The Stanley Cup is perhaps the most coveted trophy in the world of professional ice hockey. Presented annually to the champions of the National Hockey League (NHL), this trophy has a long and storied history.
But beyond its revered place in sports lore, an unusual question occasionally arises in casual conversation: Are Stanley Cups dishwasher safe?
To answer this, we need to examine the composition and history of the Cup, as well as general guidelines for dishwashing metals.
A Brief Overview of the Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup was named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada in 1892. He was introduced to hockey by his children, and quickly grew fond of the sport.
Wanting to create a symbol of supremacy for Canada’s top-ranking amateur hockey team, he purchased a silver bowl for ten guineas (equivalent to about $50 at that time) from a London silversmith.
Since then, this trophy has evolved and grown, with bands added to accommodate the names of new champions.
Composition of the Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is primarily made of a silver-nickel alloy. While the original bowl that Lord Stanley purchased was purely silver, the modern Cup we’re familiar with today is a mix of metals.
This composition is crucial to understanding how it would react to being in a dishwasher.
Dishwashing and Metals
When it comes to dishwashing, different metals have different reactions. Pure silver, for instance, is prone to tarnishing, especially when exposed to foods like eggs, onions, and certain salts.
A dishwasher’s detergents can accelerate tarnishing, and the heat and prolonged exposure to water might cause warping or other structural changes.
Nickel silver, which is an alloy consisting of copper, zinc, and nickel (and doesn’t contain any actual silver), is sturdier than pure silver.
However, it’s still prone to scratching, tarnishing, and potential warping when exposed to the harsh environment of a dishwasher.
Are Stanley Cups Dishwasher Safe?
Strictly speaking, the Stanley Cup, due to its alloy composition, would likely survive a cycle in the dishwasher. But would it come out in pristine condition? Probably not.
The combination of high heat, strong detergents, and water jets could result in:
- Tarnishing: Over time, even the silver-nickel alloy of the Stanley Cup can tarnish. The dishwasher environment might hasten this process.
- Scratches: Dishwashers, especially when fully loaded, can cause items to clink against each other. Given the Cup’s size and weight, it could easily get scratched.
- Loss of Detail: Over many washes, the names, dates, and intricate details inscribed on the Cup could wear down, especially if they’re subjected to regular abrasive dishwasher detergents.
- Structural Integrity: The heat and water pressure in a dishwasher might, over time, cause slight deformations or warping to the Cup.
A Tradition of Mischief
Of course, the idea of putting the Stanley Cup in a dishwasher might seem preposterous to many.
However, it’s worth noting that the Stanley Cup has seen its share of unusual adventures.
Champions have taken it to the bottom of swimming pools, used it as a feed bowl for horses, and even let babies sit in it! Given these antics, it wouldn’t be completely out of character for someone to wonder if they can toss it in with their evening dishes.
The Official Stance
The NHL and the Hall of Fame, the official custodians of the Stanley Cup, have never provided guidelines on dishwashing the Cup.
However, they do employ a Keeper of the Cup whose job, among other things, is to ensure the Cup’s well-being.
Given the potential risks associated with dishwashers, it’s safe to say that they would not recommend this method of cleaning.
Are Stanley Cups Dishwasher Safe – FAQ
Are all parts of Stanley cup dishwasher safe?
No, not all parts of the Stanley Cup are dishwasher safe. Due to its metal alloy composition, it might tarnish, scratch, or even warp if placed in a dishwasher. It’s best to avoid dishwashing the Stanley Cup.
Are Stanley’s dishwasher friendly?
Many Stanley products are dishwasher safe, but it’s essential to check the specific product’s care instructions.
Is Stanley tumbler lid dishwasher safe?
Some Stanley tumbler lids are dishwasher safe, but always check the specific product’s care instructions.
Why are Stanley mugs so popular?
Stanley mugs are popular due to their durable construction, effective insulation, and iconic brand reputation.
While the Stanley Cup might technically survive a spin in your dishwasher, doing so isn’t advisable. The risks of tarnishing, scratching, and structural damage are just too high. Instead, the Stanley Cup is best admired for its storied history and symbolic value, rather than its potential utility as dishwasher-safe dishware.
In everyday contexts, if you find yourself with a piece of silverware or any other metal item and you’re uncertain about its dishwasher safety, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wash it by hand. And as for the Stanley Cup? Leave the cleaning to the professionals and the celebrating to the champions!