What to do with old crockery?

Tips on upcycling, repairing and proper disposal

The porcelain tureen, which you have no use for anymore, the plate with a small crack on the delicate gold rim or the one cup whose pattern doesn’t match the other pieces on the coffee table: there are many reasons why crockery is discarded. But what to do with all the crockery that you no longer need?

Find out how to dispose of your unwanted porcelain properly and what the alternatives are
in our guide.

UPCYCLING – FROM OLD TO NEW

Breathe new life into unwanted crockery

Unused planters or small bowls keep your desk neat and tidy. They can serve as pen holders or provide space to store all kinds of paraphernalia. You could turn porcelain plates with pretty patterns and different sizes into classic wall plates or the shape of a clock. Attach the plates with strong adhesive or wall plate hooks. 

Even broken ceramic can look stunning in a new composition. Let picture frames, mirrors and entire walls shine in new splendour by decorating them with fine porcelain pieces. You can create beautiful mosaics by using colourful porcelain. Let your imagination run free with upcycling.

Is it worth repairing porcelain?

You might be dreading the hassle of repairing a single piece of porcelain. But when it concerns precious objects in a fine dinner set, it is often worth the effort to keep a uniform appearance. However, it is vital to make sure you have all of the broken pieces and store them carefully. Or you could think about having the precious item put together and restored professionally. It is most certainly worth trying to repair delicate pieces.
You should proceed as follows:

  1. First, put the broken pieces together cautiously.

  2. Then clean the broken pieces carefully with solvents, otherwise the adhesive will not stick properly.

  3. Apply a special porcelain adhesive on the break line and firmly press the broken piece for a few minutes.

  4. Remove any adhesive residue.

  5. It then needs a good 24 hours to dry.

Disposal of old crockery

Broken cups or other small tableware pieces, which are going to be discarded for aesthetic reasons, can be thrown in the bin. However, you should never throw crockery in the bottle bank as porcelain is made from kaolin, quartz and feldspar in a complex production process and has a different chemical composition to packaging glass. This is why it needs a higher temperature to melt. Porcelain not disposed of properly causes major disruptions in the recycling process for used glass. You should, therefore, take larger amounts of ceramics to the recycling centre where they can be disposed of properly.

Cups, plates and dishes, which are broken or have small flaws, are also perfect for the “Polterabend” – a wedding tradition in Germany, which entails smashing a lot of porcelain. You might know a happy couple who are getting married soon and are planning on celebrating their big day by breaking plates. But the crockery still has to be disposed of properly when the Polterabend is over.

Sell or donate old crockery

You could also think about selling your unwanted crockery. Flea markets, which take place regularly in towns, are a perfect choice. Lots of people visit them and rummage through the goods on offer – and your old porcelain just might be sought after by collectors. Online selling platforms are also good for selling your unwanted porcelain. You might even make good money on your unused pieces. But if you don’t have any time, then you could also ask a professional buyer and seller. They usually have a shop where they sell your goods on your behalf.

Before you get rid of your old crockery, you should also think about donating it to people in need. Numerous non-profit organisations thankfully accept donated ceramics.

Summary

Unwanted crockery – perfect for giving as a gift, selling or upcycling

Sometimes even the finest piece in your porcelain collection can break. If it can’t be saved by repairing it anymore, it has to be disposed of properly. There are usually alternative solutions to disposing of plates, cups and dishes: give as a gift, sell or upcycle – with a little effort you will find buyers or a creative use for unwanted porcelain pieces. And you can make room for new things in your cupboard.

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