Are Moscow Mule Mugs Dishwasher Safe?

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Moscow Mule Mug CocktailSo you finally purchased a set of Moscow Mule mugs and, after a night of cocktails with friends and family, you find yourself wondering if Moscow Mule copper mugs are dishwasher safe. While it’s recommended that you hand wash your copper mugs, some can actually be run through the dishwasher. Whether or not your cups are dishwasher safe depends on what kind of mugs you own. Pure copper mugs are the favorite of Moscow Mule purists.

These cups are made of nothing but 100% copper and are the original, and most famous, style of Moscow Mule mug – click here for the review. These unlined, uncoated mugs are the only kind of copper vessels that are technically dishwasher safe. Though, since they’ll tend to tarnish if they’re repeatedly washed in a dishwasher, cleaning them by hand is still recommended. Lined cups are copper Moscow Mule mugs that have an interior lining of a metal like nickel or stainless steel and are usually coated on the outside with copper.

Today, this is the style you’ll most likely see in most online stores as well as in restaurants and bars. These mugs are definitely not dishwasher safe because the water and dishwashing soap can weaken the copper coating, leaving it prone to chipping and peeling. While this will likely happen over time anyway, exposing your new cups to harsh detergents will only speed up the weathering process. The final style of Moscow Mule mug is 100% solid copper but coated with a food-safe lacquer finish.

These copper mugs are another style that is definitely not dishwasher safe since the harsh chemicals found in today’s detergents, coupled with hot water, can wear away the lacquer coating and speed up the tarnishing process. So if you can’t throw your copper mugs in the dishwasher, how do you clean them? Luckily, these beautiful copper cups are actually very easy to care for. And best of all, with the proper maintenance, you can count on using them for years to come.

How Do You Clean a Copper Mug?

If putting your lined or coated Moscow Mule mugs in the dishwasher will ruin them. And if even pure copper cups will get tarnished and blotchy if run through the machine, then how do you wash them? The answer is simple, and while it does require a little bit of elbow grease, it’s also incredibly easy. Moscow Mule copper mugs should be hand washed after each use.

To properly maintain the finish of your new cocktail mug and keep it as free from tarnish as possible, simply was your mug with mild dish soap and a soft sponge or dish cloth. And if you don’t want to scrub, simply rinse them with some warm, soapy water right after using your mug. Once your cups are nice and clean, just dry them thoroughly and they’ll be ready for your next cocktail party.

How Do You Care for a Copper Mug?

While Moscow Mule copper cups are made from a delicate metal, aside from the inevitable tarnishing, they’re actually very easy to care for. As long as you avoid using a dishwasher, keep them clean, dry them immediately after washing, and store them in a warm, dry place, you can expect your copper cocktail mugs to withstand years of use.

If you clean your copper cup after each use and avoid placing it in a dishwasher, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is occasionally polishing your mug. This is because, no matter how well you care for them, copper cups are bound to tarnish over time. Luckily, polishing these cups is incredibly easy and we’ll discuss how to restore the shine and beauty to your Moscow Mule cocktail mug next.

How to Clean Tarnished Copper Mugs?

Owning copper Moscow Mule mugs means that eventually you’ll have to deal with some unsightly blotches and tarnishing. This is natural for the metal and doesn’t mean that your mugs are ruined. There are several options available for polishing these copper cups and, whichever method you choose, it’s guaranteed to restore your favorite cocktail vessel back to its original luster and shine. There are several commercial copper polishes on the market today.

These polishes are specifically designed to remove tarnish from copper with minimal effort. One of the best products on the market is Wright’s Copper Cream. Simply apply some of this copper cleaner onto a polishing cloth and rub your mug until all of the tarnish is removed. Once your mug is completely polished, hand wash it thoroughly, dry it completely, and it will be good as new.

For people looking for an affordable and natural alternative to chemical polishes, you can simply make a mixture of lemon juice and sea salt and use it to polish your copper mug. Scrub the mixture onto your mug with a soft-bristled tooth brush, removing the tarnish from your cup’s surface. Once all of the tarnish is removed from your cocktail cup, simply hand wash it with gentle dish soap, dry it thoroughly, and you’ll be amazed at how shiny it looks.


You don’t need to let the fear of maintaining a set of copper Moscow Mule mugs prevent you from purchasing them for your next cocktail party. While they might appear to need a lot of specialized care, they’re actually very easy to maintain. If you just remember to keep them out of the dishwasher, hand wash them after each use, and use one of the above methods of polishing them, they’ll be the centerpieces of your home’s cocktail bar for years to come.

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