Thread Number: 78016  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
It's True - Gracious Living Has Gone Out Of Fashion
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Post# 1020293   1/6/2019 at 04:35 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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Our mothers, grandmothers, and those before them would have loved to find a beautiful china set like this going cheap. Today sellers can't even give them away.

That being said cannot recall last time Mama, nor any other female in the family used their "good china". Today even at family events like Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner if it cannot go into dishwasher, it doesn't get used.

Post# 1020301 , Reply# 1   1/6/2019 at 06:45 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

No,gracious living hasn't gone out-folks today just want dinnerware that can indeed,be run thru the dishwasher.Would not want to wash all of those pieces by hand!!You would be at it all night!!!

Post# 1020318 , Reply# 2   1/6/2019 at 09:39 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

I have seen pictures of families eating holiday meals served on paper or plastic disposable plates and cups. I guess it does not matter how nice the table setting is when you are feeding more than a dozen adults and twice that many children and guests arrive with tubs for leftovers. In crowds like that, anything breakable would be in danger.

Post# 1020320 , Reply# 3   1/6/2019 at 10:01 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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When I was growing up we used the good china and silveware and cloth napkins every Sunday for dinner. And we never broke any of the dishes while washing them by hand, since we washed everything by hand anyway.

Every since David and I have been married we have used cloth napkins at every dinner, a fresh one every day, not reused. And we have NEVER eaten off paper plates with plastic silverware, unless we were havng a picnic.

And on holidays we still use my Momís good china and Grandmaís silverplate flatware. Since Iíve been washing the dishes by hand for the past 10 months now, its no big deal to wash the china and silver by hand. But even when I still used the dishwasher regularly, washing the good china by hand wasnít such a daunting task.

Gracious living only dies if we let it die.


This post was last edited 01/06/2019 at 10:20
Post# 1020321 , Reply# 4   1/6/2019 at 10:22 by Magic_Clean (Florida)        
"Gracious living only dies if we let it die"

So True! We try as time & schedule allows, to prepare nice dinners and use dining room china, crystal and silver. On occasion, cloth napkins too. Beverly Bremer's silver shop in Atlanta advocates using your good things instead of just looking at them. So a few years ago, we took the plunge.

Only the napkins create extra work with the washing & ironing. We've been washing the good china, crystal and sterling silver in the dishwasher with no ill effects. In fact the silverware is used and washed daily. A quick wipe with silver polish once in a while, keeps it shiny. It tarnishes much less in use than when in storage.

Regarding the dishwasher; the combination of reduced temperature wash cycles and enzyme based detergent seems to have eliminated any dishwasher related dulling that was likely in the past.

Plus, if you break something, you can always find a replacement piece of china or stem of crystal pretty darn cheap nowadays.


Post# 1020329 , Reply# 5   1/6/2019 at 12:02 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Clutch the pearls, indeed

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What isn't being considered is that we neither live nor eat in the fashion that would use china sets like those to best advantage. Few people have the servants that our predecessors employed to prepare,serve and clean up after meals in series of courses that these pieces accommodated. Also, think of how different the foods and beverages are today than in the late Fifties and Sixties. Few people want a 4 ounce cup of coffee or tea; they want a mug-full or a beaker if you're Hyacinth with the Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles. Menus for formal dinner parties have changed enough that vessels need to accommodate preparations that go beyond the classic protein-vegetable-starch triad that our parents and grandparents served exclusively.

Sadly these lovely pieces of bone china simply don't fit our lives anymore. This is where Martha Stewart carved out her niche; graciousness today comes in different sizes, colors and combinations. The good news is that there is nothing stopping anybody from throwing a shamelessly retro dinner party nowadays with a consomme, roast,potato, green vegetable entree and side salad with a bavarian for dessert on all of those wonderful pieces of china.

Post# 1020330 , Reply# 6   1/6/2019 at 12:02 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Don`t get why someone wouldn`t use the dishwasher for that. My mother has always put her good china into the dishwasher.
Now she`s approaching 80 and her only handwashed face shows a lot more wear and tear than her good china. It takes quite a long time for damage to occur if it`s only used a couple of times a year. Most people won`t outlive the beauty of their precious things and most daughters today won`t want to have the stuff when someone is gone, so enjoy it while you can.

Post# 1020331 , Reply# 7   1/6/2019 at 12:37 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
put the crabby old man at the kid's table

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Somehow I knew if you looked for people who still valued creating a special day by using nice china and flatware you'd be able to find them here. Frankly, I'd rather eat off of paper plates from the 99 Cent Store rather than sit at a table with diners eating on Versace china with their cell phones in their face.

