– Hand wash each piece of the porcelain teaware separately. You don’t want to crowd the sink and risk having pieces bang one another.
Some teaware may say they are dishwasher safe, but it’s always a good idea to be extra safe and wash it yourself.
If you wouldn’t put your teaware in a microwave, you wouldn’t want to put it in a dishwasher, either.
When washing by hand, make sure to wait until your teaware has cooled off completely and do not to use any harsh chemicals or abrasive sponges. (see tips below for removing stains properly)
Any tea advice blog you turn to will say the same thing. Never use soap to wash your teaware.
This is absolutely correct. Soaps and detergents can impart unfavorable flavors on delicate teaware. Usually, a quick rinse with hot water should suffice.
However, what about those times that our teaware needs a little extra cleaning?
The tea cloth method works well with any teaware material.
Be it a porcelain, glazed/unglazed clay, glass, or silver. Simply take a cloth (ideally one you already reserve for tea ceremonies and the like), wrap it around your finger, dampen it, and scrub the teaware until it's clean.
You may need to apply some pressure to get it clean, especially for tougher stains, but still, try to be gentle, especially with fragile teaware.
The answer is simple. Pour near-boiling water into the teaware and let it sit for a minute or two. You can do many pours, swish it around, and scrub it with a soft cloth.
The hot water will sanitize it. For stubborn stains, use spent tea leaves (preferably green or white, which have the least amount of tannin) to scrub off any buildup.
The tea leaves can help remove odors and freshen the teaware.
Certain teaware, namely those made from plain white glazed porcelain, can be cleaned with soap, abrasives, and bleach, and can even be cleaned in a dishwasher.
However, this does not apply to unglazed or decorated porcelain, and especially not hand-painted porcelain.
– Store your porcelain teaware somewhere safe. Only store your porcelain teaware when all of the piece are completely dry.
Let them air dry by simply placing on a drying rack or mat. Find somewhere that your porcelain teaware can live, away from dust and other things that may accidentally cause damage (ie. in a cabinet).
Bonus if you can find a great storing spot that also allows you to display the beautiful pieces of teaware!
Last year I got this full outdoor tea set from ZENS Lifestyle, and instantly fell in love when I took it out of the box it was safely stored in.
This mat porcelain set consists of a teapot with infuser and a pour that I absolutely love, 4 tea cups, milk and sugar bowl with spoon and even a decorative piece for a tealight candle (but sometimes I just use it as a dish to display the leaves steeping in the pot).
Naturally, once this elegant tea set was out of the box I began to feel a sense of worry because now several pieces were no longer carefully snuggled in bubble wrap.
The last thing anyone wants is a broken piece of teaware.
Ceramic and clay teaware can be porous and absorb flavors easily, which is what allows them to develop their charm and richness over time as tea lovers use them with particular teas.
Many tea lovers will save a particular teapot or tea cup for a certain style of tea, allowing that style to gradually flavor the teapot over many sessions.
The best way to store is on a Kusenaoshi (chasen holder).
If you don’t have a holder, keep it looking upwards. Storing it that way may cause it to “close up”.
In that case, dampen it by running water and gently unfold it using your fingers. Never do that while dry!
Like bamboo, lacquerware prefers a slightly humid environment and should not be stored in a bone-dry cabinet for too long.
This is why genuine lacquerware often comes wrapped in paper inside its wooden box.
Storing it like this helps keep some moisture in the lacquer and wood