You may have guessed that although quite suitable for everyday use, a lot of the homeware and cookware here at Valley Living needs to be treated with care when cleaning it. Given the right amount of attention, your purchase can stay looking as stunning and pristine as the day you bought it!
As a general rule, you’ll want to steer clear of the dishwasher. There are certain products that can withstand it quite happily, but to others it can do serious or even irreparable damage. (If in doubt about the tolerances of a specific item, by all means ask me – I’m always happy to help!)
Instead of taking the risk, it’s best to hand-wash your item in warm, soapy water and dry it with a soft cloth. Don’t use any abrasive or scratchy detergents or materials when cleaning or drying it, either, as marks can start to show very quickly. Below, I’ve gone into a bit more detail on how to treat the various materials available.
Glass and Ceramics
Most glass and ceramics fall within the general rules I’ve just outlined above. Some are suitable for the dishwasher, but unless you know that they’re specifically capable of handling it, it’s wise to stay on the cautious side. Even if they’re not structurally damaged by the dishwasher, the high temperatures inside can strip the paint from the surface.
Speaking of temperatures, this leads me onto another important point. Try to avoid letting your homeware be exposed to extreme conditions, but on the off-chance they are, leave them for a while to settle back down to their natural temperature. As some of you might know from unfortunate experience (say, with your car windscreen) rapidly moving from one temperature to another creates ‘thermal shock’, which can easily shatter glass and ceramics. Equally, don’t put your glass in the microwave – the same thing can happen!
To preserve the finish, washing by hand is always a sensible course of action, using a soft cloth to dry the item.
Wood isn’t quite as sensitive as glass or ceramics can be, but all the same wooden items need a bit of care and attention in order to keep them looking at their best. While you hand-wash them with warm soapy water, take care never to leave them in the sink ‘to soak’. The wood will absorb the water, and once that happens, there’s no way to coax it back out again!
If you find them going dull – and that often happens with use – you can restore their colour and warmth by rubbing them with a food-safe oil like olive oil, which will bring out their natural patina and make them look good as new.
For all textiles and fabrics, I strongly recommend a 40 degree wash. Any hotter, and the textile can start to lose its colour, which can make for disappointing results when drying it. I also advise against mixing white and dark colours, as the inevitable usually happens! Finally, make sure that you leave your fabrics out to dry naturally, rather than putting them in the tumble dryer, as the latter can often cause them to shrink.
Pewter and Stainless Steel
Once again, the dishwasher is one to avoid with both these metals. Pewter especially is known as a particularly soft metal, which means it can scratch and even warp if exposed to the harsh conditions inside a dishwasher.
Instead, I recommend washing by hand in warm soapy water, and drying with a soft cloth. The manufacturers of my pewter homeware always stress that their creations should be dried with a soft cloth in a straight up-down motion. Circular motions or hard cloths can easily result in scratches, or otherwise damage the finish.
If in doubt about anything at all, by all means do ask me in the shop, or contact me on 01200 422 224. I take great pride in the pristine quality of my stock, and I’m very passionate about to helping you to keep them that way!