We have all broken a bowl, a mug, or a plate into several pieces.
In this case, our only solution was to discard the broken pieces.
But, what do you do with dinnerware that only has a crack or few cracks? Do you still use them?
So, Is It Safe to Use Chipped Dinnerware?
No. It is not recommended to use chipped dinnerware. No matter how small the imperfection may look, it’s wise to avoid eating from that dish. Once a chip compromises the plate’s or cup’s surface, it has the potential of lead leaching. You’ll unlikely consume large amounts of lead from your dishware. However, it is still something to be aware of and avoid, as it can lead to serious health complications.
Lead poisoning is a high-risk factor in children and even adults. It can cause neurological problems, GI complications, chronic pain, and high blood pressure. Note that there is no safe amount of lead for a person to consume. But we are exposed to it daily through recycled products, car exhaust, and many cosmetic problems.
Do Chipped Plates Have Bacteria?
Yes. Chipped or cracked dinnerware could have bacteria and other microorganisms.
For instance, Acinetobacter, an infectious pathogen among diseases acquired from the hospital, is usually found on broken plates, cups, and mugs.
It is advisable not to eat from a dish with even the tiniest flaw.
Besides increasing your exposure to lead, cracked dinnerware in the house can have bacteria. Eating from such can lead to gastrointestinal issues and other complications.
Tossing dishes with cracks, chips, and breaks on them is advisable as the bacteria can hide in the crevices.
In this case, it’s hard to clean the bacteria thoroughly. It is also possible that someone else can cut their tongue or fingers while handling chipped dishes, which makes them more harmful.
Chipped Dinnerware and Hygiene
It is not unusual to spot a minor chip or a fracture on your favorite plate, spoon, or cup.
But, even if the flaw is tiny, you shouldn’t use that dish.
As said, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and increase your risk of lead exposure. Additionally, you can slice your hand or tongue or swallow a stray chip.
A cracked dish can still function, meaning your plate can still hold food.
But in some instances, the chip or crack can release small amounts of bisphenol or other toxic chemicals unsafe for human consumption.
You may get foodborne diseases from germs on the cracks and crevices of your dinnerware.
These symptoms can be deadly for children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Experts advise getting rid of plates and other dishes with cracks, chips, and breaks.
Since germs and bacteria cannot be effectively cleaned and someone may cut their tongue and fingers using such dishes, please protect yourself by not using them.
What to Do with Chipped Dishes?
Chipped dishes are unavoidable because no matter how high quality your dinnerware is, it is still prone to cracks, crevices, and chipping.
But since it is not ideal to use them in that state, you may wonder what to do with them.
If your dishes have bad cracks, chips, or stains, or they are broken, it is time to toss them away. Using them can pose a danger to your health. Please don’t ever recycle broken glasses.
But we must mention that the dustbin isn’t the only place your chipped dish can end up in.
You can look for a recycling facility in your area that can take your cracked tableware. Some shops and thrift stores may also accept such ceramics and offer them for resale.
So visit the local thrift stores or consignment shops and ask whether they will take them.
Please remember to inform them that they are chipped. Otherwise, you may waste time expecting something from your chipped dishes.
It’s worth noting that many facilities will not accept recyclable ceramics.
But, if you can find a facility that accepts recyclable bricks and concrete, they may be willing to take your plates and cups. If you don’t intend on using your dinnerware again, consider donating it.
We also mention that you cannot throw away Glassware and Pyrex as they are not recyclable.
Note that they have a different melting point from conventional glass bottles and jars. Therefore, they can contaminate them when put together.
Can You Repair Broken or Chipped Dishware?
Yes. It is possible to fix breaks, cracks, and chinks in your dishes.
Before you begin repairing, inspect the object and determine whether it is that valuable to you. Remember, while DIY jobs are fun, they can end up in disaster sometimes.
You should understand the materials in your broken dish to get started. Dishware with more glassy clay is less absorbent and breaks quickly.
Always ensure you have a latex or nitrile pair of gloves when handling these tasks.
We also recommend heat-resistant and food-safe sealants to increase longevity.
Also, you should be careful about sharp edges, usually where the clay and glaze have broken.
Here’s the process to repair chipped dishes.
Step 1: Collect All Your Supplies
You need an adhesive or touch-up glaze to fill the gaps on the porcelain surface, a sanding block or sandpaper, soap, and water.
Step 2: Clean the Chipped Surfaces
Make sure the surface is moisture and debris free before you apply glue.
Step 3: Apply the Product
Mix the glaze of filler as per your manufacturer’s direction. Fill the product where there are cracks and chips. Be careful not to leave sunken areas. Then, allow the product to dry.
Step 4: Sand
Once fully dried, you can sand it down so it contours to the right shape. Please do not apply glaze on the filler unless it is fully dried.
Step 5: Clean Up
You can now clean your hands and the work area and remove excess glue when it is still soft with a clean cloth.
If the glue is dried, use a razor blade to scrape it off. You can also consider using acetone to remove excess adhesive. But always test on a small area to ensure it won’t damage the entire surface.
It’s worth noting that the right adhesive glue is crucial when repairing chipped or broken porcelain. Touch-up glaze or a gap-filling adhesive is suitable for chipped porcelain.
But, if you are repairing broken porcelain used in a microwave or for putting hot foods, please choose a safe adhesive for these functions.
Using chipped or broken dishes isn’t safe.
Doing that increases your risk of lead contamination and bacterial infections.
If you can repair your chipped porcelain, well and good. Otherwise, it will be better to toss it away or give it up for recycling.