One of the leading causes of cracks and scratches in ceramic pieces is careless handling. Below are some tips to help you avoid any damages to your homemade ceramic masterpieces.
By wearing gloves when handling ceramics you can easily avoid contamination from amino acid, peptides, ammonia, salts, and dirt that is left behind from fingermarks.
Remove All Jewelry:
Wearing rings or bracelets when handling ceramics can often end up with scratching or chipping the area of the ceramic piece in which you have handled.
When picking up a ceramic piece be sure to distribute the weight evenly by either holding it in the middle or placing your hands on opposite ends. For ceramic objects with handles, be sure to never pick it up on that specific area without holding the bottom of the piece as well.
Before starting the cleaning process of any ceramic piece you need to first identify what type of ceramic piece you are dealing with. Be sure to avoid using household cleaning agents and high temperature devices to clean your ceramics, (such as dishwashers) as using these items will damage the glazes and colored enamel decorations. Even after household items are used to clean ceramics, you will not notice any damages until the piece starts to fully dries. Carefully inspect the ceramic decals on your piece for any frailed edges.
The most efficient way to clean the ceramic pieces in your home is by using baking soda and white vinegar. To complete this process you must first sprinkle the baking soda on the ceramic piece you wish to clean. After the baking soda is completely covering the object, start pouring the white vinegar over the entire piece including areas with ceramic transfers. As soon as the white vinegar touches the baking soda it will start to fizz up and you will need instantly starting wiping down the area with a sponge. After you are sure the scuff marks and grime are gone you can than start rinsing your piece with cold water.
Video advice on cleaning historic ceramic pieces from Northeast Museum Services Center: