilliance and clarity, making it a popular choice for fine dining and special occasions.

The Fragility of Crystal

One key characteristic of crystal glassware is its fragility. Crystal glasses are more delicate than standard glassware, which makes them susceptible to damage from various factors, including heat and mechanical stress.

Can You Put Crystal Glasses in the Dishwasher?

The Debate

The question of whether or not you can put crystal glasses in the dishwasher has been a subject of debate among glassware enthusiasts and experts. Let’s examine both sides of the argument.

Pros of Dishwasher Cleaning


Using a dishwasher is undoubtedly convenient, especially for those with busy lifestyles. It saves time and effort, as you can simply load the glasses and let the machine do the work.

Water Temperature Control

Modern dishwashers have advanced features that allow you to control the water temperature. This means you can set it to a lower temperature to minimize the risk of thermal shock.

Cons of Dishwasher Cleaning

Heat and Pressure

Dishwashers use hot water and high-pressure jets to clean dishes, which can be detrimental to crystal glasses. The extreme heat and pressure can cause the glass to crack or break.

Harsh Detergents

Some dishwasher detergents contain abrasive chemicals that can dull the sparkle of crystal and leave cloudy residues.

Proper Care for Crystal Glasses

Handwashing Method

To ensure the longevity of your crystal glasses, consider handwashing them using the following steps:

  1. Use lukewarm water: Avoid extreme temperatures that can shock the glass.
  2. Gentle detergent: Use a mild, non-abrasive detergent.
  3. Soft cloth or sponge: Avoid abrasive scrubbers that can scratch the glass.
  4. Rinse with care: Rinse thoroughly to remove all detergent residue.
  5. Dry with a lint-free cloth: This prevents water spots and streaks.

Storing Crystal Glasses

Proper storage is also essential to prevent damage:

  • Use padded dividers or cloth to separate glasses when storing.
  • Avoid overcrowding in cabinets to prevent chipping.
  • Store glasses upright to minimize the risk of breakage.


In conclusion, while it is technically possible to put crystal glasses in the dishwasher, it is not recommended due to the risk of damage. To preserve the beauty and clarity of your crystal glassware, it’s best to opt for handwashing and gentle care.


Can crystal glasses go in the top rack of the dishwasher?

It’s not advisable to put crystal glasses in the dishwasher, whether on the top or bottom rack, as the heat and pressure can still pose a risk.

What happens if I accidentally put crystal glasses in the dishwasher?

If you’ve made this mistake, inspect the glasses carefully for any damage. It’s best to switch to handwashing to avoid future risks.

Can I use a crystal-specific dishwasher detergent?

While there are detergents marketed for crystal, it’s safer to stick with handwashing using a mild, non-abrasive detergent.

How often should I clean my crystal glasses?

Clean them after each use to prevent stains and residues from building up.

Can crystal glasses be repaired if they are chipped or cracked?

Repairing crystal glasses can be challenging, and the results may not be perfect. It’s often better to invest in new ones if they are damaged.

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