Is potentially contaminated water safe for washing dishes?

Hand-washed dishes: No! Use boiled (then cooled) water, water from an alternate source, or after washing with dish detergent rinse for a minute in a dilute bleach (1 tablespoon of unscented bleach per gallon of water). Allow dishes, cutlery, cups, etc. to completely air dry before use.
Home dishwasher: Yes, if the hot wash is at least 170o F and includes a full dry cycle. However, most home dishwashers do not reach this temperature. If you are uncertain of the temperature of your dishwasher, rinse in dilute bleach and completely air dry as described for hand washed dishes.
Commercial dishwasher: Yes, if it is a NSF listed washer and manufactured and operated with a heat sanitizing rinse set at 170oF that lasts for at least 30 seconds. Additional information on commercial dishwashers can be found in the fact sheets for food service establishments.
CAUTION - "Green" or "Environmentally Friendly" dish washer additives, which may be advertised as a disinfectant or anti-microbial, are weaker disinfectants and should not be relied on alone to eliminate potential pathogens.

Show All Answers

1. How long will the need to boil water continue?
2. How do I boil my water so that it is safe to drink?
3. Does my in-home water treatment system provide enough protection?
4. What if I have a reverse osmosis treatment unit on my faucet or house?
5. What is an acceptable alternate source for safe drinking water?
6. Is it safe to use bottled water?
7. What container should I use to obtain water from another location?
8. Can I use my water for cooking?
9. What if I am boiling my water as part of the cooking process?
10. How should I wash fruit and vegetables and make ice?
11. Can I use my water for making baby formula or drinks?
12. Is potentially contaminated water safe for washing dishes?
13. Is potentially contaminated water safe for washing clothes?
14. Can I brush my teeth with the water without boiling it?
15. Is potentially contaminated water safe for bathing and shaving?
16. How should I wash my hands during a boil water notice?
17. Should I use hand sanitizing lotion or wipes?
18. Is the water safe to give to my pet?
19. Does a boil water notice affect how I can use my toilets?
20. What if I have already consumed potentially contaminated water?