I learned a valuable lesson when I was very young: if you put mom’s fine china into the microwave, it would start a fire.
No need to ask me HOW I know that, I just know. We’ll leave it at that. (Hint: it has something to do with the real gold rim around the edges of the dishes)
Especially since I now have all of that china in my own possession, I have remembered to NOT place it in the microwave. After it’s used, I wash it. It’s stored in my china cabinet. And that’s about it as far as care is concerned.
So when Tate from Keen & Co. contacted me about doing a post and sharing an info-graphic on how to care for your tableware, I was a bit confused at first. HOW to CARE for tableware? I mean, how many ways are there to care for tableware?
Turns out, there are a LOT. And now is the perfect time to learn about them, right before all the Christmas dinner parties begin! So, without further ado, let’s let Tate school us all!
It’s something many homeowners are guilty of – putting a lot of time and effort into picking out beautiful tableware, flatware, and glassware sets to perfectly complement a new kitchen, only to put the “good stuff” in storage and use lower-quality tableware on a daily basis. Don’t hide your beautiful tableware just because you don’t know how to take care of it without damaging it! Here’s a quick overview of how to care for your tableware properly.
Sterling silver is dishwasher safe flatware, as long as you only use a small amount of detergent. Store it safely away from anything with sulfur (such as rubber or wool), and use silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth to slow tarnishing.
Gold vermeil should be hand washed with mild soap and dusted regularly with a dry cloth instead of polished. This soft metal is easily scratched, so store it in a soft-lined flatware case. Gold plated flatware, similarly, requires hand washing and careful storage. It can be polished with general metal polish and a gold polishing cloth.
Silver plated flatware is dishwasher safe, but like sterling silver, only use a little detergent. Don’t wash silver plates next to stainless steel in the dishwasher, as the metals will react and discolor. You can polish silver plates using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth. Stainless steel is dishwasher safe and can be shined using stainless steel polish. Avoid hand washing stainless steel with hard-bristled brushes or scouring pads, because they can wear away the chromium oxide film.
White porcelain and decal or underglaze porcelain tableware are dishwasher and microwave safe, and they don’t even need to be polished. Hand-painted and metallic porcelain, on the other hand, require careful hand washing and are not microwave safe. Hand-painted and gold-coated porcelain don’t need polishing, and the typical silver polishing method will work for silver-coated porcelain.
Glassware, unless it’s blown, is dishwasher safe and should be dried on the lowest setting to avoid spots forming. Crystal, unless your dishwasher has a crystal setting, should be hand-washed with mild soap. Glassware and crystal can both be polished with glass polish to remove the film that forms with regular washing.
You carefully chose your tableware, and you should show it off every time you dine. With this tableware care guide, you can use your elegant tableware for years without damaging it.
I never knew that you shouldn’t wash silver plates next to stainless steel in the dishwasher, that the metals would react and discolor! Now THAT’S a good tip! And how about that info-graphic?! Thanks so much for sharing with us, Tate!
What about you? Any tips on caring for your tableware, especially in lieu of the upcoming Christmas events? Or did you learn anything new from this post?
Due to the amount of comments from all of my wonderful readers, it is not always possible for me to respond to each one. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!