Seal Ceramics to Prevent Leaks

Updated on June 1, 2018
Have a treasure like this? Use it!
Have a treasure like this? Use it! | Source

So you're digging through all those dusty boxes in the garage, and you come across a great piece of ceramic ware: a vase, a flowerpot, or a casserole, and you've decided to finally put it to good use. Minutes later, you notice that the reason it was boxed up is that the thing leaks like a sieve!

Fortunately, your great-looking ceramic doesn't have to go back in the box, and it doesn't have to be relegated to the display cabinet. You can seal it inexpensively, with equipment you already have at home, and not detract from its value, because the sealant will be easily removable (and almost invisible in the first place). So on that winter afternoon when you have nothing better to do, seal up those ceramics and start enjoying them as they were meant to be used!

It's Easier Than You Think!

Most of what you will need you probably already have at home: a hair dryer, a hot plate, a couple of metal cans, a metal jar lid, and a couple of potholders. You will probably also need an extra person to help out if your pieces are of any substantial size. (If you are planning to serve food in your ceramics, see the second part of this article.)

If you are not planning to use the item for food, the only thing you will need to buy is paraffin wax, such as is used for making candles. Even if you are not planning to serve food in your ceramic dishes, it's best to get food-grade paraffin, because it has dozens of uses around the house, including canning and making chocolates!

Making Your Seal

First, use your hot plate. Fill a large sturdy metal can with three inches of water, and place a small metal object like a jar lid or empty tuna can in the bottom, upside down.

Scrape off some paraffin (it will take more than you think) into a second, smaller metal can and place inside the first. Put the entire contraption on the hot plate and turn it on to melt the paraffin.

Get your ceramic piece and wipe down the inside with a damp rag so it is clean. When the paraffin is melted and ready for use, get a second person to hold your ceramic item with a potholder. Heat first the inside, then the outside of the pot or vase with a hair dryer until it is hot to the touch. Then quickly pour the paraffin inside, and, holding the item so that the mouth is parallel to the floor, rotate it so that the paraffin touches the entire inside and will seal the item against leaks.

Set the piece aside to cool (put it on a trivet or potholder).

If at some time in the future you need to remove the paraffin, it removes easily with a hair dryer. Just warm the wax up and it will peel or chip right off. Another warming, and you can wipe up any stray paraffin with a rag. (Dispose of the rag properly, to avoid starting a fire!).

Sealing Ceramic Cooking Dishes

If you have a ceramic casserole, glazed or unglazed, and it leaks, there is an easy fix. You simply submerge the piece in whole milk, heat gently for at least one hour, and let cool overnight. Remove the piece from the milk the next morning, and rinse.

The milk will seep into the pores of the ceramic and the proteins will bond with the molecules of the ceramic dish. You will have an invisible seal and, of course, since you used food to seal it, the dish will be food-safe.

Even after you seal your ceramic baking dishes, it's a good idea to soak them in warm water for two hours before baking in them (you can dry off the insides). The water will help prevent leaks, surprisingly!

If you run your ceramic baking dishes in the dishwasher, you may need to reseal them with milk occasionally.

Leaks are a Common Problem

Do you have ceramics that leak?

See results

Questions & Answers

  • We use a huge ceramic bowl as a water feature. Because of an early frost, protecting the bowl didn't happen, and it's developed a leak in two places. We repaired it, but it turns out, almost two months later, the epoxy we used is now lifting off, and the bowl is leaking again. We cannot repair it from the outside, as it is buried. However, it can be repaired inside, and down to where the bowl meets the ground. Do you have any suggestions?

    You can try brushing melted wax on the interior and letting it dry. You could also try a different kind of resin (the food-grade kind used for repairing leaks in glasses). However, if you're using it as a water feature outside, and it's not leaking too badly, consider that you might just be watering the soil around it and leave it be. If it remains filled fairly well, then leave it alone.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)