It’s easy to fall in love with the colors and patterns of melamine dishes. Today, many options are available, but there are vintage dishes that are still around and might be the perfect part of any collection. If you’d love to start collecting melamine plates, consider mixing vintage options with new ones. Taking the time to find the perfect addition to your collection can help you create a set that looks amazing, and that’s perfect for putting on display.
Are Old Melamine Dishes Safe?
Melamine is considered safe to use, and that does include vintage plates. The heating process used to create the dishes removes most of the melamine chemicals used, though a small amount still exists in the plates. However, as long as the plate is not heated, the melamine will not leach into the food on the plate. Both vintage and modern melamine plates are safe to have and use as long as care is taken with them.
Checking the Condition of Vintage Plates
Those who already own vintage plates will want to check their condition before using them. Even if they’re not usable, though, they may still be in good shape for displaying alongside new ones in a collection. Although melamine is considered safe to use, even if the plate is older, it’s not a good idea to use ones that are chipped or cracked. These can, though, be used in a display, especially if the damage is small. Depending on the colors or patterns, the plates may still add to the overall look of the collection and help make it stand out more.
If a plate is damaged significantly, consider whether it’s worth the cost of adding it to the collection. If a plate is broken into two pieces, it may be possible to glue it back together. In some cases, the crack will become almost invisible, but in others, it may still be possible to see it. If the piece has some history to it, though, this can make it a conversation starter. It’ll be an excellent addition to the collection, even though it’s not usable, and can help create a better visual look in the display.
Purchasing New Melamine Plates
Melamine plates are still being made because they’re an excellent option in today’s homes and restaurants. If you’re looking for bright-colored dishware, take the time to find the perfect base set. The base set should include everything you’ll need and should be a pattern or color you love. Take some time to look into all the options, as there are many different choices to consider. Ordering online can make it easier to find the perfect pattern or color to launch a new collection of melamine plates. If you already have some, look for something that will blend in and help create the look you’re after in the display.
Mix and Match for a Creative Look
It’s not necessary to just buy a full set of melamine dishes and stick with it. In fact, many people do prefer mixing and matching different styles and colors to create a more unique collection they can showcase and use. When mixing vintage with modern, avoid trying to choose all the same colors. The color used years ago isn’t going to be an exact match for the colors used today. Instead, mix patterns and colors to get a more unique look. The result will be a gorgeous collection of dishware that’s possible to use and enjoy as a display.
Storing the Melamine Plates
Options are available for large and small collections to help store them and show them off, too. No matter how extensive the collection is, especially if you plan on adding to it over time, consider some of the top plate display ideas to show them off. While the plates can be used, they also make a fantastic display and can add a lot of color to the kitchen or dining area. With a mix-and-match collection full of bright colors and fun patterns, the perfect display can make it easy to show them off when they’re not being used.
Caring for Vintage and New Melamine Plates
Using melamine plates does mean they need to be cared for properly. Those kept on display should be dusted regularly to help keep them looking great and to protect the display. When they’re used, though, there are a few tips to help keep them in excellent shape and prevent damage.
Avoid Cutting with a Knife
Serrated knives can cut into melamine, so avoid using them on the plates. When knives are used, take care to avoid cutting into the plate and causing damage, which could allow bacteria to grow on the plate. Scratches and gouges should mean the plate is retired and replaced with a new one.
Use Non-Abrasive Cleaners
Avoid abrasive cleaners like steel wool when cleaning melamine dishware, as this can scratch the surface. Melamine can go in the dishwasher, but if you’d prefer to wash them by hand, opt for a non-abrasive cleaner to keep the plates in good shape.
Do Not Microwave the Melamine Dishware
Melamine can contain some chemicals, though the plates are considered safe to use. When the plates are heated in the microwave, though, the chemicals can leach into the food. It is better to avoid using these dishes in the microwave to ensure they remain safe to use.
Rotate Which Plates are Used
A large collection makes it easier to rotate which plates are used. By doing this, it’s possible to reduce the wear and tear on the plates, helping them last a lot longer.
Melamine dishes are popular because they’re a great option for home dishware. However, you don’t just have to stick with a new set of dishes. If you’re looking to create an amazing collection for display or want a wider variety of plates to use in your home, try mixing and matching vintage plates with new ones. With a little time and effort, it’s possible to create an amazing display that’s both functional and gorgeous.