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Michigan State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500126
06/24/03

Earthenware, Pottery-Care and Cleaning



Care
Earthenware or pottery is made from baked clay, but does not have as smooth and glassy a surface as china. It conducts heat slowly and evenly, and holds heat well. Glazes may be damaged by sudden temperature changes.(See "Glazes and Decorations".) It can be damaged by abrasives, and cracked or broken by hard blows.

Cleaning
Modern commercial dinnerware, with the glaze applied over the decorations, can be washed in the dishwasher. For hand made pottery, check with the maker to find out if it can be washed in the dishwasher. Never use scouring powders or harsh scourers as they will damage the glaze; if food does not come off after a brief soak, a plastic mesh pad may be used. Remove tea stains in cups with a solution of 2 tablespoons chlorine bleach per quart of water; soak 1-2 minutes; rinse promptly.

References

This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus.

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MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

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