Care Instructions

Thank you for popping over to peek at!Taking Care of Your Vintage Kitchenware & Decor

The hang tag or packing slip from your recent Atomic Hostess purchase may have pointed you to this page. If that’s the case, I am giving you a big thank you for your business! If you found this page accidentally, I hope you find some helpful information! Take a look around and let me know if you have any questions.

I receive questions regarding how to care for loved and treasured vintage item. The last thing you want to do is damage a piece you’ve been searching for high and low. Trust me, I know from experience about inadvertently damaging a “new” item, or even accidentally  breaking it! Some days I think my hands are cubes of butter; it’s horrible to think that a vintage item can survive out there for 50+ years, only to die within 24 hours of coming to live with me.

Below are some general vintage kitchenware care instruction and specifics provided by the type of item. If there is something that you don’t see covered below, and you have a question, don’t hesitate to send me an email (

Guidelines for taking care of your "new" vintage kitchenware & housewares. Avoid the dishwasher and the microwave.

These care instructions are meant as guidelines

Your vintage kitchenware and glassware’s arch nemesis is your microwave & dishwasher; Do not subject your vintage kitchenware to either.

I recommend hand washing only with mild soap; I’m not sure what “they” mean by mild soap, but I use blue Dawn and have had good results (knock on wood). If you are washing very fragile items, I read a good trick in one of Rachel Ashwell’s books, put a dish cloth or hand towel at the bottom of your sink to provide a bit of cushion, and use warm water, not hot hot to fill the sink.


I have made the fatal mistake of putting vintage plates and bowls in the microwave only to have it literally split in half.


It may not appear to be damaging your vintage collections at first, but over time you may start to notice an icky film developing, or discoloring. When it comes to those very cool mid-century atomic barware glasses, the dishwasher may just wash away that pattern that you love so much.


Hand wash only. While you are hand washing be sure that you do NOT use a steel wool scubby, or the rough scrubby of a dish sponge (that dark green side). I’ve done it, I’ve used the rough scrubby part of a sponge and I scrubbed the gold right off of some of the most beautiful mid-century cocktail glasses. I’m pretty sure I shed a tear, or 100.


Blendo before and after cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend. How to care for your vintage kitchenware.Blendo definitely doesn’t like the dishwasher. Recently I passed up a set of four orange Blendo juice glasses. It was funny when about a week later, Jerry came home with that exact set of Blendo. I had nothing to lose so I went ahead and scrubbed with Bar Keepers Friend (yes, I know I said don’t scrub, but like I said I had nothing to lose). It worked! The BKF removed the dishwasher residue build up. I took the before picture to use as an example when I passed the glasses up. The results are awesome.

Melmac – Melamine:

Texas-ware Melmac Dishware Set - avoid direct heat or open flame.

Avoid putting your melmac dinnerware near direct heat or open flame. I cannot tell you how many cigarette burns I’ve found on plates or bowls; ick, an ashtray would have been a better choice. Hand washing recommended to avoid the dishware pattern from fading.

Silver Plate:

hand wash only. I prefer silver with a rustic patina, so I don’t worry about polishing my pieces. On a daily basis I do use silver plate flatware; I like the look of vintage silver plate mix and match flatware. My husband, Jerry, and I literally have “his and hers” flatware. He prefers a newer stainless steel set. When my flatware does accidentally end up in the dishwasher, it comes out discolored, and over time it can become pitted (it’s a chemical reaction thing between the silver plate and the stainless steel when they are washed together). Hand washing is always recommended. Try to avoid any scouring sponges.

Vintage China With Crazing:

A brief explanation in case you aren’t sure what crazing is: crazing is the crackly look in the glaze of a ceramic, porcelain, or pottery piece. In an article I read on (a subscription based site, which is why I’m not providing a link) they recommend that crazed dishware should be retired and used for display purposes only. Reason being, the possibility of lead leaching into food from old glazes used. There may be bacteria hiding in those crackles.

I have a really pretty vintage pitcher that I was going to use as a flower vase. The pitcher had crazing, but it didn’t look too bad to me; after filling it with water and flowers the entire pitcher became discolored and water logged. I now use it as a catchall for change.

Remove Stains From China:

simple instructions for removing stains from china. See before and after and quick and easy instructions.There’s an easy trick to remove stains and discoloration from vintage platters that I learned from another blogger. You can read about it here, and there is a link for more detailed information. I’ve been able to save some badly stained pieces, now bright beautiful china.

Cast Iron:

There are way too many great articles on Pinterest alone for taking care of and seasoning cast iron. If you need additional details here is a Pin I saved, but in a nutshell do not wash cast iron, just wipe clean with a paper towel.

Atomic Hostess Furniture Care Instructions:

I’ve tried a variety of top coat options for furniture rehab. I found my perfect varathane. Furniture pieces in our Amazon Handmade Shop & Etsy Shop are finished with a top coat of Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish: formulated to have the ultimate level of clarity, with least amount of sheen, and it won’t yellow over time like other top coats and waxes. Simply use a soft damp cloth to wipe away dust or spills.

More Care Instructions Coming Soon!

Atomic Hostess - vintage barware, decor and housewares

The “blurb”. I am not affiliated with any of the products I use. The products truly are just favorites I’ve discovered over time, and share with no strings attached.


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