Use and Care for Glassware and Dinnerware
Whether in the restaurant or at home, taking care of glassware and dinnerware will extend the life of each piece. Whether it's the clinking sounds of dishes and glassware knocking against each other in a restaurant, or loading your dishwasher at home, proper care of these everyday kitchen items is a worthwhile undertaking.
At TigerChef, we offer restaurant-quality glassware and china dinnerware at some of the best prices around, and we want them to last you a lifetime. This brief guide about caring for your glass and dinnerware can help you get the most out of your purchases.
When dealing with glassware, watch out for thermal shock during clean up and mechanical shock, which can occur during use and clean up as well.
Thermal shock occurs as a result of glass experiencing a sudden change in temperature. Since glass holds temperature well, rapid changes actually cause stress, which can result in breakage.
- DO NOT move glassware from one extreme temperature to another. Always allow glassware to reach room temperature first.
- DO NOT put cold glassware (such as a glass that was in the refrigerator, freezer or on ice) into warmer water. Glass needs to adjust to room temperature first. This means cold glassware should not be put immediately into a dishwasher.
- DO NOT place warm or hot glassware in cold water. Stress works both ways, so again, glass needs to first adjust to room temperature.
Mechanical shock occurs when glass comes in direct contact with another object, such as a spoon, beer tap, other dinnerware (china, etc.), or other glassware. You may not immediately notice the results of mechanical shock—commonly appearing in the form of small abrasions invisible to the naked eye—but they do weaken the glass, making it more susceptible to breakage.
- ALWAYS use a rack for dishwasher cleaning, making sure various pieces of glassware do not touch each other. When washing by hand, bring one item at a time into the sink, and wash under water, without allowing pieces to "drop" to the bottom of the sink.
- AVOID SCOURING. Since scouring glass with metal pads or abrasive cleansers can leave permanent abrasions, the practice also depreciates the life of the glassware. It is better to presoak glassware in warm water (less than 160-degrees).
Ideally, glassware should be stored on shelves, upside down, with enough space between each item so you can easily remove one without knocking them into each other. Or, you can install glass hanging racks with guides that help prevent lining glasses too close to each other.
Remember, every time you hear a "clink" an abrasion from mechanical shock was been set into the glass.
Dinnerware shares some of the same attributes of glassware when it comes to thermal and mechanical shock.
- DO NOT put cold dinnerware (such as a plate that was in the refrigerator, freezer or on ice) into warmer water
- YOU CAN preheat dinnerware, just not via means of extreme temperature change.
Clearing up dinnerware properly is essential in maintaining the lifetime of your dinnerware.
- STACKING and carrying too many dishes at a time causes quicker depreciation.
- STACKING cups and mugs makes them more susceptible to damage, use racks for clearing.
In general, cleaning your dinnerware carefully is an important step in preventing breakage.
- CLEAN EARLY. Allowing china to remain unwashed after use can actually cause stains and discolorations. Always wash dinnerware as soon after use as possible.
- SCRAPE PROPERLY. Do not use flatware or other dishes to scrape dinnerware. Use a rubber scraper (a spatula is fine). This will prevent mechanical shock in the process.
- DO NOT load, store or wash mixed dinnerware together. Use racks for sorting like items with like items.
In the ideal situation, you should store dinnerware similarly to glassware—each piece in its own area so it does not come in contact with other dishes. However, this is highly impractical as it would take a tremendous amount of space. Using rack storage for dishes, therefore, may be more logical for home use, but it's not usually a feasible solution for restaurants.
- ALWAYS STACK like dishes together and no more than 16-inches in height.
- PROVIDE ADEQUATE SPACE for each stack
- USE RACKS for storing cups and mugs
Cracked, chipped or otherwise broken dinnerware should be removed from service immediately. Dinnerware with obvious abrasions should also be removed, as it could break while in service and that certainly won’t impress your guests.