This post was last edited 01/06/2019 at 13:47
Post# 1020335 , Reply# 8   1/6/2019 at 13:21 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        

I remember our family doing things differently, my Grandmothers Sisters 90th birthday, the table at her daughters was covered in the finest crystal, china and sterling,,,,,and punch, finger sandwiches etc, then I remember her brothers 90th birthday, held at his sons house, the table was filled with Tupperware ,mis matched Melmac , paper plates and forks,,,and the most wonderful homemade food you could imagine, fried chicken, country ham, country style steak, meatloaf, homemade biscuits, green beans with fatback, mashed potatoes etc....all the fancy dinnerware and silver wont substitute for good food!

Post# 1020339 , Reply# 9   1/6/2019 at 14:19 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Ha ha. I had one grandmother who I don't recall ever using paper plates. She always used china and real silverware and washed it by hand. Only used the dishwasher if my aunt did.

At my house it was different, always paper plates. My mother would get fussy if I used a glass bowl or plate instead of paper, even though I washed it myself. Plastic cups instead of glasses.

I do prefer a glass plate or bowl to a paper one. And there are some things I refuse to eat from paper, especially ice cream or anything that turns the paper soggy.

Post# 1020343 , Reply# 10   1/6/2019 at 14:50 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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I had all of my mom's china until we moved this past June.  We hadn't used it in I don't know how many years.  It wasn't my style at all.  There are place settings for up to 16 people, and a lot of duplicates for sugar bowls, creamers, etc. because my aunt had the same set.  The agreement between my mom and my aunt was, whoever goes first, the other one gets her china.  My aunt went first.


Dave's daughter doesn't do any formal entertaining, so I knew she wouldn't use it either.  Knowing that a young family would be buying our family home of 58 years and making the necessary upgrades an expansions it sorely needed, in many ways repeating the cycle my parents started there in 1960, I offered the set to Alana, the young mom.  She graciously accepted (she has no set of her own), so I boxed everything up and set it aside.  That china belongs with that house.  It has been machine washed many times without any ill effects.  Just don't put it in the microwave or you'll see sparks.


I hope that if they're finally in the house by Thanksgiving, she'll break out the china.  It came from Sears in 1936, so it's nothing super valuable.  I have a partial set of  Royal "Star Glow" if I want to get fancy, as well as an earthy Mc Coy "Canyon" set.   I use those based on serving plate size, not their pattern.





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This post was last edited 01/06/2019 at 15:11
Post# 1020345 , Reply# 11   1/6/2019 at 15:05 by appnut (TX)        

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I don't have any paper plates in the house.  I don't like paper napkins.  Growing up, we ate in the dining room when guests joined us and the good china was used, along with table cloth and napkins.  In the breakfast room, the table either had place mats or a table cloth.  Somewhere about jr. high or high school, my mom got the idea to begin using very nice terry cloth wash cloths as everyday "napkins".  I still carry on that tradition of cloth covered table in breakfast room (my only eating area) as well as informal napkins, which I make sure can be washed on sanitary highest heat.  All my tableware is casual, but different degrees of "nice".  My partner was here for Christmas for a week.  to my horror, about a whole roll of paper towels before he left.  Normally, I can go 6 months or more on a single roll of paper towels.  He thinks I'm nuts that I save up laundry to properly sort.  I've already told him we may have to get him additional clothes because I won't do tiny loads as a general rule, just for special things.  He still doesn't understand I won't do darks and lights together, now whites he sorts out.  I have a good size wicker hamper in the laundry room for the table "napkins", dish rags, and dish cloths.  I make sure everything is dried out before I put items in this hamper.  


Growing up, mom always put her good china and crystal in the dishwasher without any issue.  Good silver too, except for the knives.  My mom's motto, if it cannot go in the dishwasher, it's not used.  Except for the 1st Waste King, all subsequent dishwashers always had a Fine China/China Crystal/Light Wash cycle.  For the initial WK, when it began the 165 degree final rinse heating pause, my mom would turn the knob until it began circulating water after a few minutes of it heating the water.  

