How to Care for Bone China

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How to Care for Bone China

Bone china is often more than just dinnerware. In fact, it is an investment that many consider as beautiful as it is delicate. As such, knowing how to care for bone china properly can ensure that every piece of the set stands the test of time. Cleaning, storing, and stain removal are just some aspects of bone china upkeep. Regardless of whether chinaware appears on the dining table on a regular basis or remains on permanent display in a cabinet, there are a handful of tips to keep every priceless piece stain and chip-free.


Prepping Bone China for Use and Cleaning

Prior to serving food or drink in bone china dinnerware, it is best to warm it to avoid cracking that results from drastic temperature changes. If the pieces have been sitting for some time, a soft cloth can quickly remove any dust that has accumulated. Before thoroughly washing bone china, prepare each item by removing excess food or dust from its surface. Using a rubber spatula is ideal, as opposed to metal utensils, which tend to scratch or chip the pieces. Rinse dishes and cups as soon as possible, using tepid water.

Washing Bone China

While bone china can survive the dishwasher, avoid doing this. This is because dishwashing temperatures and detergents may be too abrasive for the chinaware. Washing by hand ensures that each delicate item receives proper care and that the washing temperatures are safe for the bone china. Soak each piece in mild dishwashing liquid before scrubbing it gently with a non-abrasive sponge.
Do not stack the items in the sink, as this can lead to cracks. Lining the sink with a rubber mat can help to prevent damage to pieces of bone china that need to soak for longer periods of time. Let the dishes air dry in a plastic dish drying rack, as metal racks may cause scratching or chipping.

Preventing and Treating Stains

Bone china stains quite easily. Therefore, take great care to avoid discolouration and unsightly grey marks. When it comes to acidic food and drink, such as tomato sauce or coffee, rinse these items from the dishes immediately to avoid staining. For stubborn stains, soak the pieces in soapy water until the particles become soft and pliable. If the stain does not come off during a lengthy soak, then it may be necessary to scrub the item gently, being careful not to scrub away the surface layer of the bone china.


Storing Bone China

Storage instructions vary depending upon the piece of bone china and how they appear on display.


Bone China Piece

Storage Instructions


Do not hang on hooks, as this causes stress to the handle

Place side by side on the shelf, ensuring that there is space to avoid scratching or chipping

Plates and saucers

Limit the number of stacked plates to prevent cracking

Place a rubber ring or soft cloth between each item


When stacking bowls, place a piece of uncoloured tissue paper or soft cloth between each item

Ensure that the paper covers the entire surface of the bowl


All bone china items must sit in room temperatures, as extreme temperatures can lead to cracking or chipping. Also, when removing the bone china from the cabinet for use, lift rather than slide the piece away from the others to avoid scratching the surface.


How to Buy Bone China on eBay

While the upkeep of bone china may be rather involved, it is necessary if you want to preserve the pristine beauty of your fragile china dinnerware. If you are in need of replacement items or wish to collect additional bone china, there are a wide range of eBay sellers who offer high quality china sets and individual pieces. From Noritake to Royal Albert, the marketplace is home to a wide selection of bone china tableware for virtually every taste or budget. Bone china tea sets are also available, which can be an ideal addition to any treasured china dinnerware collection.

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