Why Do My White Porcelain Dinner Plates Develop A Spotted Iridescent Appearance?


  1. What is the phenomenon of crazing?
  2. What causes crazing on white porcelain dinnerware?
  3. Safety concerns about using crazing dinnerware
  4. Does your dinnerware lose strength due to crazing?
  5. Reverse or remove crazing on white porcelain plates
  6. Methods to prevent crazing in dinnerware
  7. Conclusion

People love to invest their money in a variety of amazing white porcelain dinnerware to enhance their dinner tables and family gathering occasions. However, the most common issue owners face with white porcelain dinnerware is the emergence of a spotted iridescent appearance over time.

The phenomenon of appearing spotted iridescent appearance on the white porcelain dinnerware is called crazing. This appearance might considered charming and beautiful for some people; however, others might associate it with an undesired, antiquated look. It is frustrating for antique dealers to see white porcelain dinnerware crazing since it decreases the value of the pieces.

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What is the phenomenon of crazing?

Crazing refers to the network of fine-line fractures that form on the glazed surface of white dinnerware. It should not be mistaken for cracks in the dinnerware itself. Although crazing primarily affects the surface, it can compromise the piece's structural integrity over time.

What causes crazing on white porcelain dinnerware?

The most common cause of crazing in dinnerware is aging, as the crazing process generally occurs with time on the dinnerware. However, there are also some other factors that contribute to causing instant crazing on dinnerware. These crazing causes include:

  • Changes in the temperate and the humidity cause the glaze of the dinnerware to crack and immediately the process of crazing.
  • Frequent exposure to moisture.
  • Acidic food.
  • Exposure to harsh detergent for washing purposes.
  • It is possible for crazing to occur when moisture gets into a glaze and forces cracks in it.
  • Furthermore, continuous knocks and bumps on the surface of the dinnerware can cause small cracks that lead to crazing. These small cracks can easily accumulate dirt and grease, which causes the formation of an iridescent look.

New pieces can also develop crazing as time passes. Multiple factors include the thickness of the applied glaze, composition of applied glaze, firing temperature, rate of cooling of a piece, shrinkage of the piece, and glaze’s relationship with it. All these factors play a significant role and can cause crazing on the white porcelain dinnerware.

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Safety concerns about using crazing dinnerware

Crazing is considered the most common issue that dinnerware and other pottery face over time. However, that does not mean you cannot use your plates or dinnerware. In some cases, it is considered safe to use these plates, although they might not look as pleasing and beautiful as they were before.

Generally, it is not recommended to use this dinnerware. The fine cracks caused by crazing can hold food particles and bacteria, potentially leading to food contamination. If you choose to use crazed plates, use these plates by placing some paper dollies, pastry tissues or parchment paper on plates to separate the food item from the problematic surface of the plates.

Does your dinnerware lose strength due to crazing?

Are your dishes losing strength because of crazing? Not really. There are more aesthetic concerns about these lines than structural ones. In fact, some people like crazing on their dinnerware as it makes it look aesthetically pleasing and antique. You can still use your ceramic pieces despite cracking. However, crazing may make the dish more porous, resulting in the formation of unsightly stains over time.

Reverse or remove crazing on white porcelain plates

The process of reversing crazing on plates is not possible. You can, however, remove stains and discolorations caused by particles that settle into the cracks.

Methods to prevent crazing in dinnerware

Crazing on dinnerware can be frustrating, especially if it occurs after using the dinnerware for a short period. Taking preventative measures can prevent crazing from happening in the first place.

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Say no to Dishwashers

Avoid using dishwashers for cleaning dinnerware and plates. Use a mild dish detergent and hand wash dishes instead. White porcelain plates craze due to temperature fluctuations. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of washing your plates by hand, using a mild dish detergent.

The safest way to wash your plates and other dinnerware is by hand. While some dishwashing machines have fine china settings, hand washing is your best bet. High temperatures and abrasive detergents are not recommended in dishwashing cycles, as they will not produce satisfactory results over time. Although convenient, regular dishwasher use risks damaging valuable dinnerware through wear and tear.

Temperature fluctuation

As explained earlier, frequent changes in the temperature of the dinnerware can also damage your dinnerware by causing crazing. It is also important to keep your dinnerware at a consistent temperature throughout the year (e.g. do not store your dishes in the garage that directly face the drastically changing climates).

Another method of preventing crazing in your dinnerware is to avoid using these plates for serving highly acidic food. Furthermore, you must handle your dinnerware with care, as frequent bumps and poor handling can cause small cracks to form in the dinnerware. In short, it is almost impossible to stop crazing from happening once it starts; You cannot resolve the damage. Therefore, your best bet is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By following these preventions, you can save your expensive and beautiful white porcelain plates from crazing.

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Different people have different perceptions about crazing on dinnerware. Some people admire the beauty and the aesthetic appeal of crazing on their dinnerware, as crazing makes their dinnerware look antique and artistic. On the other hand, some people prefer their dinnerware to look as good as new. Crazing can occur on plates or other dinnerware due to various factors, but you can still prevent it from happening by following precautions.

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