Hold fine bone china up to the light and it has a translucent quality suggesting fragility; however, it is remarkably durable. But that does not mean it can be handled casually or simply tossed into the dishwasher. Treated with care and gently cleaned, bone china can be a point of pride on the dinner table or on display in your home for many years.
Things You'll Need
Soft dust cloth
Soft dish cloth
Small thick bath towel
Lemon juice or vinegar
Denture cleaning tablets
Glass lint-free dish towel
Dusting, Cleaning and Removing Stains
Dust bone china regularly using a feather duster or soft dusting cloth to discourage dirt buildup. Be sure to hold the china securely in one hand while dusting.
Clean crevices and folds on china with a water-dampened Q-tip, again holding the piece securely in one hand. Placing a small towel under the object can help stop slippage while you clean.
Line the kitchen sink with a small bath towel or thick dish towel before hand washing the china. Fill the sink with warm, soapy water (regular dishwashing liquid is fine) and gently wash the china using a soft cloth. Keep a dry towel handy and dry your hands if they become too soapy. Wet bone china can be very slippery.
Rinse the pieces in a bowl or sink filled with tepid water and 1 tsp. of white vinegar, and set the china on a towel to dry. Finish drying by wiping the pieces with a lint-free glass cloth.
Remove food or beverage stains by soaking the piece in a cloth-lined sink filled with warm water and lemon juice or baking soda. (Use the juice of a whole lemon or 1/4 cup of baking soda for each gallon of water.)
Treat stubborn tea and coffee stains in teapots and cups by using denture cleaning tablets. Drop 1 tablet into 2 cups of warm water in a glass pitcher, then pour the mixture into the stained pot or cup. Leave to soak for at least an hour, then rinse and dry with a lint-free glass dish towel. The process can be repeated if the stains are stubborn.
Protect gold or platinum-rimmed pieces while washing or cleaning by smearing a thin film of Vaseline on the gold rim. To keep bone china firmly in place on a shelf or in a cabinet while dusting, use "museum putty," a stainless clay-like material that holds the china in place.
Never use pressure or rub aggressively when washing bone china and never use a rough cloth or cleaning pad, especially on hand-painted or patterned pieces.