Ruyao teaware can be a lot of fun to use. The glaze crackles or crazes with use, leaving a beautiful web pattern and an evolving history of the teas that touch it. The downside is that ruyao, as with all teaware, will eventually become stained with use. So, how can you clean the surface and leave the beautiful crackles in tact?
As you can see, our gaiwan is definitely in need of a cleaning. The most convenient method is to use a towel, such as a tea towel or any household towel with rough texture. Moisten the towel and gently scrub the surface in a circular motion, being careful not to put undue stress on teapot handles and the like.
The towel method is the most convenient, because most everyone has a towel around the home. However, there is a super efficient way to clean your ruyao that will leave the crackles in tact - eraser sponges!
With a little bit of water to moisten the sponge, eraser sponges and a gently scrubbing of the surface will completely remove the dirty stains from the surface of the glaze and leave the crackles all in tact. The image above is the half cleaned lid of a gaiwan. Notice how the crackles are all in tact, but the stains are greatly reduced.
While there are many tools to do the job, we have found that towels with rough texture and eraser sponges do the best job. (The gaiwan above was scrubbed with an eraser sponge) If you want a deep clean, which may remove a bit of the crackled darkness, add a bit of baking soda, soak, and scrub your teaware.
We personally enjoy a bit of stain as it shows the well-worn character that we desire in our ruyao teaware. The gaiwan pictured is our standard green ruyao gaiwan.
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