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Create beautiful table settings, enjoy items from different eras & know how to care for your vintage dishes - Astialiisa’s vintage expert Tiina Westerlund will tell you how.
Can my Vintage Arabia dish handle the dishwasher? How can I get rid of difficult and stubborn stains? If your vintage dishes’ decoration is not glazed, machine washing and strong stain removal chemicals can dissolve or damage the pattern. Therefore before we start, we have to answer one question: is my vintage dishes’ decoration protected by glaze or not?
Examples of decorations typically printed under the glaze:
The easiest way to check if the pattern is protected under the glazing is with a quick examination: A pattern protected by glaze will feel uniform to the touch and will have even gloss across the decorated and non-decorated area.
Check by feeling the surface of the vintage dish. Does the surface of the decoration feel rough, coarse or different compared to the undecorated areas? Can you feel the edges of the decoration? Does it feel like it is on top of the glazed surface? Does the decoration look less glossy/shiny than the rest of the dish when inspected under a light?
If you answered yes to these questions the decoration is probably not protected by a glaze and needs to be cleaned by hand. If you are not sure, always err on the side of caution or ask for help. Unglazed decorations also shouldn’t be treated with strong chemicals, bleaches, rough sponges or hard brushes.
Examples of decorations typically printed above the glaze:
You can also check the Arabia factory stamps to help identify the decoration period. If you are still unsure how to care for your Astialiisa Vintage items, ask us for advice.
|Decoration above glaze|
|Decoration under glaze|
Decorative items, vases & wall plates should always be hand-washed. Flower vases should always be properly washed with soap, just rinsing with water could result in dirt building up on the surface of your vase.
Vintage glass has varying thicknesses on the neck and base. These are sensitive to temperature changes and crack easily. Hand-washing is always the safest option. If you do use the dishwasher, put the glasses in the top tray (make sure that they don’t touch each other!) and use the glass program. Never stack hot glasses, wait till they cool.
Vintage enamel is made from iron and can rust where the metal is not covered. Therefore we recommend that you wash and dry these by hand. Modern enamel (stainless steel interior) can be machine washed and can handle tough stain cleaning.
It’s always best to clean your vintage items as gently as possible, but what about when the usual washing methods don’t suffice? Try out Tiina’s special spot-cleaning tips to get rid of those difficult and deep-set stains!
|Soak||Simmer||Spot treatment||Glass cleaner||Abrasive scrub|
|Decoration above glaze|
|Decoration under glaze|
Soaking - If you have surface staining or limescale try soaking it in lukewarm water with a little dishwasher liquid, vinegar or oxidizing laundry detergent for up to 1-2 days.
Simmering - A darkened enamel pot can be cleaned by either soaking or gently heating some water and dishwasher detergent and cooking on a low heat for 15 minutes and then cleaning the surface with a brush or sponge. Repeat process if necessary.
Spot treatment - very stubborn stains, like tea and coffee, can be cleaned by gently and quickly applying a small amount of whitening product (such as whitening laundry detergent powder) and rubbing with a soft sponge or brush.
Glass cleaner - for cloudy, stained and dirty glass and decorative glass objects, try window cleaning liquid and a microfiber cloth.
Abrasive scrub - Even with tough stains, it is always best to avoid a hard brush. Try using a kaolin clay soap or a melamine foam sponge “magic eraser” for tough stains. These work great for darkened base rings on ceramic dishes.
Arabia Ceramics before the 50s were designed for table settings only. Only faience dishes with the Arabia Oven logo can be heated, like Arabia Kilta ovenware. Never heat Faience Tableware or Old Porcelain dishes. When exposed to one-sided heat or fast temperature changes the surface can crackle. Stoneware dishes developed in the 60s can withstand large temperature changes both in the oven and microwave. Vintage Arabia ceramics safe for stove are marked with the Arabia Flame logo, like Arabia Liekki.
Vintage enamel dishes have handles manufactured from bakelite, which should not be put in the oven. Modern enamel is made from stainless steel suitable for stove and oven, as well as for cold storage.
Glass is very sensitive to temperature changes. It should not be put into the microwave or oven unless there is a special label indicating that they are safe to heat. For example Iittala Hot&Cold series and some Iittala Tsaikka glasses are suitable for heating.
Gold or other metal decorations should not be put in the microwave as sparks will fly!
|Faience|| Oven |
|Stoneware||Flame logo only|
Aav, Marianne (ed.), et al. Arabia: Ceramics, Art, Industry. Helsinki: Designmuseo, 2009.
Aav, Marianne, et al. Kaj Franck: Universal Forms. Helsinki: Designmuseo, 2011.
Blåfield, Marja et al. Arabian Lumoava Posliini (trans. Arabia’s alluring porcelain). Helsinki: Wsoy, 2010.
Lehtola, Katri. & Leppänen, Helena. Arabian kahvikupit: 1916-2016 (trans. Arabia coffee cups :1916-2016). Helsinki: WSOY, 2016.
Kumela, Marjut, et al. The Arabia porcelain factory. Helsinki: Uudenmaan Kirjapaino Oy, 1987.
Annual product catalogs and retailer catalogs:
Arabian Hinnasto vuodelta 1936 (trans. Arabia product price catalog 1936). Raasepori: Suomen Antiikki- ja Taidekirjat Oy, 1994 reprint.
Arabia: Talousposliini ja –Fajanssi (trans. Domestic porcelain and faience). Raasepori: Suomen Antiikki- ja Taidekirjat Oy, 2005.
Arabia Taideteollisuusosaston esineet (trans. Works from Arabia art ceramics department). Raasepori: Suomen Antiikki- ja Taidekirjat Oy, 2004
Ceramics & Glass. Arabia Oy.
The expert. Hackman Designor Oy.
IN. Iittala Group.
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