Regarding handling of Japanese tablewarehow to handle
When using for the first time
01. Let's verify the foot ring
Check the foot ring (base of the earthenware). If there is roughness on the base, it can cause damage to the table or to the earthenware when stacked. When you are concerned about the roughness, you can use fine sandpaper to rub it or rub it against the base of another earthenware to make the roughness less noticeable.
02. Let’s do “medome”
There are many invisible small holes in earthenware made of soil. If you use it immediately after buying it, the moisture from the food will seep in and cause discoloration and odor transfer. To prevent this, there is a maintenance method called "medome". First, put the pottery in a pot and then pour in "rice water" until the earthenware is submerged. After boiling for about 15 minutes, remove the earthenware and let it cool slowly. This will fill the holes with rice starch and prevent discoloration and odor transfer. This small extra step of "medome" is necessary for using it for a long time and enjoying the beautiful aging process, creating attachment to the earthenware. * Wheat flour or potato starch can be used as a substitute.
01. The extra step before plating the dish
02. Regarding the use of microwave
Repeated use of the microwave oven can lead to cracks, even if it initially appears undamaged, as rapid temperature changes can cause damage. To ensure the earthenware’s longevity and good condition, it is recommended to avoid subjecting it to such changes. Furthermore, caution is necessary as the electromagnetic waves emitted by the microwave oven can react with metal, resulting in sparks or discoloration.
01. Methods to clean pottery and porcelain
Please use a neutral detergent and gently wash with a soft sponge. It is not recommended to use a dishwasher as it can be affected by hot water and vibrations. Also, be careful with bleach as it may cause odor to seep in. It is not recommended to soak for a long time in a wash basin filled with water. Porcelain is not a problem, but highly absorbent ceramics can transfer dirt and odor from the wash basin.
02. If moisture seeps through the earthenware
As a characteristic of earthenware, cracks (called "kannyu") on the surface allow moisture and tea stains to seep in. The more you use it, the more its expression changes, and it grows into a unique piece that is only yours. In the case of Karatsu ware and other earthenware, due to the nature of the clay, if you leave something with a lot of moisture in the vessel for a long time, the moisture may seep out onto the surface. However, as you continue to use it, this gradually stops.
03. Tips for eliminating odors
By repeating the process of boiling the container in water squeezed from lemons 2-3 times, you can remove the odor with the power of lemon's acidity. If the odor still remains, you can use baking soda. Dissolve about 4 tablespoons of baking soda per liter of water, soak the ceramic container for half a day to a day, and rinse it thoroughly. If the odor still persists even after completely drying, repeat the process 2-3 times.
04. Methods to remove stains
When there is stain on the earthenware, immediately soak them in bleach as soon as you notice. However, since pottery is highly absorbent, take it out after a few tens of minutes and rinse it carefully so that the bleach does not penetrate.
05. If it cracks
If the damage is only a small chip, it is generally safe to continue using the item. However, small cracks can form from the chipped area and may lead to further damage. If the chipped area is sharp and causing discomfort, use fine sandpaper to smooth it out. The traditional Japanese technique of "kintsugi" involves repairing broken or cracked items using lacquer and gold powder. This method can prevent stains and dirt from entering through the damaged area.
01. Make sure to thoroughly dry it before storing it.
After washing earthenware and porcelain, it is important to immediately wipe off any moisture with a cloth and thoroughly dry them before storing, as any remaining moisture can cause mold and stains. Since moisture often tends to accumulate on the bottom of the objects, make sure to touch and confirm that it is completely dry.
02. When stacking the earthenware
When stacking the earthenware, it is advised to place a thin cloth or paper in between to prevent scratches and moisture. When storing them for a long period of time, it is recommended to wrap the entire set with cloth or paper and store it in a well-ventilated area with low humidity.