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Caring For Your Best Flatware and Your Fine China

Aug 23, 2008
It's important to properly take care of your dinnerware and flatware if you want to keep it looking its best. Unfortunately, most of haven't had the training to take care of silver, china, and other dinnerware. Here are some helpful hints to assist you in being sure that your tableware remains beautiful.

Hand Wash Vintage and Antiques

- Antique or vintage china should never be put in the dishwasher. Always clean them by hand to prevent cracks, chips, and breakage. Plates should be gently scraped and washed carefully using only warm, soapy water. They should be thoroughly rinsed and air dried. Never use harsh cleaners or abrasive materials on fine china.

- Placing a rubber mat or dish towel at the bottom of the sink when you wash your dinnerware and crystal will keep them from cracking or breaking. If you're washing dishes by hand, start with glasses, and follow with dinnerware, flatware, and pots and pans.

Machine Washing is OK for Modern Dinnerware

- Modern dinnerware can often be washed by machine. Load the dishwasher so that your china isn't likely to be rubbed by other dishes, and keep flatware away from it. Metal can rub dinnerware, leaving gray streaks.

-If an accident causes your dishes to develop gray marks, a very mild abrasive is appropriate. Be sure to rinse afterward to remove all traces. In the dishwasher, washing on the shortest cycle will prevent damage. However, you should never use a lemon detergent - it can cause damage to your fine dinnerware.

- If you can, hang cups on hooks for storage, and place a paper towel, dish protector, or cloth between each bowl or plate. Remember that earthenware is a low temperature china and may be fragile. Stoneware is often harder, and porcelain is the hardest. Check manufacturer's specifications to find out how to take care of your china.

- Plates and cups with metallic trim should never be placed in the microwave or dishwasher - this can damage the machine and the dish. If dishes become damaged or broken, you should talk to your manufacturer or seller to find the missing pieces, or use a china replacement service. When you find out that your pattern line will be discontinued, it's time to replace missing items and stock up on pieces that break often.

Proper care of your fine china and other tableware will help them last for many years. Remember that learning as much as possible about your dishware can help you treat it better. If you're not sure what to do, contact the manufacturer. When no information is available, gentle hand washing and drying is appropriate.
About the Author
Robert Cooksey is the publisher of several websites relating to household goods a couple of which provide information and sales of tableware as well as details about fine china gravy boats
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