Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter

Taking Care of Dinnerware

Posted by Joan 22/02/2021 0 Comment(s) Tips,

We are blogging today about care of dinnerware. It is winter and cold winds chilling the walls of our homes and we are finding comfort in warm food and drink. This month of February we have been busy answering customers' queries about the fragility of their dinnerware.


Why is special handling required for Bone China?  I've heard it's very strong!

Last week a client called to replace her Bone China Tea Pot. At the start of the conversation, she commented that she thought Bone China dinnerware was considerd to be "very strong". I remember my mother, Lina Shanfield, throwing Bone China dinnerplates onto the carpeted store floor and standing on the plate! Yes dinnerware can be strong, however it is also prone to fracture. We are sure that you think a Diamond is very stong, correct? Yes, it is the hardest mineral known to man. However, the diamond is also able to be split with the gentle tap of a hammer at the point where it will fracture. The same goes for dinnerware.


Temperature variations can be damaging

We have "winter rules" for dinnerware and here they are. Never store dinnerware in an uninsulated or poorly insulated cupblard that backs onto the oustide wall of your home. Especially if that wall is hit with winter winds and lashing cold snow. If the dinnerware is at all cold and you put hot food or hot soup into a chilled bowl don't be suprised if the plate or bowl develops a fracture. You may not see the harline split but with time, the piece of china will break having been compromized by sudden fluctuation in temperature.


Some like it hot...

  1. Fine china and bone china cannot stand to be put into the oven. You may "warm your plates" so your food will remain hot at the table, however nothing above 100 degrees farenheit.
  2. Never put a porcelain plate on a stove top element.
  3. When you wish to use your Tea or Coffe Pot or even a porcelain Pitcher for hot or cold "warm the pot" with a tepid swish from tap water to warm the pot. Putting a Silver Spoon into the pot will also quickly aborb hot water as it is poured into the pot from the kettle.
  4. Do not pour kettle water into any bone china or porcelain container without a swishing of warm tap water.
  5. Do not use your dinner plates as "pot lids". They cannot stand the steam. 


Ice...Ice...Ice...enemy of fine dinnerware

The same precautions as one would take with hot have to be used with cold.

  1. Do not drop cold ice cubes into a crystal or porclain container.
  2. Never put bone china or porclain into the freezer.
  3. Never put food for storage in the fridge in your fine china. It is likely to break and again the cold temperature of the "ice box" is not good for dinnerware. If you take cold dinnerware from the fridge and put the dirty dish into the dishwasher where it is exposed to hot water being splashed against it do not expect the dinnerware to survive.
  4. Do not store dinnerware in your cold garage over the winter either.


Protect the finish of your fine china

Yesterday a customer had to replace 3 of her 12 dinnerplates. They had cracked! She had her set for 40 years and it was well used. What was the issue? There are other reasons dinnerware cracks besides temperature fluctuations. If you use serrated knives on your fine china, you are scratcing the suface. Over time, moisture from food and dishwashing will seep into the scratches and be absorbed by the dinnerware. The absorption will cause the dinnerware to swell and damage the glaze and the item may crack.

Stacking dinnerware more than 8 plates high is also dangerous. The weight of the plates could crack those on the bottom of the pile. Rotate your dinnerware. Not only will this keep the colours on the dinnerware looking the same; over time the usage will be evenly distributed. Do not stack Tea Cups into each other. Rather, hang from hooks screwed into the underside of the shelf. The handles and lips will not be damaged this way. Storing dinnerware so it will be less prone to scratching is easily accomplished. Just put a paper napkin between each plate. The underside of dinnerware is rough where it rested on the shelf while being glazed this is the reason dinnerware in storage scratches.


Bonus Advice:  Is your Fine China, Cutlery and Stemware Microwave- and Dishwasher-safe?

We'd like to offer some general recommendations about the use of your fine china, cutlery and stemware that will help prolong its beauty and functionality.

  1. Do not put platinum, silver or gold banded dinnerware into the microwave. It will cause arcing and that will blacken the metal trims. Even if your microwave professes to being metal-safe, be wary of arcing.
  2. You can wash Sterling Silver Flatware and Holloware in the dishwasher only if the handles of the knives are soldered - not filled with putty.
  3. Never put any stainless steel in with the sterling silver at the same time. Sterling and Stainless interact chemically when submerged in water, and they will develop black spots that are almost impossible to polish out.  Sterling is also affected by salt and harsh chemicals such as chlorine, so make sure you are not using a chlorine-bleach enhanced dishwasher detergent.
  4. Why not put crystal into the dishwasher? When crystal is "mouth blown and hand cut" there is a Patina that blooms over the glass. The pitting action of detergents and powerful water jets will pit the finish on the crystal and dull the patina. The glassware may even be cast with a white film.
  5. Do not dry crystal lip down. This is a recipe for disaster. Always rest crystal on its base. Dry crystal with small linen towels that will not leave any lint.


We hope you appreciate our exposé today. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call us. 




Write a Comment