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Is Bone China Microwave Safe? (And Does It Get Hot?)

Bone china, also called ‘fine bone china’, is a classic staple to many kitchens all over the world.

It takes on a simple, yet elegant, refined appearance, making it suitable for a variety of dinners, from your day-to-day meals to special occasions.

But many people are cautious when it comes to using bone china – mainly because there’s a lot of confusion as to whether it is microwave safe. 

Nobody wants to accidentally set their kitchen on fire when trying to make their lunch (okay, that may be an exaggeration), so we’ve come up with a handy guide to bone china to help you incorporate it into your kitchen worry-free. 

Curious? Then read on to find out more! 

What Is Bone China?

First, we must ask ourselves what porcelain china is. Porcelain china is a type of ceramic material.

It is made by heating substances with materials such as kaolin in a kiln. Bone china is exactly the same as ordinary porcelain china but with one key difference.

It actually contains real bones, usually cow bone ash. These bones are used to make the china smoother and thinner as opposed to regular porcelain.

It also gives bone china its characteristic opaqueness and cream-white color. 

Is Bone China Vegan?

No, bone china is not vegan. Because bone china contains about 50% of cow bone ashes, it is not suitable for those following a vegan lifestyle.

However, in a world that is growing increasingly concerned about environmental and animal rights sensitivities, more and more people are opting for a vegan lifestyle.

This has led to the invention of New Bone China, which is said to be a vegan alternative to bone china that possesses the same finish and durability. 

Does Bone China Contain Lead?

Bone china is made up of five main materials: bone ash, clay, quartz, kaolin, and feldspar.

It does not contain lead or any toxic materials. Bone china is safe to use when serving food and in your day-to-day life. 

Is Bone China Microwave Safe?

Generally, bone china products are fired at temperatures up to 2372°F.

This means that bone china is microwave safe, and you can use it to heat food without having to worry. Bone china is also dishwasher safe, oven-safe, and break-resistant. 

However, there are some things you do need to look out for when it comes to putting bone china in the microwave. 

What Do You Need To Look Out For?

While bone china is microwave safe most of the time, there are some instances where it would not be suitable for the microwave.

Bone China Dishes With Metal

 For instance, if you have a bone china dish with gold trimmings, any other decorative metal surface, or a metal band or handles, then it cannot be put in the microwave because the microwave radiation will cause it to make an electric spark.

Does Bone China Get Hot In The Microwave

This can damage the trimmings.

Sudden Changes In Temperature 

Additionally, wherever possible you should try and avoid sudden temperature changes when it comes to fine bone china.

Do not take it out of the microwave as soon as you hear the ‘ding!’ Similarly, do not microwave bone china that has just been taken out of the refrigerator.

Sudden temperature changes can cause breaks in bone china dishes and are best avoided. 

You should also avoid exposing fine bone china to a naked flame, as this will put stress on the dish and cause it to break.

A Helpful Tip 

If you’re unsure as to whether a china dish is microwave-safe or not, try checking underneath it!

Microwave-safe dishes usually come with a label stating so. 

Does Bone China Get Hot In The Microwave?

Bone china dishes should not get hot in the microwave. However, they will usually heat up thanks to the conduction from the food cooked using them. 

The Benefits Of Using Bone China 

Bone china actually has many benefits! Here are some examples!


Because of its raw materials, bone china is strong and resilient.

It is resistant to chipping so it will last for a long time even if it is used every day, and it can stand the heat of the microwave. 


Bone china is opaque and plain in color, which makes it suitable for a variety of events.

How To Clean Bone China 

You can use it in your day-to-day life, as well as for social dinners and special occasions. 

How To Clean Bone China 

If your bone china dish features stains from tea, coffee, or other beverages, then it’s time to give them more than the usual washing-up treatment.

You can remove these tough stains by using a baby sterilizing solution. First, wash and dry the dish – make sure you do this thoroughly. Then go ahead and clean with the solution! 

However, you should avoid harsh scrubbing or cleaning your bone china too abrasively. Gently cleaning the dishes is better, to avoid damaging the glaze finish. 

Final Thoughts 

Bone china is fired at temperatures up to 2372°F, making it microwave safe. It may be hot when you remove it from the microwave, but this is due to the food heating up the dish. 

However, you do need to be cautious when it comes to heating your bone china dishes.

If your bone china has gold or other metal components, whether it’s a decorative pattern, handles, band, or any other surface, then it is not microwave safe.

The metal in the microwave will cause a spark that poses a safety risk as well as reduce the quality of the dish itself. 

Additionally, if you have fine bone china, then you should not expose it to sudden temperature changes.

Do not put it in the microwave immediately after taking it out of the refrigerator, and do not remove it from the microwave immediately after it finishes heating up. 

Jess Smith