FAQs | Everything You Need to Know About Melamine

Author: Evelyn

Jul. 10, 2024



Tags: Chemicals

Considering melamine dinnerware for your business? This guide answers common questions to help you decide if melamine plastic products are right for you.

How Does Melamine Affect Presentation?

Bright, chip-free melamine tableware can significantly enhance your customers'perception of your business. According to a third-party survey, clean, bright, and chip-free plateware improves diners'overall perception of eateries. Interestingly, participants didn't express a preference for china over other materials but unanimously disliked paper plates. Since china chips easily and paper products are unpopular, durable melamine tableware is a practical solution. Plus, if you select a color or pattern that fades over time, melamine dinnerware is inexpensive to replace.

Designer melamine lines mimic the look of fine china and other ceramic dinnerware. Available in solid colors and patterned designs, you can find high-end melamine dinnerware that perfectly matches your restaurant theme. Melamine is versatile, offering the same visually appealing presentation as porcelain, china, or even slate.


Is Melamine Tolerant to Hot and Cold Uses?

Melamine plastic is highly tolerant to both hot and cold uses. It holds temperatures longer than other types of plastic, but it also takes a long time for its temperature to change. This is because melamine is an insulator, not a conductor. Melamine stays cool to the touch when serving hot foods because the food doesn't produce enough heat for a long enough period to change the temperature of the material itself. This protects restaurant servers and diners from burn hazards associated with hot plates and other servingware. Thanks to its heat-resistant properties, melamine is also great for kitchen tools used for handling hot soups and boiling water.

Because melamine is such a great insulator, it's also ideal for cold food and buffet displays. Melamine food pans are perfect for deli displays, butcher shop cases, and salad bars. Place melamine in ice-filled containers to keep plated items cool at catered events.

Is Melamine Breakable?

Melamine dinnerware is extremely difficult to break, but there have been instances of chipping around the edges when it's subjected to harsh use. Unlike typical china or porcelain, melamine will not shatter if dropped and is less likely to chip than other traditional dinnerware materials. Look for melamine dinnerware models with reinforced rims and feet for additional durability.

Where Is Melamine Used?

Thanks to its durable, lightweight construction, melamine is a popular choice for a variety of commercial settings, like dining halls, daycare facilities, and assisted living communities. However, you can find designer melamine dinnerware that looks just like handcrafted ceramic for sophisticated restaurants. The low risk of breakage makes melamine plates an ideal choice for restaurants that serve appetizers poolside, on a rooftop, or at the beach. Wood-finished melamine serving trays are perfect for serving charcuterie because they have the same rustic appeal as a true wood board but are dishwasher safe.

There’s melamine tableware designed for just about every application, from contemporary catered events to Mexican restaurants. Melamine molcajete bowls have the same mortar and pestle look as traditional salsa and guacamole bowls, without the weight and expense. For your Chinese restaurant or hibachi grill, check out the traditional decorations that adorn our Asian-inspired dinnerware collection. From bistros to barbecue shacks, you can find melamine dishes that suit the decor of nearly any foodservice establishment.

Is Melamine Expensive?

When you compare melamine to traditional tableware, it is typically the most affordable option. The exact cost of melamine tableware varies by brand, design, and pattern. Because melamine dinnerware has a much lower replacement rate than china, investing in melamine dinnerware saves you money both up-front and long term. Melamine has an annual replacement rate of around 10 to 20%, whereas china has a replacement rate between 50 and 150%. While china and ceramic dinnerware shatter when dropped, melamine's durable construction stands up to use and abuse. No more replacing plates, cups, bowls, and other servingware after every accident.

Can Melamine Be Recycled?

In most cases, melamine should not be recycled. It is categorized under Class #7 on the list of Plastic Resin Codes, placing it outside the more commonly used #1-6 classifications. Because of its heat-resistant qualities, recycling plants can't melt melamine like other plastics.


Melamine dinnerware offers a blend of durability, affordability, and visual appeal that makes it an excellent choice for a variety of dining settings. Its resistance to chipping and breaking, coupled with its ability to maintain temperature, makes it practical for both hot and cold food service. Whether you’re running a casual eatery or a sophisticated restaurant, melamine dinnerware can enhance your presentation while saving you money in the long run. Consider the versatility and durability of melamine for your business, and enjoy the benefits of this resilient material.


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