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Are Camping or Enamel Mugs Microwave & Dishwasher Safe?

Enamel cookware has been used for centuries and some high-quality enamel pieces can last a lifetime. Enamel dinnerware is one of the safest dinnerware options for kids.

Enamel dinnerware can withstand being heated to high temperatures as well as low temperatures. Maybe you are having tea in your enamel mug and want to reheat it in your microwave after it has gone cold. But is that safe? 

Are camping or enamel mugs microwave & dishwasher safe?

It is not safe to microwave enamel mugs but it’s completely safe to wash them in a dishwasher. Under the enamel coat, enamel mugs have good quality steel, which cannot be used in the microwave. It doesn’t get damaged in a dishwasher as it is coated in a durable enamel finish. 

Why are camping mugs enamel?

It performs as an insulator:

Enamel mugs can keep your coffee or drink hot for hours after hours. It is a perfect way to warm up during a cold camping night. They also heat up very quickly.

This is because, underneath the enamel coating, there is steel. The heat spreads throughout the enamel piece, just like a metal mug, so don’t worry about it not heating up properly.

They can be used in campfires:

A portable stove might not always be available during camping. Not all mugs can be put directly over a campfire, unlike enamel mugs. They won’t crack or damage in those high temperatures.

(Do it with caution) Make sure to let it cool down to room temperature before washing it when you’re back home. 

It is both durable and strong:

They are made out of heavy-gauge steel and can last decades! Moreover, don’t worry if you accidentally drop it while camping and hiking because it is not easily breakable.

This makes them very dependable and sturdy compared to other types of mug materials. The mug might chip if you drop it on a hard surface but it will not completely break. 

Enamel mugs are lightweight:

Although they are strong, they are not heavy. Camping equipment is heavy itself and added heavy mugs can make it worse to carry.

This is why enamel mugs are suitable for camping trips. They are very lightweight and you can carry many enamel mugs in your bag. 

Are enamel mugs microwave safe?

Never put anything made out of enamel in a microwave. Enamel mugs are very similar to metal mugs as they have steel under the coating.

If you microwave enamel mugs, it can start an electrical fire in your house. It can break your microwave too. Make sure to inform your children of this as it is a safety risk. 

Instead of a microwave, you can place it over other heat sources. This could be a gas stove or an electric stove. A flame from any fire works perfectly too.

Enamel mugs heat up very quickly so keep an eye on them every 15 seconds. It is to make sure that your liquid or food isn’t getting too hot. 

Harsh temperature changes can cause damage to your enamel mug. Before heating it, allow it to return to room temperature first. 

Can enamel mugs go in the dishwasher?

Enamel mugs can go in the dishwasher. They are lightweight and dishwasher safe because the coating is durable. Modern enamel mugs are said to be dishwasher safe but dishwashers might not be safe for some vintage enamel pieces.

Stain removers and detergents can reduce the fresh and new look of your enamelware. Strong abrasives and cleaning ingredients should be used as a last resort. Over time, they can deteriorate the shine of your enamelware. 

Precaution: Don’t stack wet enamelware together as the dishes might cling together. It can get tough to separate them and might result in scratches on the top coating of your enamel mug. 

Can you cook in an enamel mug?

You can. It is safe and you don’t require other cooking materials. You can put enamel mugs directly over open flames, whether it’s a stove or campfire. You can boil water, make coffee, hot chocolate, beans, soup, wine, tea, and just about anything.  

As mentioned before, it can withstand high amounts of heat without any damage. The heat spreads very quickly so check it repeatedly. 

Can you boil water in an enamel mug?

You can boil water in an enamel mug. Enamel mugs are highly resistant to heat. Don’t worry about it being fragile. In fact, you can put enamel mugs directly over the campfire or stove. You don’t even need a kettle.

This is because porcelain enamel is made fused with good quality steel. This makes it last longer. 

Moreover, enamel mugs were specially made to be used in nature. This is why they are often referred to as campfire mugs. 

Are enamel mugs safe to use? 

