By Trevor Stone

Chinaware is white and hard pottery that has been lightly glazed. Chinaware are actually porcelain but when England and the rest of Europe got hold of imported porcelain plates and saucers from China, the term China became synonymous with fine and well-crafted porcelain plates.

The Europeans produced porcelain plates in 1708 but the name chinaware stuck. Today, when one refers to chinaware, it pertains to all types of porcelain plates manufactured from different parts of the world.

For most average households, using fine porcelain plates for everyday use is not an occurrence. It is only during special occasions and events that the good china is brought out. The rest of the year, the good china is stored as you would not want to chip or break your fine chinaware. Special plates should be properly cared for and stored. Strong detergents, abrasives, sudden changes in temperature, and incorrect storage can adversely affect on china. Here are some ways to care for your china.

How to Store Chinaware

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Chinaware easily scratches. If you plan to stack your china in a cabinet you can use thick paper towel or felt paper in-between pieces. You should not put china close to each other to prevent them from chipping, or worst breaking. It you want to store china in a standing position why not use some plate holders to prevent the plates from rolling and breaking. Do not stack together cups. Hang them on cup hooks or line them up one by one. Now if you plan to store china in a box, it is best if you wrap each piece with bubble wrap to avoid breakage.

Check your stored china on a regular basis. Note that china must be stored in a cool and dry place. Excessive heat can produce hairline cracks on the china. If this happens, soak the dish in a pan of warm milk for thirty minutes or so. If the cracks are not too deep, the spidery cracks will disappear.

How to Care for Chinaware

Caring for your chinaware is not rocket science. You only need to use your common sense. For example, you should not use metal utensils when scraping out food from china. Use a rubber spatula instead.

To prevent coffee and tea stains on china cups, rinse them at once after use in a 1:3 solution of hydrogen and water with a drop of ammonia. Rinse with warm water.

How to Wash Chinaware

Most china should be hand-washed. Place a sink mat or dishtowel in the sink before putting the china in for washing. This would prevent possible chipping in case you drop the china in the sink. Use tepid water for rinsing and make sure that you use mild detergents without bleach or lemon. Do not use abrasives but use sponge instead. Towel-dry china before storing them instead of air-drying them to avoid spots.

There are some brands of china that are dishwasher-safe. Load the dishes in the dishwasher rack making sure that no dish touches another dish. Set the dishwasher to fragile or china. If your china has some gold for decorations, hand-wash them as the high temperature in the dishwasher can melt the gold dcor.

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