Post# 1020347 , Reply# 12   1/6/2019 at 15:24 by Kate1 (Idaho)        

There are those of us younger folks wanting to bring back the way our grandparents and great grandparents did things. I would love having a beautiful set of china, silver, and crystal to use for special occasions. Iíve not always had a dishwasher so handwashing does not bother me, Iíve had to scrub a fleet of dishes from numerous holiday meals over the years. One thing I have always insisted on is using real, porcelain dishes for everything. Even my children use our regular dishes and they always have. I donít like plastic, and I try to avoid it as much as possible, and I really donít like how wasteful disposable dishes and napkins are. My mother told me I was insane for not having my kids use plastic dishes, and I wonít lie, I have lost a dish here and there over the years. But I buy plain white, open stock dishes and anything that breaks can be easily replaced. My kids have also learned how to be careful with things and most people comment on how gentle they are with things because most children have grown up not needing to be careful with anything. I also use cloth napkins and table cloths. I think having a sense of permanence of our belongings is missing in this day and age and I would like that to change.

Post# 1020349 , Reply# 13   1/6/2019 at 15:34 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
all the fancy dinnerware and silver wont substitute for good

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Thatís very true Hans. But I can assure you that all the women on both sides of my family were great cooks, and all of our holiday meals were extra special. But both sides of my family came from poor, working class backrounds.

So when they were able to eck together some nice china, silverware, glassware and table linens you can be sure they were going to use these things for special occasions, and the menu never suffered as a result. My paternal Grandma used to have 25 to 30 for Thanksgiving, and since she didnít have enough good tableware for that size crowd, all the other women in the family brought their finery to Grandmaís house, so everyone got to enjoy their meal off the best, kids too.

I suppose there are many people that would look down on this, think its ďBourgeoisieĒ, but these were proud women that had been through many hard times, and by God they were going to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

And my Mom always fixed an extra special meal for Sunday Dinner, and again we put on the dog, and used the best tableware and linens. This was how we all learned how to have proper table manners.

And of course, I realize that one doesnít need finery to learn how to behave properly at the dinner table, and those that donít have it arenít to be looked down on for the lack thereof, but if you have some nice things, why now use them? Thatís what theyíre for, to use and enjoy, not to be show pieces, collecting dust.

Just my two cents worth.


This post was last edited 01/06/2019 at 16:43
Post# 1020354 , Reply# 14   1/6/2019 at 16:32 by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

My husband is an "eat on a TV tray" kind of guy; which I am not, but I yielded to his preferences. I attribute that to his big family and him being the baby--there wasn't a "family dinnertime" that I so fondly recalled. Before I met him, I always ate in the dining room (often on a place mat or tablecloth) and I'd bought good stainless (at Harrods!...had it shipped back to the US) and some nice casual china for 8 (from Carson Pirie Scott).

Post# 1020361 , Reply# 15   1/6/2019 at 17:45 by Xraytech (Rural southwest Pennsylvania )        

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My mother has always put her Haviland Blue Garland China service in the dishwasher, it gets used about 4-5 times a year and itís now about 25-27 years old.
Grandma Rose always put her China in the dishwasher from the time she got a GE with a Rinse-Glo in 1965. I now have that set of china that was purchased in 1952. It had a few missing pieces, mostly cups and saucers, but I replaced them.
She used that China for every family dinner, whoís was served in the kitchen. We would gather around her Tell City table covered in ivory linen. Table was set with the good China and good stainless flatware instead of the everyday stuff, even as small children we were served on this China. The meals often served on that China was chicken paprikash with grated noodles, salad, and bread, or cabbage rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans, and salad, or baked ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
The only family dinner NOT served on China was spaghetti, which would be percatelli #12 pasta with a Corning Ware skillet full of meatballs, and a Corning Ware casserole full of extra sauce. That dinner was always eaten on a set of serving platters from Shenago China.

I still serve family dinners or any company on the food China, I put all my sets in dishwasher, except for my 1930s set with the 22kt gold filigree band.
My daily use is vintage Corelle dishes. If having a picnic I use the Corelle as I wonít use disposable dinnerware, cutlery, or drink ware.

Post# 1020364 , Reply# 16   1/6/2019 at 18:00 by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

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I honestly have mixed feelings. I do like nice, old dishes. And, at one time, I was well versed in how they'd be used (at least according to Miss Manners). I know I'd do special occasion dinners for just my mother and me about that time that were as "proper" as I could make them with what we had. At that point in my life, I'd have liked really nice china, probably would have wanted nice white table clothes, and so on.

I do recall that there was a lot more dish washing involved with those special occasion dinners, particularly since stuff would need to be washed twice (once before, to remove dust from storage, and then again after eating). It was time consuming, and probably a bit of a pain--I can't imagine I enjoyed washing dishes any more then than now!--but it was a special occasion.

