Morgan Mancha has more than 3, pieces of Pyrex, enough that she can't possibly keep everything on display despite her four hutches. Courtesy of Morgan Mancha hide caption. Inan advertisement proclaiming, "Bake in a glass! Corning Glass Works in New York had created a product that allowed food to be mixed, baked and served all in the same dish. By4 million pieces of Pyrex — a new, durable glassware — had been sold to customers throughout the United States.
Compared to modern kitchen items, vintage Pyrex — which is heavy, increasingly expensive and not dishwasher safe — doesn't seem immediately practical. Yet people remain obsessed with the old Pyrex — not just to look at but to actually use. Michael Barber, author of the Pyrex Passion blog and guides to various patterns and colors of the dishware, started thinking about vintage Pyrex while helping his mother clean out her house.
He remembered her baking with the pieces during his childhood. He took them home instead, later discovering that they had first belonged to his grandmother — he was the third generation to use them. Pyrex has been passed down from generation to generation and has retained both its durability and bright colors.
Though the earliest Pyrex was made of clear glass, in Corning debuted a set of different-sized colored mixing bowls that could nest together like Russian dolls to save space. They were made out of soda lime opal glass, which had originally been used in military cafeterias. Pearl white on the inside, the outsides of the four-bowl set were each yellow, green, red and blue. My grandma had a set — your mother or grandmother likely did, too. Pyrex was already popular, but these color bowls created a legacy.
From the very beginning, Pyrex was a product for women designed by women. Though a male Corning scientist developed the technology for a glass that could withstand quick changes in temperature, it was his wife, Bessie Littleton, who suggested it be applied to kitchenware.
She baked a sponge cake in a sawed-off jar to prove her point. As Pyrex began to take off, female home economists were hired by Corning to research, test and promote new versions of the product. Lucy Maltby, who initially ran the company's consumer services office, ended up creating a test kitchen that was designed to anticipate consumer needs before they were even requested: handles big enough to grip without burning your hands and mixing bowls sized to fit cake mixes of the time so the batter didn't spill over.
After World War II, Americans were ready to fill their lives — and kitchens — with cheerful colors and kitsch. Barber's collection eventually expanded to include every piece of opal Pyrex ever made. He guesses he has roughly 4, pieces scattered throughout his home. In contrast, Kristina West's collection of more than pieces seems small, but she's no less passionate. She is the admin of the Facebook group "Pyrex Passion," which has nearly 17, members.
She also started a Pyrex swap in her home state of Tennessee where collectors could meet and exchange tips and vintage Pyrex. She says it's now the largest swap in the United States. It's impossible to avoid vintage Pyrex — Instagram and Pinterest are overflowing with photos of kitchens dotted with Pyrex or display cabinets filled with matching dish sets.
People who walk into Morgan Mancha's house for the first time can't avoid noticing the Pyrex on display in nearly every room of her house. She lives in a mid-century modern home in Riverside, Calif. Mancha now has more than 3, pieces, enough that she can't possibly keep everything on display despite her four Pyrex-filled hutches.
For people worried about making food in plastic containers, glass Pyrex is relatively clean and the vintage pieces are American made. The modern ones are, too. And while they're old, they're also surprisingly durable. It's inevitable that the current mid-century modern craze will eventually end, but collectors don't believe the Pyrex will disappear along with it.
Tove K. Danovich is a journalist based in Portland, Ore.Research shows that your dinnerware itself might also be harmful. A study recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that subjects who used hard plastic dishes had elevated levels of melamine in their urine, especially if they heated those dishes in the microwave or used them to serve acidic foods that contain items such as tomatoes, fruits, vinegar, wine, and so on.
Melamine is an organic chemical that gets combined with formaldehyde to form the resin that hard plastic tableware is made from. While melamine itself has low toxicity, according to the FDA, when combined with chemicals like formaldehyde, it becomes dangerous. Tests indicate that when it leeches into the human body, it can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory systems; as well as cancer, kidney stones, kidney failure, and even death.
