Like all silver items, Masanobu Ando’s silver overglaze ceramic tableware takes on a unique patina over time, reflecting its use. The glaze will react to the sulfur in the air, yellowing, darkening, and eventually turning black, in a process called sulfide staining. For some, this aging process is as beautiful as the item itself. While others may wish to maintain the item’s original luster throughout its life. If you find yourself missing the original glow of one of your silver overglaze pieces, or wanting to remove some unwanted marks from it’s surface, the simple instructions below will guide you through the process.
Cleaning Masanobu Ando’s silver overglaze tableware doesn’t require any special tools or chemicals. All you need is some toothpaste and a soft cloth.
First, identify the marks you wish to polish out. These areas will require more attention than the rest of the surface.
Squeeze a healthy amount of toothpaste into a soft cloth and begin polishing the most affected areas.
Starting in the center of the patinated areas, polish in small circles, at a medium-hard pressure—like kneading out a piecrust.
Move outward, evenly covering the surface. The cloth will begin to absorb the toothpaste, feel free to apply more as needed.
Rinse the item in lukewarm water.
You will have to repeat the process multiple times to fully restore the item, but believe us its worth it. The item will still maintain some subtle marks of its natural age.
After the final rinse, dry the item with a soft, clean cloth, and allow to air dry overnight.
If you would like to clean the glaze more permanently, a small amount of specialty silver polish applied in the same manner will quickly remove any marks and stains from your item. But be aware, after using silver polish the glaze will be reluctant to patina for a very long time.
A note on food:
Ando-san’s plates and tableware make for beautiful serving items, especially for hors d’oeuvres and other small appetizers. However, the overglaze reacts more extremely to some foods than others. Vinegar, lemon juice, onions, mustard, and especially eggs will speed up the staining process dramatically.
The White Silver Oval Tray pictured in this care manual can be found here.