And I think that having nicer dishes did make special occasions feel more special.'s been years since I even had someone for coffee. "Someday" I'd be willing to do more, when circumstances permit. But I am at a point I doubt where I'd be interested in really nice china. I would want stuff that looks nice, but is reasonably tough, and dishwasher safe. I currently don't have a dishwasher, but I have resolved that when that happy day comes when I have a dishwasher again, my hand washing days are OVER.

Post# 1020372 , Reply# 17   1/6/2019 at 18:36 by bendix5 (Central Point, Oregon)        

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We love to set a nice table for Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving. Seasonal table cloths, cloth napkins, nice serving dishes inherited from both sides of the family. Used to do it for birthdays too but mostly go out for that now. You don't need fancy china, napkins and stem ware to set a beautiful table. We still do it though. We have Christmas china and a good set of Noritake and we also collect Jewel Tea's Autumn Leaf Pattern. They each get used at least once a year and hand washed except Christmas dish ware can be put in the dishwasher. We have my moms Rogers silver plate set and several sterling pieces from both sides of the family. It makes a nice meal and every one sits down together. Growing up my mothers twin sister and her husband (Bendix man) lived around the block from us. So my mom and aunt would trade off holidays. Carting dishware back and forth and then cooking for everyone and sharing ovens etc to get all done for around 25 people every holiday. We all had good manners and as kids enjoyed the formality because that is how it was in those days. If my mom needed extra plates she would run across the street and ask Thelma if she had any extra and she would reach in the cupboard and pull out what she had. It all was so 1950's/60's. All of the adults ate at the formal dining room table and us kids set a two card tables. It was so much fun and then my mom and aunts would start the clean up and dishes, silver, glass ware all washed and stacked on the dining table for another go around later in the evening.
Us kids would run around outside and then come in for games and dessert.
We use cloth napkins daily and I am also amazed at the many people our age that do that. They are thrown in the wash each day. We fold them out of the dryer and the only ones that get ironed are the holiday ones. A couple of years ago for Christmas we had a few extra people so JoEllen decided to do it banquet style. She set it up on the dining table and it still had all of the nice dishware and napkins wine glasses etc. When my grandchildren showed up they both went what? Why isn't the table set. JE explained and Brenden started moving things around. I went to the club house and got a long table and extra chairs and JE got out table cloth and we set it up to go thru the dining and living rooms so every one could set together. Brenden was pleased with himself because at 14 he set the whole table and it was all set properly. Our elderly friends said they couldn't believe we went to all of that work and we said Brenden did the table set up and he got a good clap from everyone. Traditions are important but we don't see much of any longer because of everyone working and time crunch. Friends ask why we still do all of this and it is because we love it. Trees, lights and inherited household items are all part of our heritage and bring back many memories and good times.

My 95 year old mother in law sets her own place for her evening meals. She lives alone in her condo. Now days she uses her grand parents china and her silver, nice wine glass and water glass and sets at the dining room trestle table her husband built for her in 1952. One day I asked her if she does this routine daily and she said Yes. It reminds her of people no longer here and times growing up in North Dakota etc. You go girl.

I like your word Eddie. Bourgeoisie is a polysemous French term that can mean: . a sociologically defined class, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with a certain cultural and financial capital belonging to the middle or upper stratum of the middle class. Good evening

Post# 1020382 , Reply# 18   1/6/2019 at 18:51 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I tend to look slightly askance at those who equate a state of grace with worldly possessions. What is far more important are cordial human relations, good deeds, and kindness to animals.

Over and out.

Post# 1020388 , Reply# 19   1/6/2019 at 20:48 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I inherited my mom's Royal Doulton china after she died in 2001. She bought it in 1965. I still have her original receipts - they were in the china cabinet. She paid $12.95 for a 5 piece place setting. Growing up I remember using the china only a handful of times at Christmas dinner. Since I've had the china, I have used it every year at Christmas dinner. I like to set a nice table for Christmas dinner. Everything gets washed in the dishwasher. I hate eating on paper/plastic plates...even at a BBQ.


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Post# 1020390 , Reply# 20   1/6/2019 at 20:58 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I always

Use our china for company, Actually is Taylor Smith and Taylor Moderne, and our stainless is Oneida Twin Star, for company I use cloth place mats and napkins, But just for Donald and I we use Corelle,we have a 24 place setting of the TSandT and the Twin Star!

