Melamine tableware?

I brought 24 pieces of dinnerware sets for 6 from Japan to my unit when I started hosting. Now it’s only 11 pieces left. I have had to keep buying new sets to replace the entire broken or chipped sets. I never asked my guests about the broken tableware or glass, I just take it as the cost of doing business. But it’s costly! Should I use melamine tableware instead of ceramic/china/stoneware? Would melamine look too cheap? Any suggestions? Thank you all!

Every host is different. Personally, I wouldn’t use melamine. Everything I use is plain white so matching isn’t a problem.

When you buy dinnerware, you add it to your business expenses, therefore it’s a cost of doing business.


Personally, I can’t stand melamine and wouldn’t want to eat off it.

I don’t know where you are located, @Amy_nyma,but is there nowhere you can buy or order online simple dishware that is open stock and always available, rather than sets?

And I don’t know what style of rental you have, but you could also go with “eclectic”. Say, all white or blue or whatever, the style of the dishware not necessarily matching.

I have multi-colored dishware- turquoise, orange, red, and yellow. It goes with the colorful, eclectic style of my place, and if I’m running low on dishware, I just pick up a few more pieces I find in that color.

I can even find them in the dollar store or secondhand shops sometimes.

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Did I read this wrong? You started with 24 sets of dishes? And they are made of Melamine (an extremely hard to break plastic)? And yet in your airbnb they are breaking?

First, how is that possible? Are they being dropped on concrete (for instance)? I have personally never seen a melamine dish that breaks or chips. Perhaps they are not the same melamine we have in the US?

Good for you to have unbreakable (or nearly so) dishwater. We personally use paper plates (we have no dishwashing facilities and our guests love that cleanup is simply throwing away the dishes!) but I find that making dishware and glassware a potential cleanup problem makes nobody happy - and that goes for the picky grandmas that ‘only drink from a china cup’ - after all, they do not want to be concerned about breakage issues.

“Unlike typical china or porcelain, melamine will not shatter if dropped and is less likely to chip than other traditional dinnerware materials.”

In our personal home, we use Corelle - it is lightweight especially compared to china or stoneware - and is very very unbreakable, and we have hard tile floors.

She has ceramic dishware- a set for 6 consisting of 4 pieces per setting, that’s 24 pieces. (She said pieces of sets). Of which she has 11 pieces left.
She is asking what people think about switching to melamine.


I use something like corelle, too, but I buy it open stock at IKEA. I like that it’s thin, light, break resistant, dishwasher safe, and cheap. I bought a large stack of plates, bowls, and side plates, and keep them tucked away until I need to top up. I have a house that accommodates 4, and I keep 8 of each in the cupboard. I don’t want to project any scarcity or stinginess.


melamine is not microwave safe


I buy my tableware from the same place I buy my glasses; Dollar Tree! I paid $1.25 per plate and purchased 12 ceramic dinner plates, 12 salad plates and 12 soup bowls. If they break them, I don’t care because it didn’t cost me much. I’ve been hosting for 6 years and I’m down to 8 dinner plates, 10 salad plates and 12 soup bowls. I did shop around at three different dollar stores until I found a color I liked.

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It’s very easy to have a separate Amazon account for your purchases for your rental. Amazon has ranges that are simple and plain. At the end of the year, you only have to give it your accountant and he/she can easily figure out the expenses of your purchases.


Plain white Corelle in my Airbnb also, purchased on eBay. I just assume people are going to drop stuff in the sink or on the floor from time to time.


that is a great idea, thanks! Sometimes, even whites are different. I might need to find the same brand.

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I am in Boston, Muddy.

Muddy, you are the best!

I will check Corelle’s dinnerware. It sounds like a good fit for my place.

My policy: I never leave anything that has any value (included emotional) to me. Not worth the aggravation.

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There’s lot of inexpensive tableware out there- i buy things that look good and have a backup supply. I mainly seem to lose cutlery and have a large supply of extras.

I hear you. Just had another guest messages yesterday using the classic passive tense ‘a glass got broken while we were washing the dishes’ (why never ‘I broke one of your glasses’…)

We price at the higher end for our neighborhood so we go for mid-range quality on breakables and make sure it’s a brand we can replenish.

An entire language can reflect that refusal to acknowledge responsibility. Here in Mexico, you never hear anyone say “I’m sorry, I broke your …”. They always use the passive tense- “Se rompio”- “it broke”.

Yeah, it just jumped off the table and smashed on the floor all by itself.

I didn’t realise that you know my other half.


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I was also going to comment on the Spanish version I heard while living in Madrid,“Se me rompio el vaso,” literally “the glass broke itself on me.” Also you never dropped anything, “Se me cayo.” “It fell.” With a implied what-can-you-do? shrug. I thought it was a useful attitude suitable to many situations.