Old stoneware often has marks from flatware and serving utensils. These unsightly marks, though an unfortunate byproduct of owning stoneware, are easily removed. Even if your stoneware is unglazed, flatware marks can easily be removed. Pull your stoneware and remove any unsightly marks every two weeks for sparkling stoneware all of the time.
Of course, if you have a full set of stoneware, you may want to purchase a stoneware cleaner. This will easily remove most stains, including flatware marks. If you have only a few stoneware pieces, like a set of stoneware bowls, it may make better sense to purchase wood or rubber utensils to use with these objects. Wood and rubber will not leave unsightly marks, or accidentally scratch the surface.
Unglazed stoneware has a matt, porous surface that is more difficult to clean. Often the back of a stoneware plate, or the outside of a stoneware bowl is unglazed.
Step 1: Clean the stoneware with hot water and a sponge or soft scrubbing as necessary. Like cast iron, soap should be avoided when cleaning stoneware. The porous nature of the clay will absorb soap, causing it to leach back into the food the next time you use it.
Step 2: Soak the stoneware in a tub of hot water. Scrub away any stains with your scrubbie.
Step 3: Dry the stoneware with a towel, then allow it to air dry fully before use.
Glazed stoneware has a shiny, sealed surface. It is often easy to clean. Sometimes the interior surface of the stoneware is glazed, while the exterior remains unglazed. In this case, care should be used to soak only the glazed parts in soapy water.
Step 1: Remove any food from the surface of the glazed item, and make sure the stoneware is dry before proceeding.
Step 2: Apply soft cleanser to a rag, then buff it into the surface, removing the scratches. If you like, you can use a paste made out of baking soda and water to remove any surface marks.