Trésor Redux
April 4, 2018 Is Oracal 651 Dishwasher Durable?

Is Oracal 651 Dishwasher Durable?

I’ve been doing some testing with Oracal 651 trying to figure out if it is DISHWASHER durable.

Phew – what a testing nightmare! For this test, I used a single stoltlz glass (basic stemmed water glass) and some 2 year old Oracal 651.  I created a “test” stencil using a “fat” font (Beachwood) and my favorite phrase for my personal wine glass – “Mom’s Fuzzy Juice”.  Doesn’t take too much wine for me to feel fuzzy!

Beachwood font from
Get this font at

I started with what I call a “fat” font (Beachwood) because all of the advice I’ve run across indicates that the more surface your vinyl covers, the more adhesive you have to work with.  Makes sense right?

Test Processes

So these are the things I tried:

  1. Applied vinyl without any additional adhesive.  Heated for 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
  2. Applied clear (white) Gorilla Glue to the back of the vinyl – let it sit for 1 minute – applied to glass.
  3. Applied Loctite Stick ‘n Seal Outdoor Adhesive to the back of vinyl and applied directly to glass.

After the heated vinyl glass cooled down enough, I did the Gorilla glue and the Loctite adhesive in that order.  I put all three on the same glass.

Applying the Gorilla Glue wasn’t too bad. I used small makeup application brushes because even though I used a “fat” font – the letters were still pretty small.

Applying the Loctite Adhesive was HORRIBLE!  Once again I used makeup application brushes but this stuff got all over EVERYTHING once it connected with my skin!  The stencil looked SOOOOO bad on the glass, I knew right away this was not the solution I was looking for.

The glass sat for a day and a half so that the two adhesives being tested had a chance to dry and “cure”.

I then turned the glass upside down in a pan of HOT tap water (hottest I could get).  Intending to let it sit for only an hour, I got distracted and forgot about it (sometimes multi-tasking is NOT an asset) – for at least 4 hours!

Pulled the glass out of the now cool water, dried it off and checked the vinyl.  Suprisingly, the Gorilla Glue stencil had started to lift already. The J on the word Juice started to lift at the lower left edge. 0 The “heated” vinyl and the messy Loctite vinyl were still well adhered.

Dishwasher Cycles

So now starts the real “testing” process.  I used this glass EVERY night for 10 days.  Not always drinking wine – sometimes I just crave ice cold water – but each night it went into the dishwasher.

  • Top Shelf
  • Normal Cycle
  • Hot Start
  • Hot Wash
  • NO HEATED DRY (I never use this – even when I’m not testing – but it definitely WILL NOT HURT)

Well the Gorilla Glue decision came in on day 3 – the J pulled off completely and part of the e at the end of Juice also came off.

Left: Gorilla Glue             Right: Heat Treated

The Loctite decision came in on day 5 – the ENTIRE stencil came off – possibly because there was so much adhesive “smaggma” around the stencil, it was one solid design piece instead of individual letters.  Thank heaven my hubby didn’t just toss it in the trash when he emptied the dishwasher.  He left it on the kitchen counter with the test glass.  Gotta love a man that not only unloads the dishwasher, but saves the pieces of your ill-fated crafting tests!

I continued to use the glass for 10 more days – putting it into the dishwasher every night.

The BEST MOST DURABLE 651 stencil . . . the heat treated one!

Left: Hot Air Balloon                          Right: Twitter Handle
Other Vinyl Too!

Now I mentioned earlier that I used a “fat” font for these tests due to all of the advice I had run across.  But me being the sceptic I am . . . I had to test a DIFFERENT glass.  I created 24 of these mimosa glasses for my SILs 60th birthday celebration this past October.

Now this was NOT Oracal 651.  It was a glitter vinyl and me-being-me I used a VERY skinny serif font for the Twitter handle.  Not to discount the Hot Air Balloon because it is very intricate and has very small pieces as well!

Since her birthday celebration I have been pampering this glass – hand washing it – pulling it out of hubby’s “soak” sink, and generally being EXTREMELY careful with it.  Mind you hubby has one of these as well but HE put HIS in the dishwasher and, well, there isn’t much of the vinyl left on his. 🙁

Six months AFTER production, I decided to put it through the “heat” test for durability.  Why not?  My 651 was still good to go and heck – if the vinyl comes off – I know the creator and can get another one made!

So I did the same process – 5 minutes at 350 degrees.  Took it out, let it cool, and the FIRST thing I noticed was . . . the small edges on the Twitter handle were no longer curling up.  The # symbol and the E had some curled ends.  I used it that night in lieu of my “Fuzzy” glass and then ran it through the dishwashser.  VOILA – ALL of the those small intricate pieces of vinyl are still there!

So what have I accomplished?  Well I proved (to myself & my hubby) that heating exterior vinyl for a SHORT amount of time (5 minutes) in a moderate heat oven (350 degrees F) helps the vinyl make a strong dishwasher durable adhesion to smooth non-porous surfaces.

If, over the next year or so, I find that either of these projects looses it’s adhesiveness, I will make a separate posting.

Hope this helps those of you that have been struggling with how to get vinyl to adhere to non-pororus surfaces!

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