Can You Put Starbucks Cups in the Dishwasher?

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Going to Starbucks is a daily ritual for many people. Coffee, espresso drinks, teas, and food bring joy and energy to people’s mornings and afternoons.

But at the end of the coffee break, you’re left with an empty Starbucks cup. So can these cups go in the dishwasher, or do they need to be hand washed?

The short answer is yes. You can put Starbucks cups in the dishwasher. However, there are some caveats depending on the specific type of cup and the temperature of your dishwasher. Keep reading to learn more about how to clean Starbucks cups!

Are Starbucks Cups dishwasher-safe?

Most Starbucks cups are made from paper, plastic, or a combination of materials. This means that, for the most part, they can safely go in the dishwasher without damage.

However, it’s important to check the bottom of your Starbucks cup for any special care instructions before tossing it in the dishwasher. You may see symbols or words indicating if the cup is dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe, or needs to be hand washed.

Here are the dishwasher rules for common Starbucks cup materials:

  • Paper cups – These single-use cups have a paper exterior with a plastic lining. They can go in the dishwasher, but they won’t hold up after multiple washings. Recycle them instead.
  • Plastic cups – Durable plastic reusable cups and tumblers are dishwasher safe unless otherwise noted. Wash on the top rack only.
  • Ceramic mugs – Ceramic Starbucks mugs can be washed repeatedly in the dishwasher with no issues.
  • Stainless steel tumblers – Dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended to maintain the finish and prevent dents.

So scan your Starbucks cup before mindlessly tossing it in the dishwasher. But in most cases, hot water and dishwasher detergent will safely clean it.

Tips for Washing Starbucks Cups in the Dishwasher

Here are some useful tips to get your Starbucks cups sparkling clean in the dishwasher:

  • Rinse cups first – Give cups a quick rinse or wipe out any remaining liquid or food residue before placing them in the dishwasher. This prevents messes and clogs.
  • Use the top rack – Place cups face down on the top rack for the best cleaning results. The top spray arm will hit all sides.
  • Don’t overcrowd – Leave space between cups so water can circulate and clean properly.
  • Adjust water temperature – For plastic reusable cups, use a lower temperature wash setting. High heat can warp plastic over time.
  • Use heated dry sparingly – Let stainless steel tumblers air dry to prevent warping. Heated dry is fine for ceramic mugs.
  • Inspect after washing – Occasionally inspect dishwasher cups for stains or damage that may require hand washing.

Following these simple tips will keep your Starbucks cups looking like new wash after wash! The dishwasher is safe for most cups with the right settings.

Benefits of Using the Dishwasher for Starbucks Cups

Putting your Starbucks cups in the dishwasher has some nice advantages over hand washing:

  • It’s faster – Just load cups and press start! There’s no need to stand at the sink scrubbing.
  • Gets cups cleaner – Dishwashers use hotter water and stronger cleaning solutions than hand washing.
  • Sanitizes cups – The heat and soap remove germs better than hand washing. Good for reusable cups.
  • Saves on water – Running full dishwasher loads conserves water compared to hand washing multiple cups.
  • Convenient – Easy to add Starbucks cups to your regular dishwashing routine. No special effort is required!

Unless directed otherwise by the care instructions, feel confident that your Starbucks cups are getting a thorough cleaning in the dishwasher.

Hand Washing Starbucks Cups

While the dishwasher is great for convenience, some situations may call for washing Starbucks cups by hand:

  • Cups with handwash only instructions
  • Cups with hard-to-remove stains
  • Tall cups that don’t fit well in the dishwasher
  • Damaged cups that need gentle care
  • Wanting cups cleaned right away

To handwash, follow these steps:

  • Rinse the cup under warm water to remove residue.
  • Fill the cup with warm soapy water.
  • Use dish soap and a scrub brush to clean the interior and exterior.
  • Pay special attention to the lid and bottom of the cup, as well as any crevices.
  • Rinse the cup thoroughly with warm water.
  • Air-dry cup on drying rack or wipe dry with towel.

Hand washing allows you to inspect cups more closely and give them some extra cleaning attention when needed. It’s slightly more work, but worth it for very dirty or delicate Starbucks cups.

Starbucks Cup Dishwasher FAQ

Still have some questions about putting your Starbucks cups in the dishwasher? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can you put paper Starbucks cups in the dishwasher?

No, paper cups are not durable enough for the dishwasher. The hot water will cause them to fall apart. Dispose of single-use paper cups after use.

Should you wash Starbucks mugs on the top or bottom rack?

Wash mugs on the top rack, face down. This allows the spray arm to hit the interior and fully clean the cup.

Can Starbucks tumblers go in the dishwasher?

Yes, all stainless steel tumblers are dishwasher-safe. Allow them to air-dry to prevent warping. Avoid the heated-dry option.

How do you remove stains from Starbucks cups in the dishwasher?

Use a dishwasher cleaner monthly or baking soda in the detergent cup to help remove stains. Scrub tough stains before loading. Consider hand washing stained cups.

Why do Starbucks cups warp in the dishwasher?

High heat and heated drying can warp plastic cups over time. Use lower heat settings and air dry to prevent warping. Ceramic mugs may also warp if subjected to very high heat.

So be mindful of cup material and care instructions, but for the most part, go ahead and toss those Starbucks cups in the dishwasher! Proper loading and settings will safely clean and sanitize your cups with convenience. Enjoy your coffee break, then let the dishwasher do the work.


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