Metal Marks on China Dishes
June 16, 2007 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Can metal from forks or utensils come off on china plates, cups and other dishes, and if so, does anyone know how to stop it or fix it?

Here's the problem: for some time now, my wife and I have noticed that our china teacups were marked up with dark marks. At first we thought it was a problem with the dishes. Then we traced it back to a cheap cappucino frother that was apparently leaving bits of chrome or stainless steel on the teacups when we used to to froth the milk. We got rid of the frother, and end of problem -- initially. Then some time passed. We noticed new dark marks on the outer edge of our china bowls. We traced it, I think definitively, to the inexpensive dishwasher we have and the fact that the edges of the china bowls hit the shiny metal edge of the dishwasher when you push the loaded tray inside. The thing is, these marks will not rub off easily, if at all. That was also the case with the marks inside the teacups. Now a third and similar problem has arisen. We have noticed that the surface of many of our plates are getting marks on them. Could it come from our quite inexpensive flatware that I bought a long time ago when I was single? As with the other marks, these will not rub off. I don't really know what's going on here. But my theory is that cheap stainless steel will rub off or leave marks on ceramics or porcelain. Is this true? If it is true, does anyone know how to get the marks off? I'm thinking of buying a pumice stone, or something like that. But I'd also like to know for sure that the marks are coming from the metal components. Any info or insight anyone?
posted by Alex Marshall to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, it's virtually certain that the marks are from your cutlery, and I don't think it's because it's cheap; I've never seen cutlery that didn't do this.

What you need is either "Bar Tender's Friend" or "Zud." You can gently rub it in with a sponge; I use a gloved hand and rub it with my fingers. It doesn't harm the surface, and it works like magic.
posted by ROTFL at 6:11 PM on June 16, 2007

I should add: Both the above products are powders that come in "Comet" or "Ajax"-style shakers. They are available in some supermarkets; I've also seen them in hardware and housewares stores.
posted by ROTFL at 6:31 PM on June 16, 2007

Well, one thought: are you sure your china is truly dishwasher safe? Modern detergents are extremely(!) caustic, and can cause severe discoloration on surfaces that are susceptible.

That said, ROTFL is probably right. I just figured I'd throw that out just in case you hadn't thought to check. I realize that you almost certainly have.... but just in case.... :)
posted by Malor at 7:24 PM on June 16, 2007

Generally fine china should be washed by hand, not in the dishwasher. In other words, I agree with ROTFL.
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:54 PM on June 16, 2007

Pfaltzgraff china has a special remover that takes these marks right off. It's usually from stainless steel silverware.
They sell it in their outlet stores, too. Lots of locations.
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:12 PM on June 16, 2007

« Older Help me find this awesome watch!   |   I'd like my $3 package to cost less than $30 in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.