Is Ironstone China Microwave Safe? What Experts Say

Categorized as Microwave Safety
microwave ironstone china

There’s something about ironstone that just screams “antique.” Maybe it’s the way it looks like it was pulled straight out of a medieval castle, or maybe it’s the way it feels like it weighs a ton. Whatever the reason, this durable dishware has been a favorite among antique collectors for centuries.

One of the most common questions asked about ironstone is whether or not it’s safe to use in the microwave. Ironstone is a type of ceramic that was first produced in England during the early 19th century, and today it is still used for making dinnerware.

The general consensus among experts is that yes, it is safe; however, there are some important caveats to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you should always check your Ironstone dishes before placing them in the microwave.

This is because old Ironstone chinaware is often decorated with metallic trim or accents which can be magnetized by the microwave’s electromagnetic field and cause sparks or even fires. If your dishes contain any metal parts, they should not be placed in a microwave as this could lead to a dangerous situation.

In addition to this, you should also avoid using any Ironstone dinnerware that has developed chips or cracks over time as they may break apart when heated in a microwave oven leading to potential injury and damage to the appliance itself.

Finally, it is also important to note that many Ironstone dinnerware sets come with instructions regarding their usage in microwaves so make sure you read through them thoroughly prior to using them. This will help ensure optimal results while also protecting your dinnerware from damage.

Do a Simple Test

Even if your Ironstone dinnerware is advertised as microwave-safe, it’s always a good idea to do a simple test before placing any items in the appliance.

To perform this test, simply fill a cup or bowl with some water and place it in the microwave along with your dishware. Set the microwave on high and heat for 20 seconds.

Once complete, carefully remove the plate or dish from the oven and touch it to see if it’s hot. If it is, then the item isn’t safe for microwaving. If not, then you can proceed with using the item in your microwave.

A Quick Guide to Ironstone China

Ironstone china is a type of stoneware that was first produced in England in the early 19th century. It is usually white or off-white in color and is characterized by its durability and heaviness.

Ironstone china was originally designed for use in restaurants and hotels, as it was more durable than the porcelain china that was typically used in homes at that time. However, ironstone china has since become a popular choice for casual dinnerware in many homes.

How Is Ironstone China Made?

Ironstone china is made from a mixture of clay and feldspar, which gives it its durability and heaviness. The clay is first mined from the earth and then mixed with water to create a slurry.

After that, the other minerals are added to the mixture and it is formed into shape, typically by being pressed into a mold. Once it has been formed, the ironstone china is fired in a kiln at a high temperature to make it strong and hard.

What Are the Benefits of Ironstone China?

There are many benefits to using ironstone china, especially if you choose to use it as your everyday dinnerware. First of all, it is very durable and chip-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it being damaged easily.

It is also non-porous, so it won’t absorb stains or odors over time like some other types of dinnerware can. And because it is so heavyweight, it feels substantial and high-quality, even though it is actually quite affordable.

Care and Maintenance of Ironstone Dis

Many people are unsure of how to properly care for their ironstone dishes. In the following section, we will go over four key points to keep in mind when caring for your ironstone dinnerware.

1. Serving Food

When serving food on your ironstone dishes, avoid using metal utensils. Metal can scratch the surface of your dishes and damage them over time. Instead, use wooden utensils. If you do need to use metal utensils, make sure they’re well-coated so that they don’t scratch the surface of your dishes.

2. Washing

Always wash your ironstone dishes by hand. Do not put them in the dishwasher. Dishwashing detergent is too harsh for ironstone and will damage the finish. To wash them, simply use warm water and mild soap. Rinse well and dry with a soft cloth.

3. Stain Removal

If you notice any stains on your ironstone dishes, don’t panic! There are a few easy ways to remove them. First, try soaking the stained area in warm water for 30 minutes. If that doesn’t work, mix together equal parts of baking soda and water to create a paste. Take a sponge or soft cloth and gently rub the paste into the stained area, then rinse.

4. Storage

When it comes time to store your ironstone dishes, make sure to use a cupboard or cabinet with plenty of space. Avoid stacking the dishes on top of each other, as this can cause them to chip or break. If you need to stack them, use a soft cloth or pad in between each plate or bowl.


It is generally safe to use Ironstone dishes in the microwave, but it is important to check for any metal accents or decorations before doing so. You should also avoid using any Ironstone dinnerware that has developed chips or cracks over time. Finally, make sure to read through the usage instructions carefully prior to microwaving your dishes. This will help ensure optimal results while also protecting your dinnerware from damage.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!