Care and Use
Tableware – Porcelain and Earthenware
Designed for modern day living, Portmeirion’s tableware is “oven-to-table”, microwave, and dishwasher safe. Some items can even go from freezer to oven (providing the dish is at least half full with food or liquid). To get the most from your tableware, please review the following Tips.
- Most tableware items – such as dinner plates, mugs, serving bowls or platters, etc. – can be placed in a warm oven (225° F or lower), but should not be used for cooking.
- Cookware items – such as lasagne dishes, roasters, ramekins, casseroles, etc. – are designed to perform at temperatures normally used for cooking up to 425° F.
- Do not use items that include non-ceramic materials, such as salt and pepper shakers, in the oven or microwave.
- Do not place items on a direct source of heat, e.g., halogen burner, electric coil, or gas burner.
- Allow ware to cool naturally for a short period of time before placing it in water to wash or on a cold or wet surface such as tile, stone or metal. Do not cool items by placing them in cool water.
- For microwave use, follow your manufacturer’s manual for guidelines. Do not use your microwave to warm plates. When microwave cooking foods that exude fluids such as fish, bacon, etc., be sure to place a paper towel under the foods to absorb the hot fluids to dissipate the thermal shock of super-heated fluids. Remember that ceramics will pick up some of the heat created in the microwave, so use care in holding handles or picking up plates.
Please note that gold accented collections, including Spode Christmas Tree Gold, Sara Miller London Chelsea, Celestial and Piccadilly collections are not microwave safe.
Lead is a naturally occurring element that is commonly found within the environment. It is virtually impossible to eliminate from the raw materials from which ceramic bodies, glazes and colors are made. The presence of such lead is defined as an unintentional contaminant. Conversely, when an element such as lead is deliberately added to impart a function such as appearance and durability then this is defined as an intentional contaminant..
It is Portmeirion Group's policy to not intentionally add harmful elements within the production of ceramic homeware irrespective of the place of manufacture and to use unleaded materials. To facilitate this we have full visibility of the materials used in our supply chains and a stringent test program in place to ensure all new product launches and existing lines are routinely tested by independent, accredited test houses to ensure any potential risk to our customers is kept as minimal as possible.
There have been instances of lead poisoning from ceramic food contact articles for as long as records have been kept. The significance of leaded ceramic glazes was identified over 300 years ago in the late 18th Century through the separate works of H Ebell and W A Lampadius. These works identified that when lead glazes are fired correctly then no lead would leach from the material in the presence of a strong acid (acting as a food substitute) and that in addition, poorly fired glazes would leach lead as a result. .
These works identified that the most likely cause for lead poisoning was a result of ingesting food and drink that had been contact with a poorly constructed leaded ceramic article. Over time, advances in technology have proven that during the firing process, any lead present within the glaze would become chemically bound and form part of the glass-like structure. If a glaze was not sufficiently fired then these chemical bonds would not be as strong which would then be the source of any detected lead (if present). It is feasible that there may be slightly weaker lead ions on the surface of a glaze which would have the potential to leach into food or drink substrates but these would be detected in a test method based on metal release such as ASTM C927 or AOAC 18th Ed. (2005) Section 973.32. .
This is one of the main reasons that leachable lead is the globally recognised method of analysis. There are many other methods of analysis that will claim to measure lead. However, the metal release lead test methods recognised by the United States Food and Drug Administration and taken into law in Acts such as California Proposition 65 are considered to be the most representative for measuring the risk of exposure to the general public.
Portmeirion Group has always stood behind the quality and safety of our products. In addition to the comprehensive testing schedule in place, we routinely review metal release acceptance limits on the global market and adopt the most stringent limits to help reduce any risk of metal release to the absolute minimum. For example, 50 years ago Portmeirion worked to a release limit of 2pppm (Parts Per Million) based on European regulations whilst the US limit at the time was 7ppm. Since 1991, the limits set out in California Proposition 65 have been the most stringent and we have adhered to a limit of 0.1ppm. This limit is always under review and Portmeirion Group is actively maintaining the lowest possible release limit.
Cleaning Your Tableware
All Portmeirion earthenware and porcelain tableware is easy to clean, either using a dishwasher or by hand using conventional detergents.
If you use a dishwasher, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. We recommend liquid detergents over powder and recommend against using detergents with “lemon” or other citrus scents/additives as they can have a long-term detrimental effect on ceramic glazes and cause colors to fade. Abrasive heavy duty detergents, scouring powders, or steel wool pads should never be used.
Occasionally, dark streaks may be found on your tableware from contact with silverware or kitchen utensils. Apply a small amount of a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner such as Zud or Barkeeper’s Friend on a soft, wet cloth or sponge.
Please note that Evesham Gold products, because of the gold banding, are not dishwasher safe.
Portmeirion’s cutlery items such as cake slicers, teaspoons, or pastry forks are made from stainless steel and have beautiful porcelain handles. We recommend that these are hand washed in mild soapy water and dried with a soft cloth.
Our textiles are made from high-quality materials and are designed for everyday use. As with all textiles, wear and tear will occur. Please read the care tags on individual items for recommended methods and if you use washers and dryers, please follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
Placemats & Coasters
Using the highest quality materials, Pimpernel placemats and coasters provide a durable surface to protect surfaces from heat, scratches, and staining. All placemats and coasters in the collection are made using an unrivalled layering system with a cork base, hardwood middle, fantastic design, and protective, hard-wearing surface.
Designed for everyday living, placemats and coasters are resistant to normal household stains and withstand temperatures up to the boiling point of water. They are not suitable for use as chopping boards.
We recommend that you clean placemats and coasters with a damp sponge and dry with a soft cloth. DO NOT immerse in water or put in a dishwasher.
Crystal & Glass
Our glassware is of the best quality. We recommend that you wash by hand to keep the glass at its best. If you choose to use a dishwasher, please note that this may cause the glass to “bloom”, develop a haze, or the design may lose brilliance.
The Pimpernel trays are heat resistant with a wipe clean surface and are dishwasher safe. Do not use abrasive cleaners. Do not place hot objects on the melamine as it may blister or warp. Do not use melamine products as cutting boards.