How to Care for Lenox China

There’s no point in spending a lot of time and money to find and purchase your perfect china if you’re not going to properly care for it. Lenox’s fine china is made to last, but you should still take precautions when you are cleaning, storing, and using it. When it comes to china—especially pricey fine china—there’s no point in taking risks. Anything that you can do to prevent scratching, cracking, chipping and breakage will help ensure that your china has a long, useful life.

After every single use, you will have to clean your china. Lenox’s fine china is

This Federal Platinum Chocolate Fine China won't look so pretty if you clean it improperly.

This Federal Platinum Chocolate Fine China from Lenox won't look so pretty if you clean it improperly.

 dishwasher-safe, but that doesn’t mean that you can just load your dishwasher willy-nilly and hope for the best. Take some time and load each piece of china as carefully and securely as possible. Don’t overload the dishwasher. Each dish should not be touching any neighboring dishes, or your pieces might suffer from edge chips or cracking. You should also make certain that no metal items like utensils, pots, or pans are butting up against your china. Set the dishwasher on its gentle cycle and utilize mild powder or liquid detergent. When the load is washed, wait until the china has cooled down completely before you unload it and store it away.

If you don’t own a dishwasher, or your Lenox china is antique (anything made over thirty years ago is likely not dishwasher safe), you will need to hand-wash your china. Make sure that you remove any rings or bracelets before washing, which will help you to avoid accidental scratching. You should also put either a thick towel or rubber mat on the bottom of your sink. That way, should a dish slip out of your hands mid-wash, you’ll lessen the likelihood of it breaking in the sink. Never use anything abrasive, like scouring powder, steel wool, or heavy-duty detergent, on your fine china. Stick with mild dishwashing liquid, and you should be fine.

Sometimes just using dishwashing liquid doesn’t get all of the stains out, but there are a few gentle yet effective techniques you can turn to. For cutlery markings, take a damp sponge and dab it in a little baking soda, then rub on the marks gently until they disappear. Another good option here is using plain toothpaste instead of the baking soda. If you have other stains on the china, try using a mixture of half table salt and half household vinegar. Soak the stain in this mixture and then wash as normal. You could also make a paste with baking soda and water, gently rub it onto the stain, and then wash the china. The metal banding in banded china (china with platinum or gold set in it) can get tarnished if you have hard water. This is especially true if the water has a high manganese or iron content. You may want to look into using a special, mild dishwashing detergent meant for hard water use to help prevent tarnishing. Rust in your plumbing or dishwasher and over exposure to certain chemicals can also cause tarnishing. Non-abrasive cleaners (e.g. Soft Scrub, Bon Ami, etc.) can combat tarnish. Just be sure to rub the cleanser on gently, as excess scrubbing could cause unwanted damage.

The wide platinum metal band in Lenox's Jewel Platinum china prevents it from being microwave-safe.

The wide platinum metal band in Lenox's Jewel Platinum china prevents it from being microwave-safe.

Proper use of your china is important. Never expose it to extreme heat or cold, which could cause thermal shock and cracking. If you have banded china with platinum or gold, it should never be put in a microwave. The only exception is if the backstamp on your banded china specifically says that it’s “MicroSafe by Lenox.” It’s probably wise to skip feeding your young children on your fine china until they’re old enough to understand that they should handle it gently and respectfully. When you’re done eating, bring the dishes from the table back into the kitchen carefully. Never stack multiple dishes on top of each other to move them from the dining room to where they’ll be cleaned. Additionally, don’t let dishes sit around with food and grime on them for long periods of time prior to being cleaned. Once they have been cleaned, using the aforementioned cleaning techniques, store them carefully and thoughtfully to prevent scratching and chipping. If you follow all of these smart yet simple tips, your Lenox china will be around for a long, long time.