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Dishwasher safe and other tableware symbols

It's always important to know what the symbols mean on your dishwasher safe items and other tableware, so that you can properly clean and care for your dishes. Use this guide to decipher what the different markings on your tableware mean so your Whirlpool® dishwasher can help keep your dishes looking their best.

Cookware on the top rack of a Whirlpool® dishwasher Cookware on the top rack of a Whirlpool® dishwasher

What is the symbol for dishwasher safe?

Currently, there is no universally recognized symbol that indicates that a dish, pot or glass is dishwasher safe. There are several different symbols that can tell you an item is dishwasher safe, with some symbols specifying rack placement and drying instructions.

Select Whirlpool® dishwashers, like the 51 dBA Quiet Dishwasher with 3rd Rack, offer a 3rd Rack that allows you to fit more “top rack only” items in the additional rack space.

Common dishwasher safe symbols

Since there isn’t a ubiquitous dishwasher safe symbol, it can be helpful to remember the most commonly found symbols that indicate that an item is dishwasher safe. Read on below to learn more about common dishwasher safe symbols.

Wine glass with water droplet icon

1. Glass with water droplets

This dishwasher safe symbol typically features a wine glass, either positioned upright or tipped upside down, with water droplets falling on the glass.

Two dishes in a dishwasher icon

2. Two dishes being washed in a dishwasher

If you see a symbol that includes one large dish and one small dish being washed in a dishwasher on the bottom of your plate or glass, you can clean it using your dishwasher.


If you have large or uniquely shaped items that require a little more room to fit inside your dishwasher, the Whirlpool® Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher with 3rd Rack & Large Capacity offers an adjustable 2nd rack that can be raised or lowered to accommodate your dishwasher safe items. 

Single dish with a water droplet icon

3. Single dish with water droplets

This symbol features a single plate sitting in a dishwasher rack with water droplets falling on the plate to indicate that an item is dishwasher safe.

Dishwasher safe top rack only icon

4. Dishwasher safe on top rack

This symbol includes the image of one or two plates being washed in a dishwasher paired with written direction to wash on the top rack. Some tableware is made of materials that can become damaged when exposed to high temperatures, so washing them on the top rack helps to create distance from the appliance’s heated dry element.


With the Whirlpool® Fingerprint Resistant Dishwasher with 3rd Rack & Large Capacity, you can rest assured that the dishes on the top racks are getting a proper clean thanks to the 3rd rack with extra wash action. This feature provides targeted cleaning for bowls, mugs and utensils that can only be washed on the top rack.

Stainless steel Whirlpool® top control dishwasher Stainless steel Whirlpool® top control dishwasher

Other dishware symbols & warnings

There are a few other common symbols you may find on your dishes, and it can be helpful to understand what they mean. Explore other tableware symbols below to learn how to better care for your dishes.

Wine glass and fork icon

1. Can be used for food storage

Before you use any tableware to eat or drink, make sure it is made with a material that is suitable to come into contact with food. You can usually tell if a dish or glass can be used to serve food if you see a symbol including a wine glass and fork.

Microwave safe icon

2. Can be placed in microwave

There are a handful of materials that should never be placed in a microwave, which is why it is recommended to only place certain items inside the appliance. These types of dishes are usually stamped with a symbol that features several squiggly lines to represent the microwaves used to cook your food. Other symbols include an image of a microwave, a dish with four microwave lines above it and/ or three wave lines above the word “micro.” 


Plates that are used to cook food in a microwave can sometimes come out with baked-on spills and splatters. The Whirlpool® 55 dBA Fingerprint Resistant Quiet Dishwasher with Boost Cycle provides extra effort for cleaning stubborn messes by using more water, time and heat than a Normal Cycle to care for your dishes.

Snowflake icon

3. Can be placed in freezer

You can typically determine if a dish or glass may be placed in the freezer by looking for a symbol with a single snowflake. This will tell you whether you may store the item in your freezer for longer periods of time.

Min and max temp icon

4. Minimum and maximum temperature

This symbol uses two temperatures to indicate the highest and lowest temperatures a piece of tableware can withstand. This is helpful to know so you can keep your dishes in good condition if you intend to store an item in the freezer or use it to bake a recipe inside your oven.

Recycling symbol icon

5. Recycling symbols

Recycling symbols indicate whether an item can be recycled and how to sort it from your other recyclables. These symbols typically include a number ranging from 01–07 that specify which type of plastic was used to make the dish.

Induction coil icon

6. Induction compatible

If you have recently installed an induction cooktop, you may be wondering if any of your current cookware is compatible. Induction compatible cookware is usually stamped with a coiled spring symbol on the bottom of the pot or pan. 

Whirlpool® refrigerator and dishwasher in a bright kitchen Whirlpool® refrigerator and dishwasher in a bright kitchen

Explore Whirlpool® dishwashers 

Whirlpool® dishwashers are designed to help you care for your family’s dishes thanks to innovative features and powerful cleaning capabilities. Explore models like the 55 dBA Quiet Dishwasher with Boost Cycle and Pocket Handle with features like the Three 5" Cup Shelves that fit six additional cups or small bowls and the Extended Soak Cycle that helps stuck-on food dissolve away without any extra steps. Whether you’re looking for a top control or front control, Whirlpool brand has the options to fit your needs.

Find more dishwasher & kitchen tips from Whirlpool brand

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