Is Tervis Dishwasher Safe?

Introducing Tervis Tumblers

Tervis Tumblers are a popular brand of insulated drinkware known for their iconic double-walled design. Based in Florida, Tervis has been making tumblers since the 1960s. The key feature of Tervis tumblers is the double-wall insulation created by inserting an inner wall into an outer wall. This insulation helps keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot.

Tervis offers tumblers in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 12 oz coffee cups to 24 oz water bottles. They also come in different shapes like their classic tumber design as well as mugs, water bottles, wine glasses, and more. Tervis allows full customization of tumblers with various color, design, and font options. Popular tumbler collections include the NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, and Disney lines.

Are Tervis Tumblers Dishwasher Safe?

According to Tervis’ official care instructions, most Tervis tumblers are dishwasher safe and can be cleaned on the top rack of your dishwasher. However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.

Tervis states that their insulated plastic tumblers with the silicone sip lids are dishwasher safe, but recommends washing the lids by hand to preserve the seal. The plastic tumblers should be placed on the top rack only.

For the Classic Tervis line, which is made from a different type of plastic, the tumblers and lids can go in the dishwasher but it’s suggested to remove the internal gasket from the lid first. The stainless steel tumblers are fully dishwasher safe.

The main benefits of cleaning your Tervis tumbler in the dishwasher include convenience and ensuring thorough sanitization. It also helps remove stuck-on stains and odors. However, high heat and harsh detergents can cause the tumbler’s protective coating to fade faster over time. Hand washing is gentler.

So in summary, most Tervis tumblers are dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended for longevity. Check the care guide for your specific tumbler line.

Tips for Hand Washing Tervis Tumblers

According to the Tervis website, hand washing is recommended for cleaning Tervis tumblers to help them last longer and look their best ( Here are some tips for effectively hand washing your Tervis tumblers:

Use lukewarm water when washing. Avoid using hot water as this can warp the tumbler over time.

Use a mild dish soap or detergent. Harsh soaps and chemicals can fade the colors and patterns on the tumbler.

Gently wash the inside and outside of the tumbler with a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid using abrasive scrubbers.

Pay close attention to the lid, thoroughly cleaning any crevices. For difficult stains, soak the lid in warm soapy water to loosen.

Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove all soap residue.

Air dry the tumbler completely before reassembling and using again. Don’t nest wet tumblers as this can lead to odor buildup.

For stuck-on stains, let the tumbler soak for 15-30 minutes in warm soapy water before scrubbing. Avoid soaking for longer periods.

Periodically wash the tumbler with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water to remove hard water stains and buildup.

Store hand washed tumblers on open shelves, not enclosed cabinets, to allow airflow. Enjoy your sparkling clean Tervis!

Do Tervis Tumblers Fade in the Dishwasher?

When placed in the dishwasher, the heat and detergent can potentially cause Tervis tumblers to fade over time, especially if washed frequently. However, the extent of fading depends on several factors:

Colors – Darker colors like black, blue, and red are more prone to fading in the dishwasher than lighter colors. Pastels and neon colors tend to hold up better.

Wash Cycles – Using gentle cycles with lower heat and avoiding heated dry settings can minimize exposure to high heat that causes fading.

Detergent Type – Harsh detergents with strong chemicals are more likely to cause fading than milder, gentler formulas.

Tumbler Age – Older tumblers that have been through many wash cycles are more susceptible to fading issues.

Most users report very minimal fading even after years of machine washing Tervis tumblers. But some have noticed their darker tumblers fade to a slightly lighter shade over time. Using a dishwasher basket and gentle cycles are recommended to prolong the vibrancy of the colors.

tervis tumblers may fade slightly in the dishwasher over time

According to Tervis (, their tumblers are dishwasher safe but they recommend washing by hand to prevent potential fading. So while fading is possible in the dishwasher, it is minimal for most customers under normal use.

Maintaining Your Tervis for Longevity

Want your Tervis tumbler to last for years? Proper care and maintenance is key.

According to Tervis’ official use and care guide, certain types of Tervis tumblers, like the classic insulated and plastic styles, are dishwasher safe on the top rack (Tervis, 2022). However, handwashing is recommended over dishwashing to extend the life of any Tervis tumbler.

When handwashing, use mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft sponge or cloth. Avoid abrasive scouring pads. Be gentle when scrubbing the print orWrapper graphics to prevent fading. Rinse thoroughly and allow to fully air dry before next use.

Signs your Tervis needs replacement include cracking, crazing, fading of the print orWrapper, and improperly sealing lids. Cloudiness or discoloration can also occur over time with frequent use. This is largely cosmetic and does not affect insulation. However, deep scratches, dents, or other damage can impact performance.

Check your specific Tervis model’s warranty for details on coverage for defects and everyday wear-and-tear. With proper care, most Tervis tumblers will retain their temperature regulation and insulating properties for years before needing replacement.

Comparing Tervis to Other Popular Tumbler Brands

Tervis tumblers compete with some other popular tumbler brands on the market like Contigo, YETI, and RTIC when it comes to features like being dishwasher-safe. Here’s how Tervis compares:


Most Contigo tumblers, mugs, water bottles, and travel mugs are top-rack dishwasher safe. According to Contigo’s website, their products are protected by a silicone seal that prevents leaks and spills in the dishwasher. Contigo states their products can maintain temperature for up to 5-12 hours hot and 12-24 hours cold depending on the specific model. Like Tervis, Contigo provides a limited lifetime guarantee but requires proof of purchase.


