People have argued over whether Wedgwood jasperware is stonewear or a type of porcelain since the late 1700s when it was created by Josiah Wedgwood. One thing is certain, though; its matte finish requires special care, so shut the dishwasher and break out a toothbrush.
Properly Store Your Jasperware
The first step in caring for your jasperware collection is properly storing it, which in turn simplifies other aspects of caring for it. When displaying it, keep it in a closed cupboard. Dust can settle in jasperware, and it is tough to remove a buildup. In addition to enclosed storage, keep jasperware away from temperature extremes because sunlight and heat can warp the exterior. On the opposite end of the spectrum, cold can crack your jasperware.
Clean the Exterior of Your Jasperware
Before beginning to clean the jasperware, wash your hands. Jasperware is susceptible to dirt from any source, including your hands. Once done, soak the jasperware in warm soapy water to ease the removal of stains. Next, rub the exterior with a soft cloth to more thoroughly clean it. If there are still tough bits of dirt, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently scrub it away.
Clean the Interior of Your Jasperware
Cleaning the interior of jasperware pots or vases is a process similar to cleaning the exterior. Fill the interior with warm water and let it sit. Alternatively, when soaking it to clean the exterior, completely submerge or rotate it to evenly treat the interior. From there, wipe down the inside with a washcloth or a long handled brush meant for deep vases.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Jasperware
Avoid is chemical cleaners when cleaning your jasperware. Jasperware is generally an older vase or other container, so chemical cleaners might react harmfully. There is no guarantee of a positive reaction, especially because the composition of jasperware varies greatly depending on when it was made and by whom. In fact, some jasperware does not even contain jasper as it did in the past. Also avoid abrasive cleaners and hard brushes, such as baking soda and steel wool. These will scour the surface, leaving it permanently damaged. Finally, avoid placing jasperware in dishwashers. While warm water is fine, the excessive heat from a dishwasher can harm the material.
Proper Jasperware Use
If you use jasperware for more than decoration, there are several things to consider. First, avoid any liquids, foods, or anything prone to staining. Immediately after use, clean the jasperware. This prevents long lasting damage and keeps your jasperware in pristine condition. Ideally, it's best to avoid its use altogether, but some occasions almost demand a beautiful jasperware teapot. Of course, if your jasperware dates back hundreds of years, you may want to have it tested to ensure it does not contain harmful metals.