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The etching of glasses in the dishwasher, and what to do about it

TL;DR to solve the etching of glassware, we are using half as much detergent and running a shorter dishwasher cycle.

For years now we’ve experienced the slow fogging of our drinking glasses.  At one time we thought perhaps it was that we had bought cheap glasses, so we bought some better ones, but experience the same thing.  We thought perhaps it was hard water deposits, even though we have a softener, but soaking in vinegar and scrubbing didn’t make a difference; the glasses are definitely getting etched.

Now, to be sure, it definitely does affect some glasses and not others.  But we can’t seem to figure out why.  Some inexpensive glasses are not affected while other expensive ones are.

Some resources we found identified phosphates as the culprit, but most detergents have been phosphate free for some time. And we were using two of Consumer Reports top detergent brands.

Like many lingering issues, this one nibbled at us, and I just felt that it was somewhat hopeless as the things we had tried didn’t seem to make a difference.

Well, recently I decided to give it another go did some searching.  Something in this article stuck me.

A senior scientist from P&G explained that a perfect glass-etching storm can happen inside a dishwasher if you have these four things: soft water, low soil load, high temperatures, and chelating agents. She went on to say, “Chelating agents, or chelants, are a major part of auto-dishwashing formulations because they form soluble complexes with calcium and other metal ions, enabling them to remove food soils and limescale, soften water, and boost hygienic cleaning action.” When you soften water as I do at my home, you remove the calcium from the water. Uh oh!

To prevent glass etching, she suggested not rinsing dishes and glasses, wash in shorter cycles, not using the pots-and-pans or sanitizing settings, and using a dishwashing product that contains zinc.

Softened water – check
Low soil – check (I’ve been aggressively scraping and rinsing plates after twice having to fix a clogged discharge tube)
High temperatures – check
Chelating agents – check

So I’ve got all the elements there for the problem.  I tried to find a detergent with zinc, but no-one seems to advertise that, or even show an ingredients list for their products.

I did a little more searching and found some very interesting tips

  1. Use less detergent
  2. Use a shorter cycle

I’d read that due to energy efficiency regulations, dishwashers now run much longer than they used to in order to get the same amount of clean.  Ours typically runs a 2 hours cycle, but does have a 1 hour quick cycle.  It makes sense that a shorter cycle gives less time for the detergent to react with the glass, and there is less detergent so it has more of a chance of reacting with the dirt, rather than the glass.

So our approach now is to cut our detergent tabs in half, and run the quick cycle.  So far, the dishes are coming out just as clean, so I am hopeful that our etching problem is also solved.  I think I am going to zip tie some glasses that have previously etched in our dishwasher like I previously did with a Bakelite dishwasher test, and see what happens.

I have high hopes that this will solve our problem.

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Best of Revere Ware Parts blog – More and More Revere Ware on eBay

It’s instructive to look back on October of 2012, not quite 10 years ago when I posted that more and more Revere Ware was appearing on eBay.

As you can see, at that time, I was talking about around 1,500 listing.  Wow, that 10 years has done.  Here is the entire graph from 2009 to the end of 2021.

As of today, there are over 15,000 listings today, 10 times more.  In fact, eBay doesn’t even tell us exactly how many there are anymore:

There are 4,200 listings for just sauce pans!

1,500, how quaint! 🙂

 

 

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Worn Revere Ware stamps

Reader Camille asks:

There is one piece left of a set of Revere Ware that was my mother’s and is at least 65 years old. It is definitely pre—1968, and I’m thinking that it was gifted to her in the early 1950s. The piece that’s left is the large pot and it is so old that only way you can see the stamp is with a bright light and a magnifying glass. Is this common for the older pots?

This is common with older pots. The copper does oxidize over time, and when you use copper cleaner regularly it can slowly remove some copper.  I personally have quite a few pieces that have very faint stamps like this.
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Beware of porch package theft

Given the prominence package theft from porches has seen the last few years, I probably don’t need to remind anyone to take care in removing your delivered packages from your porch as soon as possible after delivery.  But I will anyways, given that we’ve had a number of packages delivered to the correct address go missing in the last couple of months.  There are some easy things you can do to better protect yourself.

– Get a camera or video doorbell on your porch. We’ve all seen plenty of videos of people stealing packages, that seem to be aware of the cameras, but at least this gives you some certainty that a package was stolen, and not mis-delivered, and gives you photos and video to submit along with a police report.

– Talk to the drivers.  We’ve tried to talk to our delivery drivers from Fedex, Amazon, UPS, and USPS to ask them to put packages behind the columns on our porch and not right in the middle where they are prominently visible, and many of them do this consistently, so that is worth a try.

– Install a package drop or package delivery box.  At a former house we installed a package drop slot that went into our garage, for smaller packages and it worked well.

– Use a separate mailing address.  We also maintain a UPS store mailbox account, and whenever we are on vacation, we divert all deliveries there.  We also take care to have any high value items delivered there.

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Calling all 3D designers – help designing low volume replacement parts

There are some simple economics behind producing repayment parts like ours.  When we want to make a new part, we have to be somewhat certain that we can sell enough over a reasonable period of time to cover the cost of production.  Producing a new part involves two things – the cost to make the mold, and the MOQ, minimum order quantity.

The cost of making a mold itself can be a barrier to making a new part, but it really isn’t the worst.  The minimum order quantity is often 3,000-5,000 parts.  If we only expect to sell a hundred of a part each year, it can take a long time to work through that inventory, and all the while, we are sitting on working capital while we hold it.