The popular YETI Rambler tumblers are dishwasher safe as well, according to the YETI website. YETI states their Ramblers are durable enough to withstand hot water and harsh detergents without fading, peeling, or warping. YETI offers a 5 year limited warranty on all drinkware including damages. The Rambler tumblers have similar temperature retention to Tervis, keeping drinks cold for 24+ hours.


RTIC tumblers are top rack dishwasher safe according to the brand’s website, and they say the tumblers can maintain temperature for up to 24 hours cold. RTIC offers a 1 year limited warranty on defects in materials and workmanship. They also have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee with proof of purchase.

In comparison, Tervis tumblers match up well with these competitor brands in terms of being dishwasher safe and offer a lifetime guarantee. Tervis also touts superior insulation technology using their double wall tempered glass construction.

Pros and Cons of the Tervis Warranty

Tervis tumblers come with a lifetime guarantee that covers manufacturer defects, breaks, cracks, or other damage. According to the Tervis lifetime guarantee, customers can return up to 6 tumblers per day for a free replacement via mail.

Here are some pros of the Tervis warranty:

  • Covers accidental breaks and cracks for the lifetime of the tumbler
  • Easy and free replacement process – just pay shipping to mail it back
  • No receipt or warranty registration required

Some cons to be aware of:

  • Does not cover lost or stolen tumblers
  • Only covers manufacturer defects, not normal wear and tear
  • Must be an original Tervis tumbler, not third party or customized

According to user reviews, the replacement process is generally smooth and customers are happy with the lifetime guarantee. However, some users say replacements take several weeks to arrive after mailing in a damaged tumbler.

Customizing Your Tervis for Dishwasher Use

One of the great things about Tervis tumblers is how customizable they are. You can add your own personal flair to a Tervis tumbler by customizing it with names, photos, logos, and more. However, if you plan on putting your customized Tervis tumbler in the dishwasher, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

First, look for decorations that are made specifically for use in the dishwasher. Tervis offers dishwasher-safe vinyl decals that you can add to your tumbler. The vinyl material is durable and won’t fade or peel off with repeated dishwasher cycles. You can customize a Tervis tumbler with your name, initials, sports team logos, monograms, and more using these vinyl decals.

For any type of customization, it’s also a good idea to seal decorations with a clear sealant, like epoxy resin or a sealant spray. This adds an extra layer of protection to prevent fading and damage to decorations like fabric patches, photos, or any non-vinyl materials. Sealing customizations will help them withstand high dishwasher temperatures and harsh detergents.

By choosing dishwasher-safe decorations like vinyl decals and sealing all customizations, you can safely customize your Tervis tumbler to match your personal style while still being able to wash it easily in the dishwasher.

Best Practices for Dishwasher Loading

Properly loading your dishwasher is key to getting your dishes clean and preventing damage. Here are some best practices to follow:

Optimize Wash Cycles: Choose the right wash cycle for the dishes you are washing. The normal or regular cycle is best for moderately soiled dishes. The heavy or pots and pans cycle has higher water pressure and temperature for really dirty dishes. The light or China/crystal cycle is more gentle for delicate items.

Loading Orientation: Face all dish surfaces inward to allow full coverage from the spray. Angle items downward so water can drain off and not pool. Place bowls, cups and glasses upside down on the top rack. Lay flat items like plates, pans and baking sheets along the bottom rack. Avoid nesting items inside each other.

Placement: Keep the water arms clear so they can rotate and spray properly. Avoid overcrowding and allow space between items for maximum cleaning. Use the upper rack for glasses, cups, saucers, plates and plastic items. The bottom rack is for pots, pans, bowls, baking dishes and plates. The silverware basket goes in the bottom rack.

According to Bon Appétit, dividing your dishwasher into zones can also streamline loading. Reserve the upper rack for glasses, mugs, small plates, etc. Use the bottom rack for larger plates, pots, pans and casserole dishes. The silverware basket has its own zone, as well as areas like the utensil holder and cup shelves.


Here are some frequently asked questions about using Tervis tumblers in the dishwasher:

Are all Tervis tumblers dishwasher safe?

Most Tervis tumblers made after January 2023 are dishwasher safe, but you should check the product description and care instructions to be sure. Vintage and some specialty Tervis tumblers may not be dishwasher safe. Tumbler lids are generally dishwasher safe as well.

Should I remove the lid gasket before washing?

No, you can leave the silicone gasket in the lid. It is designed to withstand dishwasher cleaning cycles (Tervis Classic Insulated Drinkware Use & Care).

Will the colors fade in the dishwasher?

Tervis states that their tumblers will not fade in the dishwasher as long as you follow the proper care instructions. Use a mild detergent on gentle cycle and avoid prolonged heat drying (Tervis Use & Care).

Should I wash by hand instead?

Dishwashing is fine for most current Tervis products, but gentle hand washing can prolong the life of any tumbler. Use mild soap and warm water, avoiding abrasive scrubs.

Key tips for care:
– Check model for dishwasher safe marking
– Use gentle cycle and mild detergent
– Allow to air dry instead of heat drying
– Hand wash gently with mild soap if concerned about fading
– Do not remove silicone gasket in lids

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