Reasons why different types of travel mugs are not dishwasher safe.
A lot of people have become very dependent on dishwashers, but it really only takes a few seconds to hand wash a personalized travel mug. A quick rinse is usually sufficient if it's cleaned after every use, but many people are still reluctant to purchase drinkware that isn't dishwasher safe. Actually, a lot of travel mugs that claim to be dishwasher safe should actually be washed by hand; hand washing will often extend the life of the drinkware and prevent many problems.
|Travel mugs are likely to have an inner and an outer layer, as compared to other types of glasses which normally only have one. The layers may be made of plastic, metal, or one of each of these materials. They tend to be separated with a small space of air, and believe it or not, that is done intentionally and has a specific purpose. Designing travel mugs this way creates a lot of added insulation, which keeps coffee or tea hot for a much longer period of time.|
However, the small space of air makes the washing technique problematic because water can get trapped in the space of air between the inside and outside layers. The longer that this type of travel mug is exposed to water, the more likely it is for water to make its way inside. The trapped liquid will eventually evaporate, but it's much better to prevent it from getting in there in the first place. There is no way to clean between the layers if the drinkware can't be taken apart. In some cases, especially in very humid environments, it can even develop an undesirable smell that's difficult to eliminate. This type of drinkware is perfectly safe and sanitary when handled correctly, though. Don't leave it submerged in water for any length of time, because this is just as likely to cause problems as the dishwasher. Either quickly dip the travel mug into a sink full of soapy water or just fill the inside with water and go over the surfaces with a soapy sponge or dishcloth.
|Some metal drinkware items aren't dishwasher safe for entirely different reasons. Metal mugs often have a thin surface layer that shouldn't be damaged. The drinkware and beverage can have an unpleasant taste if abrasion or the dishwasher detergent removes part of the outside surface. When hand washing a metal travel mug, don't use the rough side of a sponge or another abrasive material to get it clean. Toothbrushes work very well to get stains off of those surfaces.|
Ceramic drinkware that isn't dishwasher safe is yet another story. There are fewer travel mugs made out of ceramic than metal and plastic, but they are out there. These should be washed by hand simply because they are fragile. Ceramic may break if it is banged around in the dishwasher, and extreme heat can also cause problems.
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