How to Care for Your China

But first, some trivia.  Did you know that there was this single porcelain bowl that sold for $9.5M at a Sotheby’s auction?



This is the Blood Red Porcelain bowl decorated with two lotus flowers, a most sought-after collector’s item. It was rare, bright red despite being under-glazed which made it very popular. The ruby-colored bowl dates from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) during the Qing Dynasty, and was eventually purchased by a Hong Kong private collector.

Such is the value given to china so it is important that you know how to properly care for your own china collection. 

Let us take you through 3 easy steps: 

Step 1.  Wash

To wash by hand or use the dishwasher?  That is the question frequently asked by china owners.  Let us help you decide.

Hand Wash

As a rule of thumb, any china above 20 years old should be washed by hand. Plates with gold or platinum edging must not be placed in the dishwasher.  (Not even in the microwave oven, for that matter.)  If a pattern has been discontinued or is no longer in production, it is difficult to replace so best to handle it with utmost care.  (This is the reason why we at Classic Replacements guide you on the manufacturing / production status of all our product lines.)

How to Wash China by Hand:

First, line the bottom of the sink with a soft rubber mat.  This is to avoid chipping.  Turn the water on to warm (not hot).  Use a mild liquid dishwashing detergent (no bleach or lemon please!)  Use a delicate sponge (pretty much like what you use for your Teflon pans.) Do not scrub aggressively – just rub gently.  Wash one item at a time.


If you are the type who likes to have fine dinnerware but dreads handwashing – then go for dinnerware which are deemed dishwasher-safe by the manufacturer.  Check the level of quality and craftsmanship too.  Mottahedeh dinnerware is recognized for this.  Fine porcelain and bone china plates are actually quite durable enough to withstand the occasional run through the dishwasher.

How to Wash China Using the Dishwasher:

First, remove the food particles with a rubber spatula rather than cutlery.  This is to avoid scratches.  Load them in such a way that they will not bump into one another.  Separate the load for the cutlery or flatware.  Water temperature should be below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Consider the available settings of your dishwasher and select the special china wash or delicate cycle.  The most important thing to remember in using the dishwasher to wash china is to choose the gentlest setting and the shortest wash possible.

Step 2.  Dry

Air dry or towel dry.  Just make sure that the towels you will use are soft and clean.

Step 3.  Store

Store away from extreme temperature.  Do not stack them one on top of the other.  Use a filler or padding. (Cloth napkins, doilies, and even paper towels will work.)  Neither should you stack or hang cups to reduce the chance of breakage.

That’s it.  Wash, Dry, Store.  Easy as 1-2-3!

By doing this, you will be able to maintain the condition of your china for many years.  Definitely an heirloom that you can pass on from generation to generation.

Mottahedeh Strawberry Vine Flat Cup & Saucer Set

Mottahedeh Strawberry Vine Flat Cup & Saucer Set

This entry was posted in China Education, China Identification, China Storage, Classic Replacements, Collectibles, Discontinued China, Dishwasher Info, Fine China, Mottahedeh, used china and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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