China is a general term for ceramic tableware, whether made of earthenware, stoneware, or porcelain, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il. All ceramics are clay that has been hardened by fire. The clay is mixed with minerals to form a body or paste that can be molded and kiln-fired.According to Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, Ceramic bodies are of two types: porous earthenware and nonporous stoneware and porcelain. Everyday china is generally earthenware or stoneware. The term "fine china" generally refers to thinner porcelain or bone china.
When caring for your china, you should wash all china as soon as possible after each meal. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits, and sulfur-based foods, such as mayonnaise, tartar sauce, and eggs, can mar the glaze and color of china not rinsed soon after eating. Rinse coffee and teacups right away, as well, to prevent staining. In addition, be sure to rotate dinnerware, so that each piece receives the same frequency of use. This will ensure that each piece in your set maintains a consistent appearance over time. Vintage and antique pieces were not made to withstand the heat of the dishwasher, so older china should be washed by hand. Although newer pieces may technically be machine-washable, they may also begin to show signs of wear after repeated machine washings, so you may want to hand-wash pieces of value.
To prevent scratching and chipping, remove rings and other jewelry and wash flatware and cookware separately. Avoid abrasive pads and gritty cleansers. Use a soft brush and mild dishwashing liquid instead.
When putting china in the dishwasher, to avoid the risk of scratching, load the pieces so that they do not touch each other. Do not allow aluminum utensils to touch china: black marks will appear on white china that comes in contact with aluminum during washing. Do not overload the dishwasher, use the short wash of china and Crystal cycle, says a 40+ year old Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il.