Friday, August 26, 2022

If you are decluttering, toss these first! (May contain bad news...)

 ...bad news if you are really attached to vintage Pyrex/Corning Ware/Corelle dishes, mixing bowls and baking items. You know, those really nice, sturdy, good-feeling dishwasher-able dishes that your mother and grandmothers had in their kitchens. Ah the nostalgia!

I am interrupting our regular content to send out this public service announcement. I tried a regular lead test from the hardware store on these older kitchenware items this morning, and they instantly tested positive. I wasn't surprised because I had read about this recently. But I'm sentimental and I'm frugal and thought I would just try it for myself before committing to toss them.

The cup (Nancy's coffee cups-- boo hoo!) I tested on the rim. We were using them a lot because they were kept in a handy spot. Besides, they were almost indestructible and felt nice in the hand. The baking dishes I did over the decals.

Although some websites state that the inside is probably okay, the paint and decals on the outside are inevitably scratched and leaching lead. Plus, you are washing the leaching dishes with your other dishes. It's not worth it. So I filled up a box with vintage glass kitchen items from my favorite people to send to the dump.

If you love it a lot, keep it as decor but don't eat from it. I decided that I would rather have the cupboard space, and chose to keep my grandmother's antique teacups for my display spaces instead of vintage Pyrex.

Thankfully the lead tests did not at all register on my modern fine china (I even broke and extra saucer to test all surfaces inside and out), although I undertstand that those tests are not perfect. For a not- perfect test to instantly pick up on the lead of all the old Pyrex and Corning dishes, though-- that's good enough for me!

You can find quite a lot of info online if you need more help letting go. Think of it this way: you get to buy yourself some new dishes now! 


Anonymous said...

You are probably aware of the Lead Free Mama's website (, which contains a wealth of information on the lead issue. Lead is in places we'd never consider. Vintage Tupperware! Toys! House keys! I only wish I'd had this information when my children were young. My husband and I built a house 30 years ago, so I'm really enjoying your construction journal. A house-building project is not for the faint-hearted! Nancy

Amelia said...

I'm so surprised to see the modernish Corning Ware! I need to test mine too. It's sad having to put the vintage things away isn't it? My grandmother who I was named after, bless her heart, she passed away in the '30s when my dad was a little boy, I have her dish set...It's in my attic. One day perhaps I can display them since they are a pretty very unusual deep, dark green color. So many things that were so not good back then. My youngest daughter read the book, 'Radium Girls'. It's horrifying.

Thank you for the heads up.


Lillibeth said...

Yes it is sad. If I had not been in the midst of a huge storage unpacking/declutter, I don't think I could have given these up as quickly. Thankfully I had unpacked other very important-to-me dishes to replace them with.

Christine said...

This is sad but good news. Sad about the tossing but good because now we know.

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