Enamelware has experienced a surge in popularity due to the current interest in mid-20th century design. The smooth, easy-to-clean surface of enameled metal kitchenware has also become popular due to concerns over toxins in plastic products and no-stick pots and pans.
Originally marketed in the 19th century as a safe alternative to toxic materials found in kitchen products, it seems as if we have come full circle.
Vintage pieces can be found at Urban Country Decor and are very affordable. Of course, there are types of enamelware that are rare or in high demand that are quite expensive. Even chipped or partially-rusted vintage pieces can be attractive for those who like a rustic country look, though damaged goods are not advised for cooking or eating purposes. Fortunately, there are many new enameled kitchen products on the market today that are safe and useful.
For everyday cleaning, experts recommend washing enamelware by hand. If you choose to use a dishwasher, be sure to arrange the pieces so they won’t bang against other dishes and chip. After washing, dry enamelware thoroughly inside and out, because water can encourage corrosion.
Pieces with rust along a seam or on spots that have chipped will benefit from an application of naval jelly left on for 10 minutes. To stop further rust, coat with cooking oil. Enamelware intended for display only can be sprayed with clear lacquer or aerosol wax. If you intend to eat or cook with vintage enamelware, just be sure that all surfaces that come in contact with food are intact.