Perhaps you have just taken ownership of some antique of vintage cups and saucers that have been handed down to you, maybe through several generations. If so, consider yourself very fortunate especially if the set is still in great condition and there are no pieces missing. One of the best ways to enjoy this type of teaware is to make sure that you use it from time to time. It may not make the tea taste better, but it will certainly add to your enjoyment of the occasion. Think how flattered guests would be if they were served using your antique tea set!
However, there are some things that you need to consider when it comes to these type of antique tea cups and saucers, especially in regards to their proper care. Generally speaking the china is very thin and as such it is very delicate and easy to chip or break. The first rule is that you should never place your antique crockery (or any fine china for that matter) in the dishwasher. It should be carefully washed under warm running water and then dried immediately with a dish towel and put away. Do not leave it on the dishrack or side of the sink to dry either, as it would be very easy for it to get damaged.
You should not place your fine chinaware in the microwave either, especially if it has any metal around the rim of the cup as that will cause sparking. Fine china does not really belong in a microwave. If you are brewing your tea properly, using boiling water and a teapot there should not be any reason for placing it in there in any case.
When storing your antique ware, it is
important not to stack it up. In other words, do not set one tea cup inside
another when storing them. Rather you should place one teacup on its
corresponding saucer and store them that way. It looks much neater to store
them that way and it also gives you the opportunity to show off your set. It
may take a little more room, but if you have antique or vintage tea ware you
should let everyone see it at its best! If you must store it in the tea chest or some other storage place, be sure to wrap each piece in soft cloth first to prevent it from breaking.
Finally, never use harsh detergents or any other abrasive agents when cleaning your tea ware. Abrasive agents will scratch the cup and very often also ruin the design on the cup. Simply rinse them out using your hand or a soft sponge to clean inside the cup. Tea does tend to stain the bottom of cups, if that has happened to your cup try soaking it over night using a denture soaking solution. Alternatively you can put a weak bleach solution inside the cup. Neither of these chemicals are particularly abrasive but they will lift the tea stains off if left to soak overnight. Of course, the best way to avoid tea stains is by washing your cups immediately after use.With careful handling, storing and cleaning your cups and saucers should last long enough that they can be handed down to yet another new generation of family members.