Enamelware dishes, as we know them today, have been mass-produced since the end of the 19th century. Manufacturers start out with a substrate of steel, iron or aluminum, which is then covered with porcelain enamel to give it a finish similar to glass. Enamelware is fairly durable, scratch resistant and easy to wash. Its color doesn't fade in sunlight. This type of dishes can, however, crack or break into pieces if not handled properly. Give special care to enamelware dishes to make them look their best and last for years.
Things You'll Need
- Mild dishwasher detergent
- Mild dish soap
- Baking soda
- Nylon scouring pad
- Trisodium phosphate or bleach
Use enamelware on the table, in the oven, on top of a conventional cookstove, on the barbecue or in the refrigerator or freezer. Because of its metal base, do not put this type of dish in a microwave oven.
Use conventional cutlery -- butter knives, forks and spoons -- when preparing food and drinks in, eating or drinking from or cleaning enamelware dishes. Sharp-edged cutlery can scratch the glass-like surface.
Clean enamelware in the dishwasher, if you choose, with a mild detergent. While it's dishwasher-safe, the finish will last longer if you hand wash the dishes instead using a mild dish soap.
Mix 1 quart boiling water and 2 tsp. baking soda in your kitchen sink to create a cleaning solution for common stains and dried food. Place the enamelware dishes into the solution and allow to soak until stains and food loosen. Scrub with a nylon scouring pad and rinse.
Mix 2 pints hot water and 1 tbsp. trisodium phosphate or 1 pint water with 1 tsp. bleach in your kitchen sink to create a cleaning solution for stubborn stains and sticky foods. Place the enamelware dishes in the solution and allow to soak until stains and food loosen. Scrub with a nylon scouring pad and rinse.
Tips & Warnings
- Read the manufacturer's instructions before you use enamelware and follow.
- Never use abrasive cleaners or scrub pads on enamelware.
- Damage may occur if enamelware dishes boil dry on the stove top. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before you use them.
- To help avoid cracks and breakage, don't drop enamelware or handle it roughly.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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