Just like many other things, 3D printed models also require a thorough cleaning now and then to get rid of the dust and dirt that eventually accumulate to ensure that they look as good as the first day.
When it comes to keeping things clean, the dishwasher is without a doubt one of the first things that come to mind, especially considering how dirty a dish can be before you put it into the dishwasher and how clean it comes out.
While it’s common knowledge that PLA doesn’t do too well in a dishwasher, PETG being a completely different material gives us hope that we might be able to wash the 3D printed models we have manufactured with PETG in a dishwasher.
So, is PETG dishwasher safe? Let’s find out.
Considering that the average dishwasher’s operating temperature falls between 50 to 60 degrees Celsius, PETG should be dishwasher safe in most scenarios as it can withstand temperatures up to a range of 80 to 85 degrees Celsius.
That being said, we highly recommend learning about the specifics of both your dishwasher and your PETG filament to ensure that issues don’t occur.
In the upcoming section, we will analyze the dishwasher safety of PETG in greater detail and cover topics such as how you can find the operating temperature of your dishwasher and the heat resistance of your PETG filament to confirm that the process is safe.
Is PETG Dishwasher Safe?
Knowing whether your PETG is dishwasher safe or not is definitely a helpful piece of information, as a dishwasher allows you to clean your 3D printed models thoroughly with ease.
With the average PETG filament having a glass transition temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Celsius and an average dishwasher having an operating temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius, we can say that PETG filament is dishwasher safe in most cases.
The glass transition temperature of PETG determines the point where the plastic starts to deform and lose its rigidity, making it the temperature we should consider as opposed to the melting point where PETG fully liquefies.
As we can’t rely on averages in such a scenario where the PETG disintegrating would be a disaster, what you will need to do is to find out the temperature your dishwasher operates at and the actual glass transition temperature of the PETG you use.
To start, let’s talk about learning the glass transition temperature of your PETG filament.
The best way to find out the exact glass transition temperature of the PETG filament you have is to check the packaging or go to the manufacturer’s website for the information.
In most cases, one of the two methods should provide you with the required information, which you should note down.
The second and final step is finding the operating temperature of your dishwasher, which can be slightly more challenging.
The safest and most reliable way to learn the operating temperature of your dishwasher is to check the manual of your dishwasher. If you don’t have access to the manual anymore, you can most likely find it online as well.
If you can’t get the information from the manual, an alternative way is to use a dishwasher thermometer that records both the current and the maximum temperature of the dishwasher.
After gathering both pieces of information, all there is left to do is compare the two figures and ensure that the glass transition temperature of your PETG is higher than the operating temperature of your dishwasher by a comfortable margin.
To be on the safe side, we recommend having a margin of 10 degrees Celsius between the PETG glass transition temperature and the dishwasher operating temperature.
Can PETG Melt in the Dishwasher?
To understand whether PETG can melt in the dishwasher or not, we need to start by distinguishing between the glass transition temperature and the melting temperature of PETG.
The melting point of PETG falls between the range of 240-260 degrees Celsius on average, whereas its glass transition temperature is around 80-85 degrees Celsius.
Considering that the average dishwasher has an internal temperature between 50 to 60 degrees Celsius, it’s impossible for PETG to melt and liquefy in a dishwasher under any circumstance.
While unlikely, PETG may deform and soften in a dishwasher (as the glass transition temperature is much lower than the melting point and closer to the average dishwasher temperature) in some cases, but it can never fully melt.
The word “melt” usually incorrectly refers to deforming and warping rather than actually melting in most scenarios, which is the primary source of the confusion.
Is PETG Water Resistant?
Another vital point to consider before putting PETG into the dishwasher is water resistance, as water damage can also easily ruin a model just as heat damage can.
PETG is fully water-resistant, making it a fantastic choice for both projects that will be in direct contact with water for extended amounts of time and for projects you intend to wash in the dishwasher.
In fact, PETG is one of the best filaments for water resistance, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to work on projects where water resistance is a vital factor.
Which Filaments Are Dishwasher Safe?
As PETG isn’t the only type of dishwasher-safe filament, we decided to compile a list of all the filament types with a higher glass transition temperature than the operating temperature of an average dishwasher which you can consider for your projects.
- ABS – 95 to 110 degrees Celsius
- ASA – 90 to 110 degrees Celsius
- HIPS – 110 to 115 degrees Celsius
- Polycarbonate – 80 to 120 degrees Celsius
- High-Temperature PLA
Dishwasher safety is definitely a vital point to consider before printing with the filament of your choice if you intend to wash your 3D printed models in a dishwasher in the future.
To quickly recap, PETG, with an average heat resistance that falls into the range of 80 to 85 degrees Celsius, should be dishwasher safe in most cases as the average dishwasher operates at temperatures between 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.
On the other hand, as the averages may not apply in every case, we strongly urge you to find the exact figures for both your dishwasher’s temperature and for your PETG filament’s heat resistance before washing a 3D printed model in the dishwasher.