What is the difference between dishwasher safe and dishwasher proof?

Dishwasher proof or dishwasher safe – the terms are similar, but they do not mean the same thing. There is a significant difference that can affect plates, bowls, cups, and more when cleaning in the dishwasher. Therefore, before cleaning in the dishwasher, it cannot hurt to check the suitability based on the terms dishwasher proof and dishwasher safe.

Which symbols are universal, which are not?

Regarding dishwasher suitability, a distinction must be made between symbols awarded by the manufacturer and those awarded by independent bodies. For example, TÜV awards declarations with the associated symbols only after official testing. The symbols awarded by manufacturers often rely on their experience and differ in appearance. In contrast, TÜV relies on uniform specifications, so the symbols awarded are legally protected.

How can you tell if dishes are dishwasher safe?

The terms “dishwasher proof” or “dishwasher safe” take up a lot of space and are therefore not literally depicted on the dishes. Since the indication should be understood across languages, universally understandable symbols have been developed. These are usually located on the back or bottom. Therefore, when purchasing new packaging and containers, it cannot hurt to inform yourself in advance about the dishwasher suitability of the products. Especially for reusable use in gastronomy, canteens, events, trade fairs, and events, where reusable tableware is increasingly being used, proper and hygienic cleaning with industrial dishwashers is important. Acquiring knowledge about the meaning of the symbols is important so that plates, bowls, and other dishes are not exposed to dangers during the dishwasher cycle. These include the persistently high temperatures during the washing cycle or aggressive detergents. Improperly used or dishwasher unsuitable plastic dishes, for example, can melt in the dishwasher. Then not only is the respective container destroyed, but in the worst case, so is the dishwasher.

What does dishwasher proof mean?

The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) has summarized methods for determining dishwasher resistance in the DIN EN 12875 standard. According to this standard, a product may only be labeled as dishwasher proof if it remains unchanged in terms of its appearance and usability even after many dishwasher cycles. This also applies to all our reusable packaging, such as our HäppyBowl©, whose sustainable appearance and practical use are not restricted even after 125 dishwasher cycles. However, our reusable cutlery is dishwasher safe.

What does dishwasher safe mean?

In contrast to the term “dishwasher proof,” which is protected by DIN standard 12875, the term “dishwasher safe” is not clearly defined in Germany. Any household item can be labeled as dishwasher safe if it survives a cleaning cycle in the dishwasher in some way. In this sense, there is no statement about functionality, further usability, or optical durability. If a product is only dishwasher safe, there is a risk that cleaning it in the dishwasher will impair or damage certain properties of the product. For example, decorative color elements can flake off, the dishes can deform, or lose their coating. Consumers bear responsibility for the functionality regarding the cleaning of products labeled dishwasher safe. It is worth washing a plate as a test before washing the entire set in case of such a declaration.

Cleaning of reusable packaging at events and trade fairs

Adhering to hygiene regulations is essential when using reusable containers. Many event organizers and restaurateurs utilize reusable trays from their own inventory or pool systems. Employing efficient cleaning methods is crucial to ensure the cleanliness of the reusable tableware. Key steps in the cleaning process include handwashing, dishwashers, sterilization, and disinfection. The German Food Association has prepared a fact sheet for handling reusable tableware within deposit pool systems, outlining important aspects of handling. Adhering to applicable hygiene regulations and standards is crucial to ensure that the reusable tableware is properly cleaned and disinfected after each use, thereby optimally protecting consumers’ health. For events, trade shows, and other gatherings, a mobile washing system can be advantageous. These are often available for rent from local authorities or event organizers. Additionally, we offer a free service through the digital Reusable App provided by our partner Merways (only in German available). The Reusable App facilitates the easy rental of reusable tableware in gastronomy, at events, and in food services.

Transparent product descriptions at Häppy Compagnie

Our reusable packaging is clearly marked regarding its suitability for the dishwasher. Furthermore, we provide a recommendation letter with instructions for easy hygienic cleaning to ensure the longevity of our reusable tableware, available for download from our hygiene partner Ecolab® here. The relevant information is located in the corresponding product category. In our FAQ, we provide answers to questions about customization, product development, and the properties of various reusable packaging items from the Häppy range.

Open dishwasher filled with reusable crockery

Post authored by:

Katrin Beißner

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