Ceramic is the result of mixing clay with water and other earthen elements and shaping it into the desired design. The finished product will then be hardened using flames and then glazed for good measure. Some ceramic potteries are not glazed to achieve that raw and natural look.
Generally, you can clean the surface of the ceramic vase or pots and pans using a soft bristle brush or wet cloth if the surface is in good condition. You can also use tap cool or lukewarm water. But make sure that the water is distilled, demineralised, or deionised.
Ceramics by Type
Ceramic pottery typically has three types, and these are porcelain, earthenware, and stoneware.
- Porcelain – This type of material originated in China. It uses refined clay, which is then hardened through fire ranging from 1,200 to 1,450 degrees celsius. The finished product is usually white or translucent, as well as very durable.
- Earthenware – Earthenware, which is typically unglazed, is not waterproof unlike the two other types in this list. You can take clay from your local riverbed, shape it into form, and then cook it at around 1,150 degrees celsius. When you visit a department store and see all those cups and dinner plates, they are made of earthenware.
- Stoneware – Most of the pottery found in Ancient Greece and Rome were fashioned from a specific type of clay fired at around 1,200 degrees celsius. As what you may glean from the name, the finished product assumes a stone-like appearance.
Tips in Caring for your Ceramic Pottery
You can follow the below tips to make sure that your ceramic pottery pieces last for a long time.
- Display them on the shelf out of reach for small kids and pets. For ceramic pots and pans, storage solutions will protect them from breakage and cracks.
- When you are ready to clean them, make sure to support them with both hands. Your fingers should be firm enough to avoid dropping them, but still light enough that they sustain a crack.
- If you just bought your ceramic plates from the department store, make sure to sterilise them first by pouring boiling water on them. Some recommend that you put them in a pan and let the water boil for 20 minutes. But some ceramics might be too thin to withstand the pressure of the heat. Nevertheless, they are durable enough to be stuffed inside the dishwasher.
- Also, make sure they are air-dried, particularly for pottery pieces that are not glazed since they may develop mildew. For ceramic plates, the unglazed part would be the bottom.
- Keep them away from harsh chemicals and cleaning agents like bleach and chlorine. You do not even have to use soap as distilled water would be enough. If there is a stubborn stain, you can dilute the bleach with a ratio of 10% to 90% water. If the mould or stain is persistent, you can prepare a mixture of baking soda and bleach (on a ratio of 75:25). However, make sure to test it out on the stain first before wiping the solution on the surface of the pottery.
Whether they are decorative pieces that you purchased at a department store or those that you received from your ancestors, it is easy to establish a connection with ceramic pottery. Follow the tips above, and you will have the opportunity to increase the value of your ceramics when you hand them down to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren.