Washing Dinnerware by Hand
There are many good reasons to wash dinnerware by hand. First, you might not have a dishwasher. Second, delicate pieces could get cracked by the jostling that normally occurs in an electric dishwasher. Also dishwashers typically use more extreme temperatures than you would use in hand-washing dishes.
1. Before washing rinse off excess food. Try not to scrape it off using a knife or fork, for delicate pieces keep the actual wear and tear to a minimum. For baked or dried on foods, soak pieces in warm water and dish soap. Do NOT use boiling water as the heat may weaken the glaze or structure of the dish.
2. If possible, use a plastic basin to soak and wash your dinnerware. If this is not possible, line the sink with a dishtowel. It will get wet, but it will save your dinnerware from unintended bumps and save especially the plates lined with metal, which scratches easily.
3. A rubber mat is fine for some dinnerware, but dishes decorated with precious metals may have a reaction with the rubber causing discoloration of the plates.
4. Don't use abrasive compounds, powder cleansers and chlorinated cleansers that might discolor dinnerware. Use a mild dish-soap.
5. Coffee, tea and other stains can be removed by a non-abrasive cleanser. Choose one with a creamy consistency (not gritty). Use a soft sponge.
6. Dry and buff dinnerware with a soft lint-free cloth.