How to Remove Stains from Under the Glaze on China


Kym asked: How do I get dark spots or mold from under old china? I bought some old china at a garage sale and washed it in the dishwasher. It now grows mold every time I wash them. There are really dark spots under the glaze. Can these be salvaged?

Antique china comes with a variety of glazes on it for protection. Sometimes, moisture and other substances can get underneath this glaze. Though they cannot be scrubbed or washed away, soaking the affected pieces in one of the cleaning solutions below may help to minimize or alleviate the problem all together.

Vinegar and Salt Method

You Will Need:

  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Soft cloths
  • Water

Steps to Remove the Stains:

  1. Mix vinegar with salt to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the stained area.
  3. Do not rub it onto the surface or the salt may scratch the surface of the glaze.
  4. Allow the paste to set on the stain for twenty minutes.
  5. Wash away with warm water and a soft cloth.
  6. If the stain has lightened, repeat the above steps until the stain is removed. If the stain remains, try the peroxide method below.

Hydrogen Peroxide Method

You Will Need:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide (30-40%)
  • Hot water
  • Mild detergent
  • Large, shallow pan or bowl

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Fill the bowl or pan with enough hydrogen peroxide to allow the stained area to soak in the peroxide.
  2. Place the stained piece and allow it to set in the peroxide for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Remove the piece and wash it thoroughly with a mild dish detergent and hot water.
  4. Be sure to remove all traces of the peroxide.
  5. Repeat if necessary until the stains are removed.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If the pieces are heirloom pieces or valuable, it will be worth the extra cost to have them professionally cleaned.
  • If the pieces have painted designs or special coloring, test a small area first to ensure the cleaning methods do not remove the coloring or decorative finishes.


  1. Rosy Posy says:

    Most awesome tip and it works. :)

  2. Hmincer says:

    Where do you get 30% hydrogen peroxide? I can’t find it anywhere in town (Memphis), and on the internet it’s way too expensive.

  3. Try a chemist? I have the same problem with the Victorian fireplace tiles we are using to create a splashback. They were stored in newsprint and the crackle glaze has absorbed the ink I think. They are really porous, so this is why it happens. Got most of it off with a bicarbonate of soda paste and rubbing with a soft cloth, but this is now under the glaze. Will try the vinegar. Cheers

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