I use my Christmas Tree dishes during the month of December. I have always washed them in the dishwasher on the china cycle. I noticed last year, the gold band on some of the glasses has worn off. A woman at a recent meeting said it wasn't the dishwasher, but the detergent that worn off the band. However, no one could suggest a gentle dishwasher detergent. I'm looking for a non-abrasive detergent.
It was always my understanding that dishes with gold or silver/metallic edges were NOT dishwasher safe and should be hand washed - doing some reading today I have heard some people say it is the acid/lemon in the detergents, others have said it was the heat cycle. Also some have said newer glazes are more durable and should be ok - and to look at the labeling on the dishes.
I will still opt for hand washing these types of things.
I am a Ceramics artist by trade... Everyone is right! Dishes with Gold/Silver or Platinum edges should never be put into the dishwasher... this is for many reasons. (SEE BELOW for more info) One of the reasons is the extra water pressure. Another problem is of course the Coarse powdered dish soap (liquid would be better) Lemon dishwasher soap is another problem... But when it comes down to it, any pottery with metallic edges should be carefully & gently HAND WASHED... Also don't soak your metallic edge dishes for very long, soaking isn't good for your metallic edge pottery either...
BUT - When it comes down to it, I'm one of those who believes in actually USING my stuff, NOT hiding it away for a rainy day, & UNLESS your fancy pottery is a Special Hand-me-down, or is an expensive investment or an antique, or you plan on handing them down to your kids... Who cares of the gold wears away!... If you're like me & HATE to handwash dishes & REALLY don't want to wash your dishes by hand, & you don't really care if your gold wears away, no worry... Just ENJOY the season & ENJOY your fancy dishes & keep on washing them in the dishwasher. Yes, The gold will wear away, but you can do a few tricks to help this not happen:
- Wash on gentle cycle
- Wash in cool or warm water
- Use liquid, non corrosive dish soap
- Stay away from soaps with lemon (& also avoid vinegar)
---> Here are 2 suggestions of how to fix the GOLD problem once it's begun:
1) you can use a "gold remover" (available at most pottery supplies) & take off the rest of the gold.... OR:
2) If you know someone who has a kiln, you can touch up the gold by buying a vial of gold for firing onto pottery, (there are usually 2 colors sold) Liquid gold for firing is a bit pricey because it's really 22 caret gold! Start by simply wash your hands to remove any oils, then clean off the pottery with a paper towel & a bit of rubbing alcohol. OPEN YOUR WINDOWS for ventilation... Liquid gold is VERY TOXIC! Then with a tiny new brush (reserved ONLY for gold) brush on the liquid gold, let dry, then fire. (Usually to cone 18 - 22) Liquid Gold also comes in a felt-tip Pen... This can be even easier.
* If you have an antique piece & are unsure of doing this yourself (It's super easy!) Then take your piece to a pottery restorer & pay the big bucks... Hey! it's at least worth a phone call to check on their prices!
Dishes with Gold/Silver or Platinum edges should never be put into the dishwasher & ANY pottery will last longer if NOT put into a dishwasher!... Any dishwasher that's worth it's salt will be super hot, The HEAT makes the Pottery expand, & when the glaze & the pot expand differently, crazing will occur. All pottery EVENTUALLY crazes... It may take 100 years, but eventually ALL pottery will craze. Crazing is the thin cracks that you see in old pottery. Super hot temperatures will make ANY pottery craze in half the time it would normally take... Dishwashers cause crazing faster due to the fast temperature changes & the Glaze no longer "fits" the dish properly. If any pottery crazes, it is no longer food safe due to possible bacteria getting into the tiny cracks. This can be temporally remedied with a teaspoon of bleach in several cups of water & soaking the dish... This usually temporally kills the bacteria. but the pottery should be only used for "dry" things like Bread & not for wet things like soup, vegies & meat, etc.
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