Taking Care of Vintage and Antique Ceramics


Cleaning and caring for old pottery can be a daunting task, especially when the information isn't always readily available. If you want your heirloom ceramics to stay looking their best, follow our tips below. 

Inspect Your Pieces Before Cleaning

Before you get started, let's check for any weak spots.

Spiderweb patterns on the surface is crazing. Proceed with caution as this can get worse very quickly.

Cracks or chips are also weak spots. Gently check the stability before you decide how to clean your item.

What kind of pattern are you dealing with? If there is any wear to any kind of pattern, proceed with caution.

If you've identified any serious problems, you will want to wipe gently with a soft cloth. Wet ceramics are vulnerable to crazing and other structural issues, so dry as soon as possible.

The Cautious Approach

Think it can withstand a soaking? Treat it like a baby. Fill a basin with hand hot water and check the temperature with your elbow to ensure it's not too hot. Heat on crazing can worsen the situation. You'll hear the tell-tale pinging sound if this is happening.

Use a small amount of mild dish soap. Do not use any abrasive surfaces to clean. Soft cloths only.

Always dry as quickly as possible. Do not leave water to stand in any pots or cups.

Think Your Item Can Take More?

We would recommend beginning with the above steps if the item is new to you.

If you decide it can take a more thorough cleaning, you can use a product such as Astonish One Cup (UK), a denture cleanser or sodium carbonate (soda crystals).

And dry!

The Best Place to Keep Your Teapot is Not in the Kitchen!

Display pieces aside, the best place to keep your teapot is out of the kitchen, away from wet heat and strong odours.

Dry it and then store in a dedicated dining space or living area.

Do You Want to Use Your Vintage Item?

The best way to care for your vintage or antiques is to keep them for display or light use.

Keep in mind that crazing harbours bacteria.

Ignore markings on vintage like 'dishwasher safe'. Age and use makes this no longer the case.

Buying Vintage Ceramics at Bramble House

When you shop with us, rest assured that we have gone through the steps above. It's part of the process we follow when preparing an item for sale and ensuring that we describe it to you as accurately as possible.