Post# 1020396 , Reply# 21   1/6/2019 at 21:20 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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We grew up with the semi formal Sunday dinner in the dining room but that had pretty much faded by the time I left home. The only time mom used the dining room afterwards was for Xmas or Thanksgiving type events. When my partner and I got together those 36 years ago we had a nice set of china and started a silverware set which I'd add to each birthday and Xmas.. We have all the pieces now but they haven't seen the light of day in probably a good 15 years, squirreled away somewhere. Back in our younger years we loved having big orphan Xmas dinners and birthday party's for people. Not now.

The thrift stores around here abound with good quality chinaware and silverware sets avec chests,, real silverware as well as stainless and it sits there for weeks sometimes .. I wonder if they just toss it after not selling.. And then there's all the silver plate service pieces like servers, trays creamers, coffee pots tea pots etc.. not cheap stuff in its day.. all for nothing. No one seems to want it, not even the antiquey people who used to dog these places for hours.. they're all gone too for the most part.

Post# 1020399 , Reply# 22   1/6/2019 at 22:14 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Starting back in the 1950's my mom sent in coupons, I think from Green Stamps (remember those?) and slowly built up a collection of sterling silverware, which she guarded carefully. When she had to be moved into a rest home I cleaned out her apartment and found in a sort of secret cupboard, a red felt bag with the silverware. It was all there, a bit tarnished, and some pieces a bit worn from some use. I reckon she broke out a setting for herself to enjoy from time to time.

Eight place settings of six pieces each - including very cute butter knives. Oneida Sterling "Heiress". I was surprised at how dainty the spoons and forks were, especially compared to the hefty stainless flatware that has become so popular today. She later said, "You keep it", before she passed away. Anyway, I have it locked up in my safe now, haven't looked at it in years.

I just got it out of the safe... it's loverly. I had never seen all of it until I cleaned out her apartment. She kept it that secret. I'd weigh it but somehow would rather not know. I know how important it was to her, at this point that's all that really matters.

Post# 1020400 , Reply# 23   1/6/2019 at 22:56 by Launderess (Quiet Please, Thereīs a Lady on Stage)        

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"I tend to look slightly askance at those who equate a state of grace with worldly possessions. What is far more important are cordial human relations, good deeds, and kindness to animals."

And I for one thank you for spreading that little ray of sunshine.

Post# 1020402 , Reply# 24   1/6/2019 at 23:10 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Post# 1020403 , Reply# 25   1/6/2019 at 23:12 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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"And I for one thank you for spreading that little ray of sunshine. "

Anytime, dearie, just holler.

Post# 1020404 , Reply# 26   1/6/2019 at 23:21 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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So much for cordial human relations.


Post# 1020498 , Reply# 27   1/7/2019 at 20:00 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        
as mentioned above.. I agree.

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it's getting hard to find ordinary knives and forks today that aren't jumbo sized, like they were made for ham fisted toddlers with little dexterity.

Post# 1020503 , Reply# 28   1/7/2019 at 20:46 by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

My table always has a tablecloth on it as I hate a bare table.  I use a cloth napkin for dinner along with my Wedgewood china and my Grandmother's 1910 silverplate.  Even when I'm alone!  I still iron my sheets,  too!

Post# 1020511 , Reply# 29   1/8/2019 at 01:04 by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I had 30+ people over for Christmas Eve and had enough china and crystal to handle the crowd, albeit with 2 differing sets of china, but that is a minor thing.  No paper here even for the young kids, they get china just as everyone else did. New Year's Eve was a smaller group, only 12 and for that the table was set with china, and crystal and lots of silver, all stuff accumulated over many many decades by my mother and later by me.  Why keep it in a cabinet?  Use it.


Don't have any sterling, only silver plate for the flatware, but that is fine.  Still like the warmth of silver vs. the everyday stainless.

Post# 1023281 , Reply# 30   2/1/2019 at 10:31 by mixrman (Eutaw, Alabama)        

My wife and I subscribe to the idea that 'a well laid table is an unspoken compliment' to our guests. Several times each year, when it is our turn to host one of the three, twelve-couple 'supper clubs' to which we belong (there is not a lot to do in rural AlabamaÖ), we always use the 'good stuff' - china, crystal, silver-plated flatware (not enough sterling yet), and antique linens. Most, but not all, of the other members do the same when it is their turn to host. We find that clean-up is not really a problem- which seems to be the complaint we hear most often from the younger set. We usually have everything hand washed and put away in 1/2 hour - not bad at all! Plus- it is fun to discuss the party while we tidy up. The linens are no trouble at all - of course having an Ironrite really helps!

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