Does the dream of surrounding yourself with handmade ceramics encounter practical objections such as dishwasher safe? Who wants to be beautiful uh .. wants to use beautiful ceramics … has to suffer?
Luckily not! Handmade dream ceramics and dishwasher convenience absolutely do not encounter practical objections. At least not if you carefully compose and fire the ceramic glazes.
Dishwasher safe ceramic
We use our dishwasher every day. What a luxury to put all dishes directly out of sight in the dishwasher. In the evening we turn it on and in the morning the dishes shine towards us again. But to get the dishes clean, a spicy cleaning agent is used.
Dishwasher tablets are very alkaline, just like soap and soda. Fine for cleaning, but it can damage the enamel on your dishes. I remember my mother cleaning my grandmother’s old dishes in the dishwasher. The floral decor on the edges of the plates had (almost) disappeared. That’s how corrosive the cleaning agent can be.
Modern ceramics take the power of the dishwasher into account. These plates and cups are, as they say, dishwasher safe. And that’s fine to do. Glazes on ceramic dinner set are one of the most indestructible materials that humans can make. But… then the glaze must be well designed and fired.
Strong handmade ceramic glazes
A well-designed glaze is absolutely dishwasher safe. The shine and colors continue to shine towards you, even after daily use in the dishwasher. In fact, matte glazes do not wear out in the dishwasher. These glazes can be just as strong and durable as their shiny counterparts.
So where does the myth come from that you can only wash handmade ceramics by hand? Well, not all glazes are composed with the same care. In addition, a glaze cannot be fired correctly. Because even the best glaze that is not “fired” at the right temperature will never become strong.
I fire at stoneware temperature, about 1280 o C. This ensures a very strong (waterproof) shard and a wear-resistant glaze. But a well-balanced glaze can also be made on earthenware. Although the shard is porous and somewhat less strong, the glaze can be just as indestructible as its stoneware counterpart. Provided the glaze is specially designed for the relevant temperature!
Use handmade ceramics
Handmade ceramics can therefore be dishwasher safe. That this is not always the case has to do with the glaze in combination with the correct firing. If one of the two is not good, the performance in the dishwasher is also not optimal. The maker can tell you.
I make ceramic sculptures as well as consumer goods. I design my glazes myself, for the temperature I fire. I can therefore also assess whether the glaze will be wear-resistant. But the best test is, of course, just use it. I have been eating and drinking from my homemade tableware for years. And for years I have been cleaning it in the dishwasher without any problem.
Do you not know the origin, is it antique or is the ceramic for decorative use? Then err on the side of caution and wash it by hand. But if you know the maker, enjoy your handmade ceramics daily and wash it as you wish, for example in the dishwasher.