As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"New" Dishes: In Which I Share A Cheap Fix

I have had my white Pfaltzgraff Heritage pattern dishes for years.   I love them for their classic design, and for the fact that they go with everything.  I can layer them with brown transferware on my Thanksgiving table, or mix them up with pastel serving platters for a Mother's Day meal.  They blend in with any birthday decorations.  And they're simple enough for everyday meals. 

But lately, I have been looking to replace my dishes.  Not because I am tired of them or want something new (in fact, I did an online search for the same dishes!), but because they were looking tired and old and...gray.  Really.  The center of every plate had taken on a gray tone, and there were gray lines all over each one. 

How can one set a pretty table with these dishes? 

My online search was a bit discouraging.  I did not need complete sets of Heritage dishes.  We had originally purchased two sets at a Pfaltzgraff outlet store, and I still had the other pieces that I needed (soup bowls, salad plates, dessert plates).  I looked into purchasing the plates individually, but they were $7.99 for each plate.  That is certainly not an unreasonable price.  But we had added to our original sets by purchasing individual plates a few at a time at the outlet the tune of $1.99 per plate, or occasionally $0.99 per plate!  We now had sixteen (gray) dinner plates.  To replace all sixteen would be $64, plus tax and shipping, considerably more than the original "bargain" price. 

So I put my plan for new plates on hold, and gave myself time to consider. 

And thenlo and behold!I was browsing on Pinterest this week, and there was a Pin about removing scratches from white dishes! 

What?  Those gray marks are scratches?  All this time I thought the grayness must be a chemical change, perhaps resulting from age, or from being run through the dishwasher a gazillion times!  (If you already knew that these were scratches, feel free to call me a ditz in the comment section.  ~smile~)

So what is the secret to making my gray dishes white again? 

It is my new BFF, Bar Keepers Friend. 

A friend had introduced me to this product a few years ago, and I was amazed at how it removed iron stains from my old farmhouse bathtub and bathroom sink.  But it never would have occured to me to use it on my gray dishes. 

Since I keep Bar Keepers Friend on hand, I gave it a try...and the results are astounding!  Even with all that gray, a little bit of BKF, a little bit of elbow grease, and there you have it!  Beautiful WHITE dishes!

Is this not amazing? 

I think I'll go set a pretty table!  

Don't you just love a cheap fix?

I am linking to Finished Friday over at Allyson's A Heart For Home


  1. Okay, I new the lines were scratches...but I won't call you a ditz!

    What a great tip and fix for white dishes! So easy and inexpensive!


  2. I am absolutely amazed, just like you! I also have white dishes -- from Johnson bros. -- some of which are looking the worse for wear. I have been using BarKeepers Friend on my ceramic stove and to shine up my pots and pans. Now I will have to try it on my dishes. BarKeepers Friend should pay you to do a commercial!

  3. Amazing and simple little trick. I hope I can remember this one. Thanks for sharing.
    The 3-tined forks are unusual; I don't think I have ever seen them before. Very colonial and appropriate for your beautiful country home.
    Blessings, Sharon D.

  4. Wow, that's amazing! Best makeover I've seen today. =)

  5. My mom's white dishes look just like that. Can you get Bar Keeper's Friend locally?

    Thanks for linking up to our Finished Friday post!

  6. Allyson, I got my Bar Keepers Friend at Walmart!

  7. Have used Bar Keepers Friend for years on my old white porcelain sink, but never would've imagined that it would work on dishes! Excellent tip and your new dishes look fantastic.

  8. Wow, Cheryl! That's amazing! I've got a twenty year-old porcelein sink that could use some sprucing up! Glad to see the comment about using it on a sink!

  9. Awesome!! I have my Mother's old ironstone that I can't part with. So because of these marks I have not been using them---I'm going to buy Bar Keeper's Friend ASAP!
    Thank You,
    Martha Ellen

  10. Wow...I am so excited to find this tip! I have a white ceramic baking dish that has those gray scratches and I can't wait to try this! Visiting from Finished Friday.

  11. That's the best piece of advice I've had in a long time... maybe ever! ;) I have a stack of 12 white restaurantware plates looking a bit grey in the cupboard right now. Mine hadn't gotten to the point where I had considered replacing them yet but I was beginning to notice their less than pristine appearance. Bar Keeper's Friend here we come.

    Did I ever mention before that your Pfaltzgraff dishes were the ones I registered for when I got married? We used them for many years and then in a foolish moment I replaced them with a vintage set I found at an estate sale. The 'new' ones were wonderful dishes but they made too much of a statement so I got tired of them. The restaurantware is my consolation for the ones I got rid of...

    Have a wonderful day, Debbie

  12. Cheryl, how wonderful for you to still have your lovely dishes! Thank you for that tip I just love finding cheap fixes! Nancy

  13. I have the very same dishes and really, really like them. They are timeless. However, I have more and more scratches, too. (I did know they were scratches, but I had no idea they were "fix-a-ble"!) I even have BKF on my shelf.

    I have passed up a few plates at the thrift store because they were scratched so badly. Now I will pick them up with glee and add to my set.

    Thank you for this information!

  14. Yes, I love BKF; it's been one of my good friends for years and years. My problem is not removing patina that makes a piece more valuable. That's not your problem. Those plates look pristine and beautiful. I think I need a set of white dishes.


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