In fact, melamine combined with cyanuric acid and then added to pet foods killed thousands of dogs and cats a few years ago. Governments around the world clamped down on the amount of melamine allowed in food after these incidents and by the way, melamine does appear in many food items in trace amounts.
TLC Parentables. But the recent study found that participants who consumed hot noodle soup from melamine bowls had more than eight times the amount of melamine in their urine 12 hours after the meal compared to those who used ceramic bowls. Even more alarming was the fact that those who used the melamine bowls far, far exceeded the FDA daily limits. Inorganic lead can cause neurological problems, kidney damage, interference with bone and muscle growth, and learning disabilities as well as ADHD in children.
Inthe FDA began testing dinnerware to ensure its safety, which means that any dishes from after that date are more likely to be in compliance with safety standards. Michigan State Extension. Still, most dinnerware today does contain lead and cadmium, and the FDA does allow that.
In fact, an independent news station in Indiana conducted independent testing on plates, bowls, and mugs from various retailers as well as some antiques.
The dishes failing the safety test came from a variety of countries, including the US, and even plain white plates were among the culprits. When the news station did leaching tests, it found three of the 18 plates it tested exceeding the FDA standards. By the way, the FDA standards do allow minimal amounts of heavy metal leaching from dinnerware, which might concern you if you consider that the effects are cumulative and there are plenty of other sources that you may well be exposed to.
In other words, even plates that passed the leaching test may not be so safe over the long haul. When you wash dishes in the dishwasher, over time the glaze starts to erode and then leaching can become significant.I've used glass bakeware for years, but I recently learned about increasing incidents of exploding glass while cooking.
I first heard about exploding Pyrex, and other exploding glass dishes, from a Tweet, of all things, and then I read the article about it. Hat tip to Katie from La Jolla Mom for bringing it to my attention first. Next, I really sat up and took notice when I was warned about it again, this time by Consumer Reports. You see, I was so interested in this news not only because I use Pyrex dishes in my oven frequently, but also because I myself experienced an exploding glass incident when I was a kid.
The short version of the story was that I was melting crayons to have colored wax for a craft project for school, without parental supervision. I don't think it was my parent's fault they weren't supervising me. Instead, I just didn't "think" to tell them what I was doing, and they I guess didn't know I was as dumb as I apparently was.
Being completely ignorant I put a glass mixing bowl, like those Pyrex ones almost everyone has, onto a stove top filled with bits of crayon, to heat it up. Needless to say it shattered, made a huge mess, scared me and my parents to death, and I was told over and over again why that was a dumb idea. No physical injuries occurred, but I saw the potential for danger and the incident has stuck out in my mind.
The scientific reason that the glass mixing bowl on the stove exploded and shattered is a term called " thermal shock ," which is what happens when glass or ceramic gets a sudden and rapid temperature change and cracks, sometimes with explosive force.
Some glasses are better at resisting thermal shock than others. One of those glasses is called "borosilicate glass," which is what Pyrex glass bakeware used to be made of.
However, it has changed its formula now, at least in the United States, and is instead made with tempered soda lime glass. As far as I can tell there were no visual changes to the look of glass bakeware as a result of this change in formula.
Further, the companies that manufacture these products, the two biggest of which are Pyrex and Anchor Hocking, say the change also did not change the bakeware's resistance to thermal shock. However, there is evidence, which I'll discuss below, that borosilicate glass is more resistant to thermal shock than the newer soda lime glass, which means these incidents of exploding glass bakeware may be on the rise.
Below is a video created by Consumer Reports which conducted a year long investigation into exploding glass bakeware. I learned many things from this video, but I think the thing that made the biggest impact is glass explosions can be dangerous, and very dramatically scary. See how the tester runs away, even with all the protective clothing, when they put the glass dish down on the counter.
Along with this video Consumer Reports also wrote an article for its January magazine about the issue. I subscribe to the magazine, and have read it. Basically, what I have taken away from both the video and magazine article is that Pyrex, like any glass bakeware, is not as indestructible and safe as I thought or hoped it was.We have some Pyrex mixing bowls and after several uses, they are already scratched.