So not every part can be made in quantity like the originals were.  An alternative is to design a 3D model to have printed via an online service.  The cost of each part goes up significantly, often 10-20 times the cost of production in quantity.  And the materials are getting better, but still aren’t quite suitable for all types of cookware replacement parts.

And there are tradeoffs. For example, our replacement handle for vintage Revere Ware stock pots and Dutch ovens has two halves that go together around the handle spline, and there is a nut embedded in one half of the handle.  With 3D printing you probably have to rely on just a sheet metal screw into a plastic hole.

But many people who can’t use their vintage Revere Ware pieces because of missing handles and such might be willing to accept some trade offs and pay a higher price just to be able to use their beloved piece again.

On such is the handle for the bale handle pot.

That top handle would be a great candidate for a printable 3D model.  The same is try for the coffee pot handle, although I’m not sure about availability of appropriate materials, as the coffee percolator handle is in much closer proximity to a stove heating element.

So far I’ve personally designed one part like this, a replacement trigger for the 3 1/2 quart tea kettle.

I’ve taught myself a bit of 3D design, but I don’t really have the time (or patience) to do more designs like this.

So I’d like to put it out there for any mechanical engineer or 3D designer / Revere Ware enthusiasts to take the flag and run with it.  There are probably at least half a dozen parts that could benefit from having a good 3D model that can either be printed in currently available materials, or in the future when better materials are available.

Please contact us if you are interested.

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Best of Revere Ware Parts blog: Extreme Handle Repair

Today’s blast from the past is a reminder that anything can be fixed if you want to fix it bad enough.

This customer was faced with a sauce pan that required a handle type we don’t carry, and the handle spline was broken off to boot.

Sauce Pan Handle Project

This project involved putting a “Large” sauce pan handle on a “broken” handle stub of an early model Revere Ware 7” sauce pan.

The Problem :

Before: This “early” model sauce pan had a broken handle bracket.

After: Welding  approx. 3” of  ¾” x.065” stainless steel strip to the handle .

This is the finished handle fix –

Note:  The original -early model- right tab was wider than ¾” and had to be ground away to match the ¾” wide stainless strip added to fit the ¾” wide handle niches.

Note:  The dimensional detail of the added piece was accomplished by creating a piece of  light cardboard that fit the handle recesses and then transferring that to a thing piece of sheet metal and from that, it was transferred to the stainless piece for the handle. .

Left Side Detail:

Left Side A. The Left Side tab was basically unchanged.  However, we did weld the left tab to the new handle material for the purpose of strengthening the entire handle system.

Left Side B.   Blue Tape indicates the area of bakelight removal in the handle halves.

Note:  The black marker over the original strengthening rib where the handle is attached to the pan.  This rib interfered with the handle and therefore required some relieving of the handle with a Dremel tool to get clearance and allow the seam of the handle halves to mate up without a crack between them. (  See Blue Tape – Above  )

Left Side C.

Also the left side handle had to be relieved ( notice the semi-circle of blue tape ) and some of the handle cut away where the Tab was welded to the new handle material.

( See Blue Tape – Above  )

Right Side A.

The right side tab of the handle required the Tab be ground away so it was only ¾” wide to match both the new handle extension width and the bakelite handle niche.  Also bakelite had to be removed at the front of the handle where the strengthening rib interfered with the handle fitting flush to the tab.

( See Blue Tape — Above )

Right Side A.

This piece of .040” thick  x  ¾” wide  thick sheet metal was cut to fit the handle and used as a pattern for the shearing of the stainless piece that was .065″.

The stainless piece was then welded to the handle and ground flush.  Then the hole for the hanging ring was drilled after the handles were mounted and fitting well. The result is below.   ( The black line being the weld joint area. )

The Finished Pan….

The project was not all that involved and went quite smoothly.   Sheet metal snips, Dremel tool,  bench grinder, files, dial calipers, vice  and drill were the home shop tools involved.  I did take the stainless strip to a metal shop for shearing and welding.

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RevereWareParts customer service highlights for the week

We get a lot of requests for help from people that buy from us and people that don’t; we are happy to do what we can for everyone.  Here are some highlights from the week or answering people’s questions.

Mildred was curious on how to restore the shine on the outside of her tea kettle.

Thank you. Very helpful. Bar Keeper’s Friend brought
the sheen back!

—–Original Message—–
From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Mildred,

See our care guide; there is information there specifically about cleaning the outside of the kettle.

https://www.reverewareparts.com/information-product-manuals/care-and-cleaning/

Peter

Jeff had a lid with a broken off screw.

You folks are awesome, thanks so much.

From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Jeff,

See our page on this repair:

https://www.reverewareparts.com/information-product-manuals/knob-repair/

On that page you’ll find the specifications for the screw you need. We don’t sell them; you’ll have to
procure one from your local hardware store.

Peter

Andrea was inquiring about the Revere Tapster.

Thank you for the information!

From: RevereWareParts Customer Service

Hi Andrea,

This is the only information I currently have on our website about the Tapster:

https://www.reverewareparts.com/how-to-make-beer-elegant/

Peter

Eileen needed a new lid.

Thank you so much. I will look into that.

Eileen

RevereWareParts Customer Service wrote:

Hi Eileen,

Since Revere Ware stopped being produced in 2018 by the latest owners Corelle Inc,
new lids are no longer available. But there is a very robust market for used lids on eBay.
You can find a nice frequently updated and sorted list of Revere Ware lids available there
by size here:

https://www.revereware.org/lid.html

Peter

We’ll try to answer any question you have.

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