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How to Wet Clean Porcelain Greenware: Article or Project

A process to clean porcelain greenware with water

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Porcelain produces a very fine dust which can be bothersome to people with breathing problems or allergies. Though normally, one does not use water to clean porcelain greenware, there is a technique which does allow the use of water.

This method eliminates the fine dust that pervades the work area, thereby making the environment safer and easier for the individual.

To begin, it is necessary to soft fire your ware. This will make the body firmer, but not bring it to maturity which would set the seams permanently. Soft fire for this purpose will be to fire your ware to cone 018. Let your items cool completely.

Select a container that you can fill with warm water deep enough to cover the ware. Let your ware soak for about 5 minutes.

You will need to keep your ware and your tools wet during the entire cleaning process.

Using a wet scrubber and other seam cleaners and your knife, remove all seams and blemishes. Make sure you wet your tools. Be careful that you do not wear away any of the details.

As needed, re-wet/rinse your ware by swishing it in the container of water to remove the sticky paste buildup. You can use this paste to fill/repair any pinholes if needed, but do this last.

Let the item dry and examine it thoroughly to see if there are any spots you may have missed. If so, repeat the soaking process for a minute or two as needed. Remember, any flaws or blemishes will grab paint and stand out later.

It is best to let the ware dry thoroughly before you re-fire to its maturity.

As with all ceramics, practice - practice - practice. It does get easier.


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