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Dinnerware: Caring for Your China

Meal after meal, your commercial china is served, bussed, washed and reserved numerous times a day. Heavy duty china is needed in the commercial setting. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your dinnerware will look better longer and last for years to come.

Transportation

Use compartmentalized bus trays. When bussing tables, make sure that china, flatware and glasses are not in just one compartment. When flatware rubs against your dishes, it can leave metal markings. These are difficult if not impossible to remove.

Never overload your bus tray. When dishes rub and clink against each other, they lose some of their integrity. Over time this can weaken the plates, causing them to crack or break.

Never stack plates more than 15" high. When the stacks get high, they are more likely to topple over. To avoid this, stack in short stacks, especially when soiled. By stacking in shorter stacks, your staff will not be tempted to pick up too large a load that could be dropped.

Cleaning

Clean china immediately. First spray with a pre-rinse unit, then use a rubber scraper or sponge to scrape off additional particles. Food should be removed from china as soon as possible to avoid dried on messes that are more difficult to clean. The sooner the dishes are put in a rack to go into the dishwasher, the better.

Never use a scouring pad or steel wool. The scraping is bad for the glaze and makes your china vulnerable to scratches, stains and metal markings.

Do not over soak your china. If dishes soak for too long, the glaze can be compromised. This sometimes happen if your dishes are soaked in a harsh chemical solution. Once the glaze is compromised, the dishes are more likely to scratch or stain.

Do not mix the types of china put into a dish rack. For maximum efficiency, stick to plates, bowls or cups when loading your dishwasher. Each rack holds a certain item efficiently, and if it is not loaded properly you cannot fit as many items on the rack. Do not mix and match the china in one rack unless it is a very small load and the pieces are not touching one another.

Storage

Never stack coffee cups. Because of the handle, these cups do not nest as well with one another the way that plates do. The stacks can become top heavy and will tip over, causing the coffee cups to break. Instead, store these cups in a cup rack.

Dry your china immediately after washing. Make sure that dishes have completely dried before storing them or putting them back into use. Dry them by hand before storing, so that they will not stick together and so that they do not develop water spots.

Service

Never use hot dishes for cold food. When warm dishes come in contact with cold foods, this temperature shock makes your dinnerware more vulnerable to cracking and chipping.

Always keep enough china on hand. Have enough china to cover your rushes so that dishes will not be pulled straight from the dishwasher to go back into service.