How to properly clean a Gaiwan the first time


Discussion on virtually any teaware related item.

How to properly clean a Gaiwan the first time

Postby TeaFanatic » Feb 22nd, '07, 14:38

So I'm getting a new gaiwan soon. I know that you are not supposed to wash it with soap and water, but rather just rinse with hot water. But what do I do the first time I wash it? Should I wash it with soap and water?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Feb 22nd, '07, 15:06

The reason you shouldn't wash teaware with soap is that the soapy taste and smell can linger through many infusions.

Assuming your gaiwan is glazed, I don't think it's a big deal-- it probably won't hold onto any soap flavor for long, if at all. I still wouldn't risk it, but you could probably get away with it if you feel it is really necessary. If you ever buy teaware that is made of a porous material though, DO NOT wash it with soap!

Hope this helps!
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Postby Salsero » Feb 22nd, '07, 15:31

I don't hesitate to wash porcelain teaware with soap and hot water. Just be sure to rinse extremely well so there is no soap residue. I make a point of doing at least 3-5 rinses with cold water.

Also, I avoid the diswasher for nicer pieces because the dishwasher detergents can degrade nice finishes and eventually will remove decoration, design, edging, etc.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Feb 22nd, '07, 17:19

Thanks, I just figured I should wash it with soap and water at LEAST the first time, just to make sure there was no undesirable things in my gaiwan, and then after that only washing it when absolutely necessary. I will make sure to rinse thoroughly. Thanks!
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Postby Space Samurai » Feb 22nd, '07, 20:30

This subject seems to come up often in one form or the other. This is an email I got from one of the owners of Rishi.

To keep your new teapot in optimal condition you can follow the basic
instructions listed below—once before your first use—and EACH time
after
you brew a pot of tea in your teapot.

1. Rinse out teapot a few times with warm water and a rag (or simply
use
your hand to wipe out the inside)—but do not use dish soap as this
teapot will hold residual flavors.
2. Fill the tea pot with Boiling water and let stand for about a minuet
(this allows the teapot to get hot)
3. Decant the hot water and use a dry clean towel to wipe off any water
(that may leave water stains).
4. Leave the lid off until the inside has completely dried.

Please note: Many loose leaf teas can be infused multiple times. You do
not need to clean the teapot between infusions—but it is a good idea
to
wipe off water from the outside of the teapot during use (this will
minimize the risk of developing water stains).
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Postby TeaFanatic » Feb 22nd, '07, 21:25

So don't use soap then?
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Feb 22nd, '07, 23:16

Think of it this way... if you don't, you're doing yourself a favor by building up your immune system!

On a more serious note, it doesn't matter that much for a gaiwan. Go ahead and soap it up if you have any concerns about nasties in there, but at least do what Salsero says and rinse it out very thoroughly.
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Postby tenuki » Mar 8th, '07, 03:10

haha, I just do a quick rinse with hot water, swirl my finger around the bottom to sort of clean it out, then on to brewing. I dont' think I've ever given it a proper washing and my tea tastes just fine. Same with my yixing, even more so actually.
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