Is it safe to use scratched Pyrex bowls? We don't use them in the oven, but we are just curious. Also, when your Pyrex becomes scratched, do the glass particles end up in your food? Is it then safe to eat the food? Or, do the glass particles become airborne, eventually hurting your lungs?
I assume scratched and chipped Pyrex bowls are safe as they have been around for nearly years and no one seems to be dying from these type of damaged bowls. In terms of the scratches they are probably safe to use, but there are many warnings about using Pyrex and you do have to be careful and exercise common sense. There have been many reports of Pyrex utensils exploding, and there were a few reports where there seemed to be no reason.
And the new Pyrex is not even made of the same material as the old Pyrex. Read here. Trending News. CDC adds new signs to list of virus symptoms. Naya Rivera's selfless last act: Saving her son's life. States extend unemployment while Congress debates. Inside Lisa Marie Presley's close bond with late son, Hosting shakeup on 'Dancing With the Stars'. Photo of Ted Cruz on a plane with no mask goes viral.
All eyes are on Disney World following its reopening. Trump turns focus to Obama after coronavirus question. Answer Save.Consequently, it is commonly used for the construction of reagent bottles used in laboratories. For years, cooks have safely used billions of pieces of Anchor Hocking and Pyrex glass bakeware made from borosilicate in the kitchen.
World Kitchen claims that it did not alter the product composition for Pyrex glass bakeware, has always manufactured Pyrex glass bakeware in the U. Pyrex glass cookware manufactured by World Kitchen is made of tempered soda-lime glass instead of borosilicate.
World Kitchen supports this change, because soda-lime glass is cheaper to produce, the most common form of glass used in U. However, unlike borosilicate, it is not as heat-resistant 6.
The differences between Pyrex products depending on manufacturer have led to safety issues. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has stated that from toalmost 12, people went to emergency rooms for treatment of injuries from glass bakeware that was dropped and broken, or shattered during use.
While shattering at high temperatures may be less common than breakage from being dropped, it poses a greater threat to consumers, since the glassware may break without warning. When broken, borosilicate glass tends to crack into large pieces rather than shattering. Glass bakeware is a healthier alternative to metal bakeware because no hazardous materials leach into your food, and it helps to retain moisture and cooks more evenly than metal bakeware.
However, like all glass, it can break. Anchor Hocking and Pyrex bakeware are safe when their care and use instructions are followed. Regardless of safety measures taken by both companies to strengthen and ensure the quality of their products, misuse can lead to failure of the bakeware. Anchor Hocking states that the vast majority of failures are due to mishandling or improper care of the product. The misuse often happens over time, and the actual failure may occur at a later date.
A few examples of mishandling are 2 :.
The Dishwasher Scratched My Glasses
All glass, whether soda lime or borosilicate, can experience thermal breakage if exposed to sudden or uneven temperature changes. Avoid the most common causes of thermal breakage by following four simple rules 2, 5 :.
Follow these warnings from Pyrex and World Kitchen LLC to reduce the risk of personal injury or property damage, as well as, glassware breaking or shattering immediately or later 5 :.
Pyrex bakeware has been a part of my kihcten for years due to its versitility, attractiveness and ease to clean. These dishes go directly from the oven to the dining table and kihcten sink without a glitch. This particular set is was hard to pass up not only because of its usefullness but its great price.
I bought one set for myself and the others for gifts. The red accents not only coordinate with my kihcten, they provide a welcomed nonslip feature to the glass handles. The detailed pie dish provides a nice presentation at the table and the mixing bowl is conviniently sized plus the beakered end is a welcomed feature. Overall a great product which I highly recommend.
I agree with you that Pyrex bakeware has been a superb product through the years, for baking, microwaving, serving, and storing food in the freezer and refrigerator. My Pyrex bakeware has lasted for many years.
