Now that you have invested in fine china, received place setting as wedding gifts, or inherited grandma’s heirloom china, it needs to be cared for in such a way that it will last for generations. To preserve its beauty and prevent cracks and chips, it must be handled carefully while being cleaned or stored.

Fine china is often stored for most of the year and brought out only for special occasions and holidays.  China requires special protection while in storage. It’s not a good idea to stack china pieces, as they can become scratched when they are moved. If plates need to be stacked, separate them with cloth dividers. Many enjoy displaying their china in special display cabinets. It’s safer to display only a few pieces and keep the rest boxed or properly stored.

The best way to keep your cups from being chipped is to hang them from hooks placed far enough apart that they do not touch each other. However, some don’t recommend this method as it is possible for cups to break if they fall from the hooks. A good way to store cups is to place each cup with its saucer in a china cabinet. Don’t stack cups, even with dividers, as they are likely to touch each other and become chipped or scratched. Wrapping cups in tissue paper and then boxing them is always safe.

Expensive serving pieces are easy to break. The handles on sugar bowls, gravy boats, soup tureens, and lids on covered pieces are at high risk of breakage. These are best stored in boxes placed safely out of the way.

Fine china requires special care when being washed and dried. Rinse dinnerware as soon as possible after eating to prevent food from sticking or marring the surface. Use a rubber spatula instead of silverware or a metal spatula to remove food to prevent gray marks on the china. Place a rubber mat or towel in the bottom and up the sink’s sides to protect your dinnerware. Wash china one piece at a time without stacking it in the sink. Use warm water, mild detergent, and soft cloth while washing dishes. Avoid harsh cleaning pads. Dry with a lint-free towel.

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