How to smarten up your old crockery to make it look like new — you won’t believe this cleaning hack

Cleaning a scratched plate with a metal cleaner
(Image credit: Future)

I’ve recently given my kitchen a spring clean and decluttered my kitchen cabinets. It’s never an easy task, especially when deciding what stays and what goes, but I managed to reorganize my kitchen in a morning

Although I decided to keep my much-loved dinner set that I've been using for a good many years, it wasn’t until I gave my cupboards a good sort-out that I noticed how scratched it appeared. Using that dinner set every day, I’d almost become blind to how scruffy it looked. However, I liked the white and blue pattern design and was reluctant to let it go.

Then, as if by chance, I happened to watch a decluttering show on the BBC, 'Sort Your Life Out', where cleaning expert Iwan Carrington shared a tip on how to clean cutlery marks off crockery. Although I used a different cleaning product, my crockery came up a treat.

Now, my dinnerware looks as good as new, I wanted to share the cleaning tip so you can get more wear out of your crockery too. What’s more, this crafty hack is quick, cheap and doesn’t require much elbow grease!

Mark making

Scratched dinner plate showing dark lines

(Image credit: Future)

Over time, crockery becomes marked and shows visible signs of wear. However, those unsightly marks aren’t necessarily deep scratches from sharp cutlery. They are grey surface marks that can be removed. 

Polish up

Cleaning a dinner plate to remove scratch marks

(Image credit: Future)

Rather than getting your metal polish out to give your flatware a shimmer, it also can remove the surface marks your silverware has made on your tableware. Plus, a metal cleaner is a standard household cleaning product that you’ve probably already got stashed away in a cupboard.

Alternatively, a powdered ceramic cleaner, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend ($11, Amazon), will also remove cutlery marks.

Minimal elbow grease required

Rubbing a scratched plate to remove marks

(Image credit: Future)

Squeeze a small amount of the cleaning polish onto a soft cloth. (I used a kitchen towel.) Then, using small circular movements, work the polish into the surface of the plate. You shouldn’t need to apply much pressure before the muck begins to lift and you’ll notice the marks disappearing from your crockery. 

Next, give the crockery a good wash, as the polish will leave an unpleasant residue. I rinsed my plates under hot water, then gave them two hot washes using dish soap. Alternatively, pop your crockery into a dishwasher to remove the residue.

As good as new

Scratch-free dinner plate after cleaning

(Image credit: Future)

You can now enjoy eating off your revived dinner set, which looks almost as good as new. So, sit back and relish that you’ve given new life to your old tableware and saved a dollar or two in the process.


Before using your chosen metal polish, check on the directions to ensure it can be used on ceramic surfaces.

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  

As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.