I use it practically every day and have never had any problem. However, there have been so many accidents and injuries documented in recent years with the newer Pyrex products, that I felt obligated to research what had changed with the manufacturing process. I would rather educate the public to be aware of any risks, take precautions, and avoid injury, than sit back and do nothing, especially since so many of us grew up with this product and assume that it is still made the original way.
Corningware and other cookware unsafe if scratched, chipped? I don't want my food touching anything unsafe. What is under the top layer of Corningware? When scratched, the scratches look grey.How does lens damage affect image quality? (Dust, water, fingerprints and scratches)
I was planning to replace the scratched and chipped ones. Also the chipped glass lids or glass pans. I think I read to stop using enamel cookware and dishes once they are chipped. Only the top layer is safe and the inner part isn't? Last edited: Feb 19, The old corningware was virtually indestructable. However, Pyrex sold the corning division to an entity that contracted with china to produce it.
They changed the formula and it is no longer as strong and safe as it used to be. I've spoken with several people who baked ordinary dishes in their clear "pyrex" baking dishes and the dishes exploded without having been mistreated in anyway, just with normal usage. I have Pyrex dishes from my mother that are over 60 years old and look and perform just like they did when they were new.
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Most of those explosions can be traced to something wet coming in contact with bakeware. A damp surface will trigger it, say if you just wiped down something before putting the hot bakeware on it.
The older stuff does seem to have been tougher, but there's plenty of those that did the thermal shock shatter as well. Oh, yes I'm aware of the lower clear glass pyrex quality. I am not familiar with any other corningware products.
I have corningware from the 70's. They are white and nice, but I was surprised that it's silver when scratched. Why is it silver? What is just underneath the surface? I'm glad the insides aren't chipped but it made me nervous, because I want to avoid metals except for cast iron.
Stainless steel sometimes. I guess the scratches were from utensils. Hi Phatch.
What Are the Dangers of Scratched Teflon Cookware?
My friend had 2 explode on her on Thanksgiving. On the first one all she did was take her sweet potaqto casserole out of the oven and place it on her cook-top metal grate, gas stove and it not only shattered, it exploded.
Having had thaqt experience, she thought "I'm being sure to place it on something hot this time.If your glasses came out of the dishwasher cloudy or looking scratched, you need to determine what type of damage the machine caused. If your glasses truly have scratches, you probably cannot fix them, but you may be able to reverse cloudiness caused by other problems. Learning how to prevent the problem in the future will keep your glassware crystal clear.
Sometimes, a white film you perceive as scratches on your glasses actually comes from hard-water deposits settling on them in the dishwasher. The damage happens slowly, over time, with repeated dishwasher cycles and also likely appears on your silverware.
Suspect this film as the culprit if you live in an area with hard water, especially if the water inside the machine does not reach at least degrees Fahrenheit.
A more serious problem of etching also can result in a cloudy film on your glassware. This permanent, white coating comes when the glass itself becomes scratched or pitted. Early on, glasses may show a rainbow effect when viewed at certain angles in the light, but, in time, the etching takes on an overall white or frosty appearance. In certain regions, softened water interacts with phosphates in certain detergents to cause the etching.
Try removing the hard-water film by soaking the glasses in white vinegar for 15 minutes. Alternately, wash the glassware with water and a good amount of dishwasher detergent but protect your hands from the corrosive detergent by wearing rubber gloves, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension homemaking experts recommend.
You likely cannot remove scratches or etching, however, and the glasses will remain cloudy if that caused the film. To prevent hard-water film, avoid leaving heavy remnants of food on your dishes, which may settle back on glasses and contribute to the problem.
Use a food thermometer to ensure the water reaches at least degrees Fahrenheit to properly dissolve the detergent and use a rinse agent in the dishwasher. Keep your glasses from etching by lowering the amount of detergent you use if you have softened water and take the glasses out of the machine before the heat-dry cycle starts.
Detergent with low or no phosphates also helps prevent scratching and pitting. Thomsen has won several awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. She studied print journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Proper washing techniques can keep glasses clear after they go through the dishwasher. Mary Thomsen. Show Comments.