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What are the benefits of melamine dishes?

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Quick Answer

Melamine dishes are inexpensive, durable, heat-resistant, dishwasher-safe and attractive. Because melamine is a plastic material, it can accept many different kinds of pigments, patterns and textures. Manufacturers offer melamine dishes that mimic the look of fine bone china and bowls that imitate the raw volcanic stone look of traditional Mexican salsa bowls. In both cases, melamine alternatives are much more affordable, easier to clean and less prone to breakage than dishes made of traditional materials.

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Full Answer

Melamine dishes provide many of the same benefits as other types of plastic dishware but with sturdier construction and more attractive finishes. Unlike many other types of plastic, no bisphenol A, widely known as BPA, is used in melamine manufacture, so melamine dishes do not transfer this harmful chemical to food. Because melamine is a thermoset plastic, it cannot be melted down and recycled like polystyrene and some other plastics. However, recycled melamine can be ground down into filler for other types of plastic or engineered wood products.

One of melamine's greatest benefits is the material's ability to resist and retain heat. This property allows restaurants to heat or cool melamine to very high or low temperatures when foods need to be kept at a constant temperature. The material's heat resistance also makes all melamine dishes totally dishwasher-safe, and it makes melamine dishes dry much faster than ceramic or china dishes, as they retain heat much longer.

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