Kitchen & Cooking

Once and for all, can you put Tupperware in the dishwasher?

Finally, an answer to your burning question

Can Tupperware go in the dishwasher? Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

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There are many questions worth answering: Are we alone in the universe? What's the meaning of life? And of course, can you put Tupperware in the dishwasher?

This ancient conundrum is tainted by myth, legend, and outdated information. Not to worry, we're here to set the record straight. The answer is yes, maybe, and sort of.

Age-old caveat

Vintage
Credit: Creative Pro

Tupperware made before 1979 is not dishwasher safe.

Let's start off by saying that your mom will probably say that you can't put Tupperware, or other plastic containers, in the dishwasher. This widely held belief comes from the fact that prior to 1979, Tupperware was not dishwasher safe.

However, due to a combination of advances in material science and dishwasher design, this is no longer the case. Still, you should always check that the container has markings indicating it's dishwasher safe.

Location, location, location

Upper Rack
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Place Tupperware in the upper rack to prevent it from touching the heating element.

Tupperware has two main adversaries inside the dishwasher: water jets and heating elements.

When you place your storage containers on the lower rack, high pressure from the washer's jets can dislodge it.

Make sure you always place Tupperware on the top rack of the dishwasher.

If that happens, there's a chance the container will fall and touch the heating element–the metal coil at the bottom of some dishwashers. That coil is hot enough to warp and melt plastic.

So, simple enough, just make sure you always place Tupperware on the top rack of the dishwasher.

Temper your expectations

Drying
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

If you place Tupperware in the dishwasher, you will have to hand dry.

Getting dry plastics at the end of a dishwasher cycle is something that eludes modern science. We've tested dozens and dozens of models, and none have managed to completely dry off plastic items. If you put plastic in the dishwasher, expect to hand dry.

What about BPA?

BPA

Most manufacturers have moved away from plastics that contain BPA.

Any Tupperware made after 2010 is BPA-free. This is also the case for other storage containers many other manufacturers. Check the packaging to be sure.