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What Is a Dishwasher-Safe Mod Podge Alternative?

Since the article about Mod Podge was published, I’ve had questions about how dishwasher-safe Mod Podge is. I love the idea of the home gifts we can make by decorating, collaging, painting ordinary mugs, plates, bowls, glasses, etc., and then sealing them to go in the dishwasher. (I don’t know about you, but hand-washing dishes is not my favorite thing!)

Before you read, there is one caveat. There is a huge difference between “dishwasher safe” and “food safe.” You need to read the product information very carefully to be sure that the product you’re using can come in contact with food. With that said, let’s get down to it…

Can Items With Mod Podge On Them Go Into The Dishwasher?

The short answer is an emphatic no. Do not use items that have been sealed with Mod Podge for anything that comes in contact with food or drink, and definitely do not put them into the dishwasher.

Mod Podge is water-resistant but not waterproof, and exposure to all of that hot water, steam, and detergent can cause the Mod Podge to break down, and the materials underneath can become damaged.

Is There Any Type of Mod Podge That Is Dishwasher Safe?

Guess what? There’s light at the end of this gluey tunnel because the good people at Plaid (the company that makes Mod Podge) have a dishwasher-safe Mod Podge alternative!

Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe dries quickly and clear with a hard, glossy, and smooth finish. Using this multi-purpose sealant, glue, and finish, you can decoupage, paint, and more. Your finished artwork will be top-rack ready once you let it cure in a dust-free location for one month. And just like the original Mod Podge, cleanup is easy as it’s water-based. Just use some soap and water for any mess you made while in your creative frenzy.

A little bonus is that Mod Podge is made in the U.S. I support American-based companies as much as possible. My small way of boosting the economy. 😀

What Are Other Dishwasher-Safe Mod Podge Alternatives?

Making items that will be dishwasher safe is relatively easy when you’re using products designed for that purpose.

Products (in no particular order) that will create a waterproof and heat-resistant finish:

  • Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating. This sealer was created to provide a durable, clear, and glossy finish to various surfaces, including ceramic, glass, metal, and plastic. It is safe for use on items that come into contact with food, such as dishes, cups, and bowls. It is water-resistant and can withstand the heat and moisture of a dishwasher, making it a great option for sealing and protecting your projects. Follow the instructions carefully and ensure proper curing before exposing your item to water or heat. Krylon is a well-respected brand and I use this product myself.
  • Aleene’s (another brand I trust wholeheartedly) makes 26412 Spray Gloss Finish Acrylic Sealer. It is not tested for food safety, however.
  • Epoxy and resin are strong adhesives that can create a waterproof and heat-resistant finish, making them ideal for items that will be washed frequently or exposed to moisture. Before you make your purchase, check the manufacturer’s information to be sure your choice is food safe. Expoxy and resin also create a hard, glossy finish that can enhance the look of your project. When using epoxy or resin, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, including using protective gear (such as gloves and a respirator), is essential. You should also ensure that your workspace is well-ventilated.
  • Plaid carries a wide variety of clear acrylic sealers other than the Dishwasher-Safe Mod Podge. 
  • Of course, if you’ve already used the original Mod Podge on your item and are now looking to seal it, you might want to pick up the Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Gloss and continue the Mod Podge route. You might not get a top-notch level of durability here due to the regular Mod Podge usage, but it’s worth a shot.
Aleene's acrylic sealer gloss finish

As with any sealer, it’s a good idea to test it on a small area of your project before applying it to the entire surface to be sure the sealer does what you want it to do. Consider doing a test project using various sealers on different areas of the project, and see how it runs through the dishwasher. Use a dishwasher-safe marker to label each sealer’s section so that you know which is which.

Throughout this article, I assume you’re placing your gorgeous artwork on an item that can go through the dishwasher. So, just to be safe…

What Materials Are Safe To Run Through the Dishwasher?

The dishwasher is a convenient and efficient way to clean dishes and other kitchen items. However, not all items are safe to run through the dishwasher. Here are some general guidelines for what things are safe to run through the dishwasher:

  1. Glassware: Most glassware is safe to run through the dishwasher on the top rack, including drinking glasses, tumblers, and wine glasses.
  2. Ceramics: Most ceramic dishes and bowls are safe to run through the dishwasher if they are not delicate or hand-painted.
  3. Stainless steel: Most stainless steel pots, pans, and utensils can run through the dishwasher. Most. But definitely not my Caphalon pans!
  4. Plastic: Some plastic items are dishwasher safe, but check the manufacturer’s instruction manual to ensure that they can withstand the heat and moisture of the dishwasher. If you’re worried, place it on the top rack.
  5. Silverware: Most silverware is safe to run through the dishwasher, but be sure to separate knives from other utensils to avoid damage.
  6. Some cookware: Read that again…some cookware. Don’t run your cast iron skillet through the dishwasher, or it will damage the seasoning on the pan.

It’s important to note that while many items are safe to run through the dishwasher, it’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions and follow any specific care guidelines for your items to ensure their longevity. Likewise, take note of the manufacturer’s guidelines for the sealer you end up using to ensure you’re caring for your artwork in the best way possible.

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