Skip To Content
 How to Clean Fine China in a Dishwasher

How to Clean Fine China in a Dishwasher

Fine china refers to high-quality, lightweight, elegant, and refined dinnerware made from either porcelain or bone china. It is delicate and easy to break, so extreme caution is recommended when washing and drying fine china dishes and cups.  

Though most fine china dishware should be washed by hand, you can still wash some fine china in your dishwasher. 

However, it is important that you only use a detergent recommended by the leading dishwasher manufacturers, such as Finish, and utilize the appropriate dishwasher program and cycle

Read our article to understand how to clean fine china in a dishwasher to keep it sparkling while maintaining nostalgia and a sense of specialness. 

Pay attention to manufacturers instructions

It is better to hand wash vintage china dishware, especially if it has been repaired, as dishwasher washing can weaken adhesives and potentially cause the loss of small pieces. In addition, several other things, including vintage china, should never be put into the dishwasher

However, modern fine china has come a long way in recent years, and most of it is dishwasher-safe. It is always beneficial to check the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure that no precautions against dishwashers are listed.

Once you get the go-ahead from the manufacturer’s instructions, all that is left is to stick to a gentle wash cycle with a lower temperature and always choose the best dishwasher tablet for sparkling clean, fine dishware. 

Washing fine china in a dishwasher

Follow the instructions below to clean fine china dishware in a dishwasher. 

1. Scrape off excess food particles

Scrape off the excess food particles using a spoon from the fine china. The longer you let the food particles sit on the fine china, the more the acid will eat away at all the fine china’s glaze. 

In addition, your machine could be more likely to get clogged - increasing the need for unclogging more frequently - if you’re not scraping off large bits of food from your dishes and bakeware. 

It’s important to remember that dishes don’t need to be rinsed before they go in the dishwasher. 

2. Load the fine china in the dishwasher

Despite how advanced your dishwasher or how powerful your dishwashing detergent may be, you risk unsatisfactory cleaning if you don’t load your dishwasher correctly. 

When loading fine china dishware in a dishwasher, space it evenly and securely so it does not run into each other during the wash cycle. A loose china plate can clank against another dish, leading to chipping and other damage.

3. Set the wash cycle 

Select the shortest, gentlest wash cycle to prevent overheating the fine china dishware. Consider using a Finish rinse aid to prevent water spots from forming on your fine china while ensuring streak-free and brilliant shine.


No, metallic inclusions and trims on fine china can easily tarnish and warp, so they should never be put through the dishwasher. Even just one wash can damage the finish and design.

Fine china tends to react negatively to extremely hot or extremely cold water. Set your dishwasher temperature to warm when washing fine china to achieve better cleaning results.

Washing antique or vintage china in a dishwasher is generally not recommended. Instead, it needs to be hand-washed. Fortunately, the newer fine china is completely dishwasher-safe.