Caring for your fine china can be a stressful task. Follow these easy steps to ensure your precious pieces keep looking as good as new
We know how dear you hold the china you were handed down by your mother – those precious plates she saved only for special occasions, the ones you were instructed to handle with care, no matter what. Now that you have them in your possession, here are a few things you can do to ensure they remain sparkling new:
You can’t store these delicate plates just as you store your other dinnerware. Remember these are made of delicate material, so the first step in caring for these is by storing them correctly.
1. Avoid stacking them one on top of the other as this can cause chipping. If you don’t have enough space to keep each piece separately, use tissues or soft felt cut to size between each when placing one on top of the other
2. Even after taking these precautions, limit the stack to just five or six items. Higher stacks build pressure on the lowest plate / bowl and are more prone to tipping over
3. Store your plates away from directly sunlight. Exposure to harsh sunlight can cause their colour to fade. It is best to store them at room temperature
4. When storing them in the cupboard, make sure you line the shelf with translucent / soft tissue paper or even a thin towel. Avoid newspaper as the ink tends to rub on to surfaces
5. If you’re storing these away in boxes, line the box with some padding. Label them so you don’t have to rifle through every box when you need a particular piece. If you’re storing these in a cupboard to put on display, make sure the shelves have grooves to prevent accidental slips
Don’t be afraid of using your china for fear of spoiling it. While you may limit the use to just festivals or special family dinners, there are still precautions you need to take when cleaning them up. Here’s what you can do.
1. Water that’s too hot or too cold is a big no-no. The ideal temperature would be a lukewarm setting
2. Avoid harsh detergents, not just the purely chemical ones but even those with lemon extracts or scent. These are acidic and can cause surface corrosion
3. It is always better to line the sink with a soft towel or rubber mat when washing. This way, even if the plate or bowl slips through your soapy hands, the danger of chipping or cracking is minimised
4. Wash the dishes immediately after use to prevent a build up of hard crusts on the plate. If at all there is leftover food stuck on it, don’t use a scrubber. Use a wet towel or soft sponge to gently remove the particles
5. Once you are done cleaning and rinsing, place them on a soft towel for drying. Place each piece face down to enable faster drying. If you want to wipe them dry, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to do so
To maintain the vibrancy of your china, it is best to store them in a place which doesn't receive direct and harsh sunlight. It is best to store them at room temperatures. Also, make sure you don't stack them in a high pile as this could lead to chipping.
When storing china in cartons, preferably use corrugated cardboard containers as they provide some cushioning. If you're using plain cardboard boxes, line them with soft padding to prevent breaking and cracking.
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