The rise of sustainable, eco-friendly products has led to much more variety and affordability in recent years. One of the most popular materials emerging on the market is bamboo – a fast-growing grass likened to wood.
Due to the rate of growth and lack of maintenance needed to produce lots of bamboo, it’s no wonder that a lot of companies are pushing bamboo tableware. But is it safe to put bamboo in the dishwasher?
Can bamboo dishwasher-safe?
Bamboo plates, cups, bowls, and other tableware generally should not go in the dishwasher. The heat and harsh detergents used in dishwashers reduce the bamboo’s longevity. Some products might be advertised as dishwasher-safe, so always check the label and follow the instructions.
How to clean bamboo tableware
The majority of bamboo tableware isn’t dishwasher-safe because of the high levels of heat and long exposure to water. This can cause the bamboo to swell and crack. Similarly, you shouldn’t put bamboo products in microwaves.
Quality bamboo tableware can last a lifetime with proper care and washing. Thanks to bamboo’s natural antimicrobial properties, you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew as long as you wash thoroughly and air dry.
To clean your bamboo tableware, wipe or rinse it out with warm water and a sponge or soft cloth. Make sure to wipe away any residue to ensure no stains are left behind.
Add some dish soap to clean thoroughly with the cloth before rinsing under running water. Do not soak or dunk bamboo in water or it will absorb too much. Before air drying, use a towel to dry it.
It’s not recommended to use bamboo for very hot or wet food, so avoid serving soup or coffee. I
f you’ve had raw meat on your plate you can use a solution of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water to sanitize the bamboo, patting it dry afterward.
If you do put your tableware through the dishwasher it might dry out or crack, so make sure to use food-safe mineral oil to moisturize the bamboo.
Apply the oil with a soft cloth and allow it to soak for an hour or overnight before wiping away excess oil. Don’t use vegetable or nut oils. Moisturizing the bamboo can make it more resilient and longer-lasting.
Ensure the bamboo is dry before storing it. You should place paper towels between nesting plates to avoid any lingering moisture. Storing damp bamboo or keeping them in direct heat will damage it.
How long does bamboo tableware last?
As long as you take care of your bamboo tableware properly and avoid damaging it regularly, you’ll find that this hardy material will serve you well for years.
If you find your plates or cups are becoming too dry, moisturizing with mineral oil can reinvigorate the bamboo and keep it protected from water.
Don’t worry if you slip up once in a while – bamboo is durable and more eco-friendly to produce to replace it.