By Joelle Grubb
Fine china tea ware is precious and you will want to give it the care it deserves. It’s a fact that tea stains if left for any length of time, so the best way to keep your china from staining is to wash it as soon as you can. Try at least to not leave it overnight – prevention is the best care strategy. However, do not feel that you must rush away from your guests to wash dishes. There are a few easy ways that stains can be removed from your teaware and it will be kept in tip top condition for the long life it was meant to endure.
The safest way to wash china is by hand. Do not wash your china in the dishwasher unless specified by the manufacturer. For normal washing place a tea towel on the bottom of the sink and fill it with warm water using a mild dish washing liquid. Place the items in the water after the faucet has stopped running and push it aside. This prevents the likelihood of the running water causing the cups to knock against each other or you accidentally knocking them against the faucet. Do not overfill the sink with dishes and wipe them with a sponge or dish cloth; avoid using abrasive cloths. It is traditional to never wash your teapot in soapy water but rather to just rinse it so as not to have any chemical residue inside the teapot which may affect the brewing and subsequent flavor. Any staining can be removed by the methods outlined below.
There are generally two methods you can try to remove tea stains from your tea cups. Personally, I avoid using any chemical cleaners for any food or beverage receptacles. Natural cleaners do just as fine a job. Place about half a teaspoon of baking soda into the cup and rub with a damp cloth. If the stains are stubborn, you may need to do it a couple of times. The other method is to use is a mixture of 50% each of table salt and vinegar. This works well for stains that are on the bottom of the cup as you will need to let it soak for a while before rinsing.
If any of your tea cups happen to have hairline cracks, you can try soaking them in milk overnight. Don’t you remember your mother telling you to soak a broken tooth in milk until you could get to the dentist? The same principle applies. Some china owners have soaked their china in milk and heated on low for about an hour. You could try this if soaking it in milk at room temperature overnight doesn’t quite do the job.
You china tea set is one of your most prized possessions and a reminder of many happy events. Keeping it in good condition and stain free will ensure a perfect display and proper care will enable it to be passed on to someone special.
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We’re sure you will find something you love!