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How to Care for Porcelain Dinnerware

Cynthia Measom

Porcelain dinnerware is known for its elegance, as well as its fragility. Due to these qualities, many people choose to use their porcelain dishes only on special occasions.

Other forms of dinnerware, such as stoneware, are quite durable due to their ability to withstand the extreme hot and cold temperatures of the microwave, oven, refrigerator and freezer; many porcelain dishes cannot tolerate such conditions. In fact, most porcelain dinnerware needs to be used and cared for in a gentle and specific manner in order to preserve it.

Handwashing Tips

  1. Place a plastic dishwashing container in the sink to cushion the porcelain dinnerware while washing.

  2. Fill the container about halfway full of lukewarm water. Place only one or two dishes at a time in the container to avoid overloading.

  3. Use a mild liquid dish detergent and a non-abrasive cleaning tool such as a soft-bristled brush or a dish cloth to wash the porcelain dinnerware.

  4. Rinse the dishes off in a lukewarm running water, or place another container in the sink for rinsing purposes.

  5. Thoroughly dry the dishes with a soft dish towel.

Dishwashing Tips

  1. Refer to the manufacturer's care instructions when considering placing porcelain dinnerware in a dishwasher. Older porcelain or antique porcelain should be handwashed.

  2. Load the dishwasher with care by making sure that none of the porcelain dinnerware touches another piece. If dishes are allowed to rub or vibrate during the dishwasher's cycle, chipping or cracking could result.

  3. Use a gentle wash setting. Avoid using a high heat drying setting for your porcelain dinnerware. Choose a lower setting, or one with no heat.

  4. Use a mild dishwashing detergent that will not be abrasive to the porcelain.

  5. Allow the porcelain to completely cool before you attempt to remove any pieces from the dishwasher.

General Care

  1. Do not allow acidic foods to remain on your dishes. Wash them as soon as possible by using one of the methods above.

  2. Place something between the porcelain plates during storage. Napkins, paper towels or the foam pads that were part of the original packing can be used to keep the dishes from sustaining scratch or scuff marks.

  3. Never allow the porcelain to come into contact with a direct flame, as cracking can result.

  4. Warning

    Avoid using lemon or acidic detergents when cleaning porcelain dinnerware. These type of cleaners may be harmful.

    Do not leave porcelain dinnerware submerged in water for extended periods of time.