We are all obsessed with collecting different types, colors, and designs of the mug. I have many mugs inside my kitchen and all of them were bought not because I need them, but because I want them and I am attracted to their designs.
Yes! You can call it sickness but you can’t blame me. Because once you notice how good the feeling is collecting different mugs, I am sure that you will start collecting too.
Most people that have lots of mugs have a favorite mug that they used more than their other mugs. Serving these people coffee in a different mug and probably they will not appreciate it or enjoy drinking coffee.
However, over time, scratches start forming on our favorite mugs and we are not sure the reason why this is happening. So, why does your mug have cracks? Let us find out!
Why does my mug have cracks? The cracks you are seeing on your mugs are called crazing. The cause of this is because of a slightly poor “fit” between the glaze and clay body of the ceramics. Usually because of too much silica in the glaze. It is unintentional crazing. It is normal to appear the first time you use it with a hot liquid or microwave it.
Today, we will talk about mugs and why they have cracks. I will explain more about the reason why your mug has cracked so that you can fully understand how those cracks on your mugs form. Also, I will give you some tips on how you can fix hairline cracks on your mugs.
I know it is frustrating seeing your mugs have cracks. Sometimes, when my favorite mug has cracks, I don’t use it and start to just display it. But let us dive into the article to see if there is something you and I can do to prevent our favorite mugs from getting cracked.
Why Does My Mug Have Cracks?
If your mug has some cracks, it can be frustrating because the first thing that you will be thinking is that your mug is broken and cannot be used already. But before thinking that, you must know first the reason why your mug has cracks.
What you are seeing on your mug is called crazing. It is caused by a slightly poor fit between the glaze and clay body of the ceramics, usually because of too much silica in the glaze.
It is unintentional crazing. It is common for this to appear on your mug the first time you use it with a hot liquid or put your mug inside the microwave. What happened is that the glaze is 1% smaller than the clay body, so the first time it heats and cools, it crackles.
Should You Use A Cracked Mug?
A mug that is cracked or chipped on the inside is not safe to use. It has a risk of bacteria flourishing in the cracks. Aside from that, the crazes or chips can grow into a bigger chip and the tiny shard from the new crazes may end up being ingested when you drink on it.
The exposed material of the mug can give harmful elements into the coffee. Let us look at how cracks affect the different materials of mugs.
First, ceramic mugs. Ceramic mugs including porcelain, Bone China, and Stoneware are usually glazed with a protective layer. Ceramic mugs that have superficial scratches are safe to use because the scratches are usually on the surface of the glaze. However, even though it is safe to use, I suggest you buy another mug instead.
The second is plastic mugs. Plastic mugs that have cracks should not be used as they may leach harmful elements to your coffee, milk, water, or whatever you put inside your mug. The risks are higher when cracked microwave-safe plastic mugs are used to heat any liquid inside the microwave.
The third is metallic mugs. These mugs are hard to crack under normal use. Metal flakes from stirrers may form inside the mug and appear like cracks. Cleaning your mug with a soft abrasive should remove the fillings.
Next are enamel mugs. These are probably the only mugs that look better when chipped. These mugs have a unique rugged appeal, especially when used for camping. However, enamel mugs are not safe to use if they are chipped on the inside.
Lastly, glass mugs. Crazed glass mugs have a higher risk of shattering than other mug materials. Never use crazed glass mugs for coffee or anything else because you risk scalding yourself with hot coffee or other hot liquids if the mug shatters.
What To Do With Cracked Mugs?
Cracked handles on ceramic mugs can be fixed with food-grade ceramic epoxy. However, if you are sentimental with coffee mugs, you must not use them and replace them if it is cracked. You can display your ceramic mug that has cracks but don’t use it.
If you have a cracked mug, there are other things that you can do to your cracked mug instead of throwing it away in the garbage. Some of the things that you can do with your cracked mugs are:
- Plant the flower on your cracked mug
- Decorate the mug with an inspiring message and use it to hold your pens
- You can also use your cracked mugs as a toothbrush holder
- Your combs and other things that you use on your hair are safe inside your cracked mug.
- Batteries that you store can also be stored inside your cracked mug
What Causes Cracks In Ceramics?
The cracks in ceramic mugs are the result of stresses in the clay. There is always some stress in clay because it shrinks as it dries and when it is fired, it also expands and contracts during firing.
The cracks in your mugs are called crazing. It is caused by a slightly poor fit between the glaze and clay body of the ceramics. If your mug has cracks, it is important to know what kind of materials were used when your mug was created before deciding whether or not you will continue to use it.