They are perfectly safe to use and ideal for homes with children. They are able to handle both high and low temperatures so they are not easy to break. They are durable. Not only that, they are shatterproof.

Children are likely to easily drop things but enamel mugs don’t shatter. Enamel mugs can still be used if they are chipped. It can be hard to destroy tough enamel cookware or dinnerware. 

It also retains heat and is food-safe. The heat level spreads throughout the pan to keep the temperatures safe. It doesn’t cool down quickly, keeping your liquid warm in the mug. In addition, don’t worry about the material from enamel mugs contaminating your drinks.

The metal does not come in contact with the liquid as it is protected by porcelain. The metal underneath might reveal if the porcelain chips but it will still be safe to use. This is because the metal will naturally oxidize. 

Besides microwaves, it is completely safe to use enamel mugs on stoves, ovens, bonfire, fridge, freezer, and dishwasher without damaging the coating or design. 

What are enamel mugs made of?

Enamel mugs are mostly made from steel then coated with enamel to prevent rusting and wear. The material comes from melted and fused glass powder. Traditional enamelware is not made using a machine.

The process involves multiple steps which require coating cast iron or steel with powdered glass and then it is fired in a kiln at high temperatures of around 750°C to 850°C. The additional coating also helps evenly distribute heat throughout the surface. 

Are enamel mugs toxic?

Modern-day enamel cookware is completely free of toxic and it inert to the normal acids and bases used in everyday cooking. 

Some people fear that there is lead in enamel cookware because the coating on enamel is often made with clay which can form lead. But these are rarely ever on the interior and low on the exterior of the mug.

If you are highly concerned about the toxin levels, you can purchase a lead test kit and test your mug for lead. 

Hydrated sodium silicate(water glass) can form if strong caustics react with the mug but this should never occur in normal usage. Moreover, the hydrated sodium silicate formed is harmless. 

How do you clean enamel mugs?

Enamel mugs are easy to clean. Stubborn stains and dirt can be removed in a matter of seconds with basic household ingredients. A simple cleaning alternative is a mixture of lemon and baking soda.

Do this after soaking your mugs in warm water for around 10 to 15 minutes. This is a non-toxic method as cleaning products have harsh chemicals in them. 

Try not to use vinaigrette as it can change the color of the enamel. Abrasive cleaning sponges or brushes and gritty soap powders can scratch the surface of your enamel mug. It can remove the parts of the outer decorative layer too.

So be careful with that! Use soft sponges and wood or rubber utensils. Sharp metal edges can hamper your mug. 

Can enamel mugs break? 

Enamel mugs are said to be shatterproof which means it will still be fine if you drop them. It is a hard material but it can chip.

Although unlikely, enamel mugs can break when subjected to great pressure. After all, it has glass in it. Just try not to throw your enamel mug on a hard surface. 

Most manufacturers say to avoid using chipped enamel mugs because it could lead to accidental ingestion of the enamel. The exposed metal is less of an issue. You can get it repaired if there are warranty or repair services available. 

You can repair the chipped enamel from scratch too by purchasing an epoxy. Make sure the epoxy is safe for food. Gently fill the chipped areas and let the epoxy set on the mug. Then use waxed paper to flatten the epoxy.

Who makes the best enamelware?

Crow Canyon and Falcon are the two biggest makers of enamelware in the world. Crow Canyon does not sell directly from its website. They do sell in plenty of major physical stores such as Crate and Barrel, Target, Urban Outfitters, Zara Home, West Elm, and many more.

It could be out of stock sometimes as it is a seasonal product. You can find them all year on online sites such as Amazon and Schoolhouse Electric. 

Le Creuset is also a popular brand that offers enamel products. Their cast iron is never made from recycled materials and is high quality.

Caring for your enamelware is important. It can become worn over the years if you expose it to corrosive elements and harsh temperatures. Unless you want sparks to fly, do not put your enamel mugs in the microwave.

Get a microwave teapot instead. And before using the dishwasher for your enamel mugs, check if it’s safe or not. Most manufacturers will tell you that it is dishwasher safe. But it is suggested to keep it to a limit as the porcelain surface can get damaged.

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