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Archive | May, 2010

Bakelite dishwasher test

Previously, when figuring out whether Bakelite was dishwasher safe or not, I had to rely on my own anecdotal evidence, far from scientific. Finding that less than satisfying, I decided to perform my own test to see just how well Bakelite held up in the dishwasher.

The test was simple; I attached two Bakelite handle halves to the dishwasher rack with zip ties, one on the top rack, and one on the bottom.  In our household, we do about a load of dishes each day, so it is safe to say that the number of washes is about equal to the number of days in the dishwasher, within a few percent.

After two months, or 60 washes, I began to notice a little bit of fading and dulling of the shine on the Bakelite. Below is what the handles look like after six months, or 180 washes.  The darker/shinier handle is the unwashed (new) comparison.

Clearly, the Bakelite has suffered as a result of washing in the dishwasher.  There was no difference between the top rack and bottom rack; both suffered equally.

I can now say with great confidence that you should refrain from putting your cookware with Bakelite parts into the dishwasher.


More and more Revere Ware on Ebay

With almost one years worth of data on the total number of Revere Ware items for sale on Ebay every day, the total volume continues to go up.

Ebay volume

In contrast, the volume of Google searches for the keyword “revere ware” is fairly flat (except a spike over the holidays) over the same period of time.

Google searches

I presently have no theory on why the volume on Ebay continues to go up, almost doubling from a year ago.


Making homemade yogurt with your Revere Ware pots

I often tell people that we make our own yogurt, which makes my wife laugh, because it would be more accurate to say that she makes yogurt.  Homemade yogurt is easy, fresh, very tasty, and inexpensive and there are lots of different ways to make it.  We (my wife) started by making it in the oven but when we moved we discovered that most ovens won’t hold a steady enough low temperature to make yogurt.  We now use a yogurt maker.  My grandmother in Europe used to make yogurt by having seven plastic tubs on the window sill (one for each day of the week).  Each day they would take one down and put a new one up.  It took seven days for the yogurt to fully develop in the sun.

So, you can imagine I found it interesting when I came upon this recipe for making yogurt that involved using Revere Ware pots.


Revere Ware and Teflon

I came across this page recently that includes a published warning by Revere Ware of the dangers of fumes released by Teflon coated pans that are heated without contents and the danger they post to pet birds.  Teflon coated Revere Ware pans have not been on our list of preferred vintage Revere Ware but we thought this tip was worth passing on.

Update: the original warning that mentioned Revere Ware specifically has been removed from the Environmental Working Groups website. Here is their general Teflon warning.


Revere Ware and memories

Revere Ware is useful stuff that still has a place in a modern kitchen.  But given that Revere Ware cookware can last a long time, it also comes with a rich history.  Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive comments (and thanks) along with orders about how someone is buying parts for the Revere Ware they received on their wedding in 1947 or was handed down to them from their parents.  In fact, I was very glad to replace the Bakelite parts on my 80-year-old mother-in-law’s Revere Ware.

So it is great to find the occasional pictures of people using their Revere Ware when they first got it, like these from a couple in 1955.


Stubborn mineral deposits on kettles & coffee pots

If you have never head of the blog Lifehacker, it is a great resource for everyday tips. One that came up today is a good way to clean stubborn mineral deposits from the inside of coffee pots and tea kettles; use denture cleaning tablets.

Simply fill the kettle/coffee pot with water, drop in one or two tablets, and let it sit overnight.