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Care & Handling Tips

Ceramic Dinnerware

Breakage or Chipping

Improper handling has always been the main reason for breakage or chipping. To minimize this, please follow these rules:

  • Do not overload bus boxes and dish racks.
  • Do not use metal utensils to scrape food off dishes.
  • Use the correct warewashing rack, avoid metal.
  • Do not pile heavy items onto lighter ones.
  • Do not stack plates too high.
  • Avoid nesting cups.
  • Avoid high water pressure when washing dishes.
  • Make sure the warewashing machine has rubber guards.
  • Wash “prep area” should have protective matting on floor.

Scratches and Metal Marking

Scratches and metal markings can be the result of many causes. To avoid this, please observe the following:

  • Avoid sliding plates on steel counters.
  • Do not scour dinnerware with metal pads, steel wool, or abrasive cleansers.
  • Do not allow food to dry on plates, as cleaning off the stuck food may cause scratch marks.
  • Dinnerware should be placed in a soapy water solution upon removal from the table.
  • Avoid overworking your china due to inadequate inventory levels.

Stains and discoloration

Staining could be the result of a number of reasons:

  • Make sure that your dinnerware is fully vitrified. All ITI dinnerware is vitrified.
  • Improper cleaning procedures where food is allowed to remain unwashed after bussing.
  • Pre-soaking in water over 160 degrees.
  • Improper detergent concentration.
  • Hard water or high iron content.
  • Lime content in old equipment.
  • Eroded spray nozzles


Glassware can be damaged in more than one way:

1. Thermal Shock

When glassware is subjected to a sudden temperature change, a thermal shock occurs. Rapid change in temperature, either hot or cold, can cause enough stress to result in breakage from thermal shock. Glassware should be returned to room temperature before it is put into service.

2. Mechanical Shock

Breakage or chipping due to mechanical shock is usually the result of sharp contact with another solid object such as flatware, another glass, or dinnerware. Sometimes mechanical shock could create an invisible crack in the glass thus rendering it weak. This glass will be more susceptible to breakage when subjected to another mechanical or thermal shock. To avoid this, never place flatware into a glass or nest glasses together unless they are made for stacking.


Flatware in general can discolor or show signs of rusting and pitting if not handled properly.

1. Corrosion

The main reason for corrosion is the impact of chlorides present in food that dissolves and attacks the stainless steel, permanently damaging the surface of flatware.

2. Corrosion can also result from:

  • Inadequate washing and cleaning procedures and methods.
  • Flatware left soiled overnight.
  • Use of low-temp warewashing machines.
  • Improper compound used for cleaning.
  • Inadequate presoak solutions.
  • Use of chlorine or long presoak times.
  • Extended exposure to moisture.
  • Flatware should be washed in an upright position.

3. Tarnishing

Stainless steel flatware usually gets buildup of foreign material, such as food soils or hard water deposits which cause black, grey discoloration. It is important for customers to see and use clean looking flatware. To ensure this look, flatware must be subjected to a detarnishing schedule.

Product Catalog

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View our 2022-2024 Product Catalog
2023 2024 Catalog Cover web

General Technical Information

For general technical information, please click on the tabs below. If you have further questions please contact your local sale representative or call 1-(419)-720-0285.

Definition of Vitrified Ceramic Ware

Ceramic ware is considered "Vitrified" if it will absorb less than 3 percent of its own weight when boiled in water for five hours and is soaked for an additional 19 hours.

Differences between Porcelain, Stoneware, and Bone China

Porcelain is made with kaolin clay. Kaolin is a white clay that retains it white color when fired. It is fired at temperatures in excess of 1300 C and is more fully vitrified than stoneware. It is usually covered with a clear glaze, which allows the white body to show. The fired color tends to be more of a "cool" white as opposed to China ware that is usually a warmer white color. Porcelain becomes vitrified during the second firing of a two fire process. The second firing of porcelain typically is hotter than that used for China ware. This finish tends to be harder, but more brittle. This higher firing, hard surface can make decorating more difficult than stoneware or China. The composition of the porcelain clays is usually more malleable than the clays used for China ware. This allows for forming of more intricate and detailed shapes.

Under-Glaze Decorating

Under-Glaze decorating refers to a process where the color is applied directly to the bisque ware or is some cases, greenware. After the color is applied, the ware will either be fired to burn out unwanted volatile materials and then glazed and refired, or may be glazed and fired with no intermediate "Sintering" fire. This process of Under-glazing is used primarily on China, not Porcelain. The resultant decoration is protected from abrasion and wear under the clear glaze finish.

On-Glaze Decorating

On-Glaze decorating, as it implies, refers to a process whereby color is applied over the finished, fired, glazed surface of a ceramic object. The piece is then fired, but at a low enough temperature to melt and fuse the decorating enamels to the outer surface of the glaze. This "low" firing temperature allows for the use of brighter decorating colors, including metallics such as Gold and Platinum. These metallics and brighter colors cannot be achieved at higher firing temperatures as the pigments will not withstand the greater heat. The disadvantage of this process is the decoration is exposed and subject to abrasion, attack by detergents, and may be more susceptible to leaching of potentially toxic materials (if present) in the decorating enamels.

What is California Proposition 65?

The California state government in 1986 passed legislation that is intended to warn consumers in the state of the possibility of exposure to toxic chemicals. Officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, it is better known by its original name of Proposition 65.

Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Currently, there are around 750 chemicals listed, with lead and cadmium being the chemicals of concern to decorators.

Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of these listed chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Proposition 65 specifically lays out the required testing method, limits for lead and cadmium leaching, and the warning requirements for articles that exceed the limits.

The test method specified for leaching lead and cadmium from ceramic dinnerware, is ASTM C 738 (AOAC 973.32). Limits for warning purposes are:

  • Flatware - 0.226 ppm Pb / 3.164 ppm Cd
  • Small Hollow ware - 0.100 ppm Pb / 0.322 ppm Cd
  • Large Hollow ware - 0.100 ppm Pb / 0.084 ppm Cd
  • Cups and Mugs - 0.100 ppm Pb

Ceramic ware does not need warnings if the leaching test results are below the specified levels shown above. In addition, Federal limits still apply to ceramic dinnerware regarding allowable lead and cadmium leaching.

The information provided here is a very brief overview of Proposition 65, and is not meant to answer all questions regarding this law. Any decorators whose products may end up in California (even if not originally sold there), need to be aware of this law, and its ramifications for them, to avoid potential costly problems.

To review the warning requirements, or to view the regulation in its entirety, please refer to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment web site at

Estimating Needs

Not sure how much you should order? We’ve taken the guesswork out of it! Check out our requirement guide, were we give suggested minimum dinnerware, flatware, and glassware requirements for a 100 seat dining room.

Download our Requirement Guide

Limited Warranty

We know that our customers value quality, precision, and commitment; that is why we also offer a 3-year limited chip warranty so that you never have to worry. We will replace or provide equivalent substitutes on a one-for-one basis at no charge for any item returned and found to be defective.

Download Warranty Information