Being in the business of dinnerware, we know how confusing it can be to know how best to care for your dinner service. Given how many types of dinner wear there are, knowing whether or not to use cloths or scrubby sponges, whether or not to put it in the dishwasher or to wash by hand, can be a puzzle.
So we thought we would start a little guide to help. Over three blogs, we will give you tips and ideas, so that you can keep your dinner service in the best possible condition.
We will be starting with your crockery, followed by glassware and cutlery.
There are, of course, several types of crockery that you can purchase, and that we supply. There are also several materials that they can be made from, these include glass, porcelain, stoneware, earthenware and bone china.
There are also different types of glaze, and methods of glaze.
This is a decoration method, mostly used on porcelain, in which coloured decoration or design is applied on top of a previously glazed and fired piece on pottery and then fixed by firing again and a low temperature. It produces a somewhat enamelled effect.
This is a pottery decoration method where the painted design is applied to the unglazed surface, before being covered with a ceramic glaze and fired in the kiln. Due to the decoration being underneath the glaze, it is completely durable and allows the pottery to have a uniform sheen. The is much easier to care for, as it is far less delicate and susceptible to damage than other methods.
The different materials used to make your dinner service also affect how you should care for it.
Porcelain and bone china
Normal porcelain is made of kaolin, a type of white clay. It is fired at a higher temperature and is translucent. Bone china is made with kaolin with added animal bone ash, it is fired at a higher temperature, is thin, lightweight and extremely durable.
Unfortunately, as with all types of dinner wear, cleaning off stains, such as tea rings and cutlery marks, can be somewhat of a pain. With porcelain being quite delicate, you need gentle methods to remove these stains and keep your set in the best condition.
Whilst china variants, such as stoneware, are sturdier and more durable, and can be safely cleaned in a dishwasher or cleaned with slightly more abrasive products, it is more advisable to hand-wash porcelain and bone china dishes. Even though porcelain and bone china are relatively hard, and seem quite solid, they can be delicate, as they are often thinner that other materials. This means they can be brittle and therefore chip or become damaged easily. Harsh chemical cleaners and bleach shouldn’t be used when cleaning porcelain, as these are abrasive and will damage the items. To remove stains and marks on porcelain, one option is to use a soft, damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda (bicarbonate soda) and rub gently on the stained area. If you don’t have bicarb, you can use toothpaste instead. However, do not use a toothbrush or rough sponge on it, as this will damage the porcelain.