Wednesday, August 08, 2007


How to clean Meladur or Melamine

If you grew up in the 1950s, you probably ate a few meals off melamine type dishware. My mother stayed with china and glass, and I never really cared to use plastic myself, but I did inherit some. When we bought our cottage in 1988 I chose the colors pink, cream, and blue for the theme. A friend of mine was going to give away old dishware, so she gave the whole box to me--enough to feed 10 or 11 easily, although our cottage is too small for such a crowd. I think she'd built her set week by week at the old A & P (Currier and Ives made by Royal, made in the USA, blue and white). But there were a few odds and ends tucked into the box, some pink Melamine type, Meladur by Lapcor, which I didn't look at closely until yesterday.

We've used these 4 pink bowls (photo from e-bay) occasionally for ice cream because they are deep with a lip edge, easy to hold, and just about the right size for people who don't overeat. But they were quite stained from scratches and food chemicals and not particularly appealing. I decided to try my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It has worked quite well on removing the marks of our metal picture frames from the painted walls. Wow! It's not exactly like restoring a valuable mural in a chapel, but these bowls are now the color that God and American Cyanamid had in mind. Melamine was developed during WWII for the Navy so they could have lightweight, break resistant dinnerware that wouldn't conduct the heat. After the war, 11 companies, including Melmac, used this product. Now melamine is being used again and here's a link about new products. We also have 4 brown bowls, 2 different sizes, in Texas-Ware, another popular melamine type dishware.

If you have stained or faded melamine, try the Magic Eraser.

Russel Wright and Meladur This is an interesting site with all sorts of information on this product and a designer that used it.

The rise and fall of Melamine


sallywrites said...

I think that your mother was clearly a sensible woman. I hate plastic for eating!

Anonymous said...

One should however avoid using melamine as an adulterant in pet foods to artifically increase lab results.

If you do so I will hunt you down and kick you arse. Unless the Chinese execute you first.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

If I hadn't lost the last piece of melmac I would take your suggestion. I spent much of the first part of our marriage eating from melamine, but next year is our "golden", and not even melmac lasts forever (or doesn't get lost). I am pretty sure that some panels in our old bathroom have melamine coatings, but the are pretty large for the"eraser", and I have moved from there anyway. You brought back good old memories.