“When you have spent time and money on selecting and buying quality cutlery, tableware and serveware, it is important to also consider the correct care instructions of these items – even for the smallest cup or bowl in your home,” says Betsie van der Westhuizen, general manager at Maxwell & Williams South Africa.
“Treat your beautifully crafted items with the love and kindness that they deserve and they will serve you for many years – even decades.”
Always familiarise yourself with the label at the bottom of the plate or dish to check for special care instructions. Most dinnerware and tableware items are dishwasher safe, but when in doubt, rather handwash. Double check items with metallic bands of gold and platinum – some of these items might be microwave safe but others aren’t.
Wash with Care
Always wash new items before using them for the first time. The sticker at the bottom of your crockery is water soluble and can be removed with relative ease after soaking the item in warm soapy water for about 1 hour.
“Next time you are tempted to leave dirty mugs and plates standing around until the next day, consider that food and drinks – especially those with darker colours and pigments like red wine, tea, coffee and curries – can leave stains on your crockery,” warns Betsie.
When washing your cutlery and crockery, avoid using abrasive sponges or steel wool, as they can scratch the surface. Instead, use a soft sponge or cloth and a mild dishwashing detergent to prevent any damage. Trade harsh bleach or abrasive cleaning agents for natural products like white vinegar or bicarbonate of soda.
When it comes to storing cutlery and crockery, ensure that they are dry and free from any water spots or stains. A dry, well-ventilated storage area will prevent any moisture build-up.
“Avoid stacking your best cutlery and crockery on large piles, as it can lead to scratching and damage. Keep them separated by using coffee filters or paper plates,” says Betsie. Take special care with older, delicate china sets as large stacks can result in cracks or damage due to the weight of the items.
Says Betsie: “Cutlery should always be washed after use as food particles cause stains. It should also be dried with a cloth after being cleaned in a dishwasher. If you are the proud owner of 18/0 stainless steel cutlery, try to avoid placing them in a dishwasher. To maintain the shine of your cutlery, remove stains and keep a brand new look, polish them regularly with a soft cloth.”
Caring for Wooden Items
Items like wooden serving spoons and wood serving boards are handcrafted with great care. Remember that, over time, a dishwasher could ruin the durability and the beautiful grain of wood.
Simply hand wash wooden items with warm water and a mild soap, and dry completely with a dish towel. Do not soak your wooden items for extended periods. “We also recommend occasionally applying a thin layer of vegetable oil to prolong the wood’s durability,” says Betsie.
Always check the label of your dinnerware and serveware to ensure it is oven safe. To avoid thermal shock to your crockery, avoid putting a piping hot dish or plate in cold water or placing a cold item directly from the fridge or freezer into a preheated oven.
“Never use your regular bowls or plates as ovenware or bakeware, unless the instructions on the item indicates that it is safe,” warns Betsie. “Plates and regular serveware should also never be placed into a stove top or open flame.”
- Maxwell & Williams Dune set of 3 bowls in white (12cm, R 319)
- Maxwell & Williams Teas & C’S Classic Footed Cup & Saucer White (200ml, R 259)
- Maxwell & Williams Picnic Perfect Acacia wood Lazy Susan (40cm, R499)
- Maxwell & Williams Epicurious Deep Quiche Dish, 24x5cm, R 249
- Maxwell & Williams Dune Oval Platter Taupe (36x27cm, R439)
- Maxwell & Williams Marc Martin Dusk 12 piece Dinner Set in blue, R 1649
- Maxwell & Williams Feline Friends – Mug Well Read with Cat (400ml, R199)
- Maxwell & Williams Cosmopolitan Cutlery Set, 56 piece, R2400