Clean China Dishes the Old-fashioned Way
Follow these old-time tips for cleaning china to remove stains and add shine to your favorite dishware. From the editors of Yankee Magazine.
Clean and Shine China
A mixture of lemon juice and salt cleans and shines china. Just rub it on with a damp cloth and rinse. Wash china in water that’s warm, not hot. Water that is too hot can lead to crazing—small lines and cracks in the glaze.
If your china is already crazed, don’t use it to serve food. Butter, fruit, cheese and cream can cause staining along the crack lines.
If you have dishwasher-safe china, stagger plates of different sizes when loading it into the dishwasher. That way their edges won’t touch, and you’ll avoid chipping and scratches.
Remove Brown Stains from China
Remove brown stains from old china by soaking it in a mild solution of household (5 percent) bleach and water. Soak for an hour or so, then wash and rinse. This works for rust stains either on or under the glaze. In severe cases, the stains may show up again. If they do, repeat the process.
To remove stubborn brown stains on old china, rub on a solution of equal parts vinegar and salt, then rinse.
Remove Tea and Coffee Stains from China Cups
To remove coffee or tea stains from a cup, wet the cup with vinegar. Then dampen a rag with water, dip it in baking soda or salt and swab out the stain.
Clean Gold-Trimmed Dishes
To clean gold-trimmed dishes, first scrape them with a rubber scraper and then wash with mild dishwashing liquid. Never use an abrasive cleaner. If the mild dishwashing liquid isn’t enough to remove food from the gold trim, try rubbing the trim with a paste of baking soda and water applied with a soft cloth.
Remove Metal Marks from China
Never wash china in an aluminum pan or allow it to come in contact with aluminum in the dishwasher. Aluminum rubbing against china can create gray, pencil thin lines that are often impossible to get out.
If a metal utensil does leave a mark on your china, gently rub the dish with a mild scouring powder or plastic scouring pad. Be careful to avoid rubbing off any decorative trim.