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How to Remove Stains from Stoneware Dishes

Not A Normal Monday

Today is Monday. On Mondays during the summer I help some friends of ours by watching their 3 children while they work. So, usually on Mondays I have 7 children ages 7 and younger to keep me busy. And it’s actually pretty fun! My kids have a built-in play date every Monday. They love it!

But not today. We couldn’t have our built-in play date today because 3/4 of my kids were snotty, coughing, and running to the bathroom. So while they lazed around and enjoyed way more TV time than I care to admit, Kayli and I conducted an experiment on our stoneware dishes.

Our Stoneware Dishes

Shortly after we moved into our current home 5 years ago Peter and I bought stoneware dishes for a really great price at Pier 1 Imports. We’ve really loved these dishes, but over time the they have acquired these really ugly pewter-colored stains from everyday use.

Unwanted marks on stoneware dishes

Peter and I were talking this weekend about how we hate the marks on the plates as much as we love the dishes themselves. I wondered how to remove stains from stoneware dishes and restore our plates to their original splendor.

I searched around online and discovered a few remedies other people suggest will work: Barkeepers Friend cleanser, baking soda and water paste, and toothpaste. A few people suggested using a very fine grade steel wool as well as some more abrasive cleaners.

I do not have any Barkeepers Friend on hand at my house and I wasn’t about to head out to the store with sick children to buy some. So I can’t really speak to how well that remedy works to remove the unwanted marks on stoneware dishes. I don’t own any steel wool either. So I figured old-fashioned elbow grease would have to do.

Since baking soda and toothpaste were handy, I figured I’d give them each a try. As I was collecting the materials I’d need to get started on my dish cleaning experiment, I noticed the Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner sitting in the cabinet. I got to wondering how it may work to remove the stains.

A Practical Kitchen Science Experiment to Remove Stains from Stoneware Dishes

In order to find out how to best remove the unwanted pewter marks from the stoneware dishes, Kayli and I conducted a simple science experiment. We started out by taking the marked-up plate and dividing it into thirds using painter’s tape.

On 1/3 of the plate we applied a baking soda and water paste to the marks using a table spoon and let it sit for about a minute. On another 1/3 of the plate we applied the cook top cleaner by squirting about a dime-sized blob onto the section of the plate and then smearing it around using a napkin. On the last 1/3 of the plate, we squeezed out enough toothpaste from the tube to cover the tip of the toothbrush and then used the toothbrush to apply the toothpaste to the plate.

Remove unwanted marks from stoneware dishes

Knowing how well the cook top cleaner works on our stove, I predicted it would do well to help remove the stains on the plates. Kayli hypothesized the toothpaste would just make the plate a sticky mess.

Only using a napkin, I began scrubbing away at the portion of the plate covered with the baking soda paste. I was surprised to find that almost all of the unwanted marks were gone within about a minute of scrubbing. I did have to scrub pretty hard to remove some of the stains, but most of them did eventually disappear. I will admit that the baking soda really dried out my fingers and left me wishing I had worn rubber gloves to complete the job.

I washed my hands, retrieved a new napkin and began buffing away the haze of cook top cleaner on the next section of the plate. Most of the marks on the plate came off beautifully. There were a few deeper stains that left faint reminders of their existence, but overall the marks on the plate came off without much scrubbing, without leaving any type of mess, and the cook top cleaner did not bother my hands at all.

Finally, I grabbed the toothbrush and began scrubbing the marks on the last 1/3 of the plate. Nothing happened to the marks. I scrubbed harder and in differing directions with the brush. The marks slowly began to disappear. I grabbed a napkin to try scrubbing. The napkin quickly became a shredded, sticky mess.

ways to remove stains from stoneware dishes

In the end, Kayli and I agreed that the cook top cleaner was the best practical way to clean unwanted marks from stoneware dishes because it was super easy to use, it didn’t make a mess, and we didn’t feel the need to use rubber gloves to use the product. However, we noted that elbow grease along with a baking soda paste does wonders to remove those really tough stains on the plates. So using it sparingly may be worth the hassle. The toothpaste is best left for providing minty fresh breath, in our opinions.

Beautifully Restored Stoneware Plates

Once we determined what method worked best to clean the marks off the plates, I spent a portion of the kids’ quiet rest time this afternoon polishing our stoneware plates. It took me about 5 minutes per plate to clean them up. I always started out using the cook top cleaner. If I ended up with stubborn stains or marks the cook top cleaner was not capable of removing, then I used a small amount of baking soda paste and scrubbed with a sponge.

All of my plates now look like this!

removing stains from stoneware dishes

So there you have it… A practical way to remove stains from your favorite dishes!

And yes, I tried this method on my white porcelain dishes, too. Since the cook top cleaner is non-abrasive, it worked beautifully without etching the surface of any of my plates. So I think it’s probably safe to say you can use it on all of your dinnerware. If you’re not certain about that, try it out on the backside of a plate or bowl. That will give you an inconspicuous place to test this kitchen tip out for yourself!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jessica scott July 30, 2013, 10:18 am

    This was very helpful. I didn’t even know these marks could be removed once they were there! Thanks for the advice! :)

    ~Jessica Scott

    • Karen July 30, 2013, 10:43 am

      You’re welcome, Jessica!

      For a while Peter and I wanted to buy new dishes because ours were starting to look so bad. I’m so glad I found something that works so well! I’m happy as can be with my dishes again :-)