Melamine Dinnerware -The Pros and Cons

Melamine dinnerware is dishes with something called melamine resin present. Melatline resin is created by combining melatline, and organic compound, with formaldehyde using heat and pressure. The mixture is forced into a mold to become the desired shape – in the case of dinnerware, bowls, plates, mugs, and sometimes utensils. The result is a very versatile material that is heat resistant, and fire resistant, as well as virtually unbreakable.67

The question, “ What is melamine dinnerware ?” was virtually nonexistent during the 1950’s, when it was at its most popular, and present in almost every kitchen. During the 1960’s and 1970’s melamine tableware sets took a more basic direction, and was considered most suitable for picnics and camping, rather than dinner parties. Now, melatline dinnerware sets are making a comeback as a popular choice for casual outdoor meals, such as on patios, and terraces.


Is Melamine Dinnerware Safe? Safe for Kids?


68According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the answer to the question, “ Is melamine dishes safe ?” is yes, but with some restrictions. The process of making melatline dinnerware leaves some of the chemical in the plastic, which can leech out very slowly over time into food and drink that comes in contact with the dishes. This is especially common when it comes to hot or acidic substances. The FDA’s official website states that food and drinks are fine to serve on melamine tableware.


Is melamine dinnerware Melamine Dinnerware-The Pros and Cons safe?


69Not according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; the website states that any plastic tableware that does not specifically state that it is safe for microwave use should never be used to heat drinks or food. This is not because of a melting risk factor, like with many other plastics. It’s simply because the heat increases the existing risk of the melamine migrating into the food to an unacceptable level. Over exposure to melatline products with levels higher than those present in most melatline  sets on the market can cause

When it comes to children and the common question, “ Is melamine dishes safe for kids ?”, it’s really a matter of how protective a parent wants to be. According to the FDA, the levels of melatline present in melamine tableware is basically harmless. The only concern comes into play when dishes are exposed to high levels of heat and acidity. However, parents that are extremely concerned about the risk can opt for less risky materials for break-proof dishes for their children, such as stainless steel, bamboo, or BPA free plastic.


Does Melamine Dinnerware Stain?/ Similar Concerns


Does melamine tableware  stain? Unfortunately, it is often does stain over time. Once stains do appear, they are incredibly difficult to get rid of. In addition to the staining problem, melamine  sets can also be scratched. This is because melamine dishes are made out of hardened resin. Is melatline dinnerware unbreakable? I is not completely impossible to break.

Melamine DinnerwareHowever, breaking melamine tableware is nearly impossible. The material will chip around edges if it is handled extremely roughly, although this is pretty rare. Is melatline dishes recyclable? Yes! In fact, there are many dinnerware sets currently available on the market that are made from 100% recycled materials! If one wonders whether melamine tableware is durable, the answer is also yes. It will last for years, and isn’t prone at all to breakage under normal usage.


Modern Outdoor Dinnerware Melamine Vs. Vintage Melamine Dinnerware


Melamine DinnerwareWhile the vintage melamine dish sets of the 50’s and 60’s was commonly used for both everyday use and for fancy dinner parties, modern outdoor dinnerware melamine is mostly used for casual out door eating. Vintage melamine tableware sets are hard to find complete, and thus require a little bit of a “treasure hunt” mindset. However, they are fairly inexpensive for those who enjoy collecting something that is not only a little bit of history, but is also convenient for daily use!

While vintage melatline dish is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, more modern outdoor tableware melamine tends to be much brighter, and more versatile when it comes to matching modern kitchen, or patio setups. It is also convenient to buy the entire outdoor melatline tablerware set at once, rather than tracking down a set bit by bit. Both options, though, are affordable, safe, and durable.

8 thoughts on “Melamine Dinnerware -The Pros and Cons”

  1. Is it possible to break melamine so the pieces could be incorporated into “pique assiette” pieces?? Thank you for any insight

  2. Received 8 holiday melmac by Kenro dinner plates from aunt/original owner – each with stained utensil scratches – any hope for repair and cleaning ?
    Thank you

  3. Can you be more specific about when a mother should worry or not when using melamine for such things as soup? How much leaching takes place and when? And how many meals would it take to accumulate traceable levels of formaldehyde?

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