This week we present the first installment on how to clean and maintain your china. There is something to be said for the sumptuous simplicity of afternoon tea shared with those we love, warm and unhurried, each sip savored from a dainty china cup. Teacups and saucers and fine china pieces offer so much more than beautiful patterns and tasteful designs – they evoke a time when life was less complicated and more elegant and when beautiful things could be enjoyed.

Enjoying your fine china pieces should be something you engage in more than just on special occasions. Use your pieces as often as possible, love them without reservation and appreciate the memories they represent.

Once your meal is over, rinse your dishes as promptly as possible. Acidic foods and drinks that stain like tea and coffee can all shorten the life expectancy of your dinnerware. Now that you’ve dusted off your pieces and used them, here is a few handy tips on how to clean and maintain your fine china.

Easy To Follow Steps

  • Place a towel at the bottom of your sink
  • Use warm soapy water
  • Do not overfill your sink
  • Rinse well
  • Dry with a clean, lint-free cloth

Warm Water is Key

One of the things that cause damage to bone china is stress. Sometimes, stress is caused by temperature fluctuations. Putting your fine china in very hot water can cause the glaze to develop a network of fine lines known as crazing. This breach in the protective layer can put your pieces at risks by harboring germs and bacteria. You could be potentially serving more than just scones and tea!

Just Say No To The Dishwasher

Even though your dishwashing machine may have a fine china setting on it that doesn’t subject your teacups and saucers to high temperatures, the abrasiveness of the detergent alone should deter you from opting from this carefree method. Exposing your fine china to the dishwasher may not show negative results initially, but over time, the patterns and gold will begin to wear. Handwashing is always the best option and a guaranteed way to protect your investment.

Butter Fingers

If you are anything like me, you drop things…All. The. Time. It’s tough when you are holding a soapy teacup. They just seem to want to propel themselves right out of your hands. When this happens, I am always thankful that my sink is lined with a towel and that I haven’t overcrowded it. It’s better to do a few pieces and add more than to fill your sink. The clinging and clanging of pieces against one another will increase the risk of chips and cracks.

The acid from lemons can harm your fine china
Acids like citric acid can be harmful to fine china

What You Cannot See

Many of our everyday events are chemical reactions without us even realizing it. When We think of chemical reactions, we often think of explosions but the truth is chemical reactions happen in our home on a daily basis.

Soaps produce a chemical reaction known as emulsification that causes the dirt and grease to bind with the soap and subsequently allows us to lift them off the surface. For this reason, it is important to rinse your dishes well to halt the chemical reaction that takes place. It is best to use dish soap that does not contain citric acid or harsh chemicals, such as lemon or bleach.  There are many things going on that we cannot see and therefore we must be mindful of what we use when cleaning our dishes to prevent damage.

Fighting Stains

If they do become stained, baking soda is your best friend. Place some baking soda a damp dishcloth and rub the affected area. If this fails to remove the stain completely, pour a small amount of baking soda into the bottom of the cup, then mix equal parts water and white vinegar deep enough to cover the stain. Let this soak for a few hours then wipe the stained area with a damp cloth, then wash the cup. For foods caked onto china plates, soak them in water until the food softens or comes loose. Never use abrasive scouring pads or chemical cleaning pads like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as these can dull and damage the glaze and cause scratches. For stains that do not respond to these methods, check out our upcoming blog post that tests methods of removing the most stubborn stains.

Following these simple, easy steps to help you clean and maintain your fine china and keep them looking new for you to enjoy them for many years to come. Check back next Monday for another installment of our blog and don’t forget to enter our monthly giveaway here!

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