Caring for Fine Porcelain
Fine porcelain is a mark of class and taste. Its beauty works as well on display in a china cabinet as it does on the table with a delicious meal. A great set of porcelain dinnerware can be passed down from generation to generation – provided, of course, that each generation treats it with some care! But how do you care for fine porcelain? Here are a few essential tips.
Porcelain can break, of course, which is why it’s important to store it properly. Take extra care if you’re packing porcelain for a move – use plenty of cushioning, and consider insuring it in case anything happens to it.
At home, many people prefer to store their porcelain on display. For this purpose, a china cabinet is best. Glass doors on a sturdy china cabinet keep away fingers, pet cats, and even gusts of wind. Locks on the doors will keep the kids (and nosy dinner guests) away from the good stuff. You’ll want a sturdy china cabinet with a hefty bottom that helps it resist tipping and shaking. Don’t skimp on plate holders if you’re displaying your porcelain upright, and consider padding stacks of plates.
Of course, you may want to actually use these beautiful plates! But if you don’t want them damaged, you may want to be careful about who you let use them and what kind of food you serve.
Porcelain is best used for special occasions, when everyone is on their best behavior (and, perhaps, the kids aren’t around!). And as for what you serve, now might not be the best time to grill up the steaks – unless you want everyone sawing away with steak knives on your best plates.
Once everyone has filled up on your fantastic meal, it’s time to clean the porcelain. Bad news, though: using the dishwasher isn’t a good idea. Your fancy appliances and great plumbing system are wonderful things, but dishwashers can be rough on fine porcelain, so cleaning porcelain is a job that’s best done by hand.
You’ll want to avoid the steel wool, as well, unless you prefer your porcelain all scratched up. In fact, try to avoid any kind of tough cleaning tool – if it’s designed to be abrasive, you don’t want it anywhere near your porcelain. Use a soft sponge or dishcloth that you’re sure won’t scratch up your fine porcelain dinnerware. The same goes for the cleaner itself: don’t use abrasive stuff like bleach. Stick to mild soaps. You’ll also want to use warm (not hot!) water. Air drying is fine. Be careful about how you manage the plates as you wash and dry. For instance, if you stack them up in the sink, one dropped plate can smash through a whole bunch of its compatriots, so it’s wiser to keep the sink clear as you work.
If you’re careful with how you store, use, and wash your porcelain dinnerware, there’s no reason that one set can’t last you a lifetime – or last your family several lifetimes! If you know how to care for it, you can both use and enjoy your porcelain while also keeping it safe.
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