Urushi is an extremely durable material. Historical examples of lacquerware many hundreds and even thousands of years old can be found in exquisite condition with barely any deterioration in its finish even after decades of use. However, urushi pieces are not impervious to damage. When misused, they are still prone to the chips and scratches that any other object can sustain.
As urushi lacquer naturally hardens under high humidity. Humidity is good for urushi lacquer. The Worst thing for Urushi pieces is drying so periodic use and wearing your Urushi pieces is the best thing you can do since the moisture in your hands and in the air gives Urushi its natural shine.
Urushi pieces will literary shine more after your use, repeated use and wiping or buffing with the palm of your hand is all that is needed to keep that slick shiny look Urushi pieces have.
- Do not clean urushi with abrasives or harsh chemicals. Although urushi can withstand many every day chemicals such as alcohols, acids and bases, it will not withstand some harsher chemicals. Wash Urushi pieces with a simple detergent and water with a soft, non abrasive sponge or cloth.
- Keep Raden and Rankaku away from acids and ink. Both Raden (mother-of-pearl) and Rankaku (eggshell) can be damaged by acids. Pieces with exposed Raden or Rankaku inlays should be kept away from sources of acid such as vinegar or citrus juice and some inks.