Clay Jars odors

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ShuShu
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:52 am

Hi,
I have recently purchased a few unglazed Terracota jars to store some broken sheng cakes. The jars are brand new and have a rather strong clay odor.
I guess this is normal, but should I be concerned about storing tea there? Will it just go away or change to tea odor? Is there anything I should do before using them for storage?
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Bok
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 am

Put charcoal in it for a few days or weeks. Before you put tea in use a blow dryer to slightly heat it up. Rice paper in between the lid and body.
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Victoria
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:03 am

I had this problem with a yixing pot, so put together an instructional to eliminate odors and stains; Awakening & Resetting Unglazed Ceramics/Yixing from Discoloration, Staining & Mold
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Victoria
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:04 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 am
Put charcoal in it for a few days or weeks. Before you put tea in use a blow dryer to slightly heat it up. Rice paper in between the lid and body.
Oh nice idea Bok. Good to try.
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ShuShu
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:42 am

Bok wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 am
Put charcoal in it for a few days or weeks. Before you put tea in use a blow dryer to slightly heat it up. Rice paper in between the lid and body.
@Victoria

Thanks, Good idea!
Something like this: http://a.co/d/b0Si1zz ?

http://a.co/d/b0Si1zz

Also - just some hot air after a couple of days of charcoal will be sufficient before tea?
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Victoria
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:46 pm

ShuShu wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:42 am
Bok wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:59 am
Put charcoal in it for a few days or weeks. Before you put tea in use a blow dryer to slightly heat it up. Rice paper in between the lid and body.
Victoria

Thanks, Good idea!
Something like this: http://a.co/d/b0Si1zz ?

http://a.co/d/b0Si1zz

Also - just some hot air after a couple of days of charcoal will be sufficient before tea?
I recommend bamboo charcoal sticks like these (although these are more expensive).
IPPINKA Bamboo Charcoal Water Filter, 3 Sticks

Ups, I don’t boil once weekly as recommended “One stick lasts 1-2 months; boil for 10 minutes once weekly to sterilize”. After a month, I boil and let dry in sun on a window sill, store when dry and some time later in rotation re-use. It seems to still absorb off smells of chlorine etc. Haven’t done a side by side comparison of new bamboo charcoal vs re-used one.
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Victoria
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Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:32 pm

Here are bamboo charcoal sticks at a better price; https://yunnansourcing.com/products/pre ... t-of-water
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OCTO
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Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:41 am

ShuShu wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:52 am
I guess this is normal, but should I be concerned about storing tea there?
Yes and yes. This is normal since potters will not use quality clay to make jars. You won’t want your tea smelling like your clay jar.
ShuShu wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:52 am
Will it just go away or change to tea odor?
Yes and yes. It will eventually go away and your clay jar (porous in nature) will absorb all the tea aroma. But... but... but.... the key question here is how strong is the clay smell. I had one that smelt so strong it still smells of clay after 10 years of airing with nothing inside. I would usually not buy jars with strong clay smell.
ShuShu wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:52 am
Is there anything I should do before using them for storage?
Yes!! Many useful suggestions above. Another option is to put some roasted oolong inside and stow it away for a period of time. I had a black clay teapot which had a strong clay smell (this is very common with black clay). I aged some roasted oolong inside the pot for 6 years.
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I’m putting this same pot in to storage as my next display rotation is due. Along the way, the pot grew a very close affinity towards LiuBao. Hence, this baby is going to bed with some LiuBao in its belly until it reaches the next rotation.

Cheers!!

P/S: this is also a very convenient way to season your teapot.
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ShuShu
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Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:46 am

OCTO wrote:
Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:41 am
Thanks for the suggestions. Well, I'm not going to wait for 6 years... :D
I'v already cooked it in tea for an hour a couple of times and let it dry. Seem to be helping with the smell. Hope it will improve...
RayClem
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Sun Mar 06, 2022 8:05 am

I realize that this is a very old thread. However, upon seeing the recommendation to use charcoal to remove odors, I wanted to suggest using activated carbon instead. The two products are similar, but because of the steam activation, the activated carbon is many times more efficient at removing odors. Activated carbon is widely used for purifying both air and water.

Because activated carbon is used by those who keep aquariums, it is readily found at most pet stores or grocery and discount stores that sell pet supplies. Look for it wherever pet fish supplies are sold.
TeaZero
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Thu Mar 10, 2022 7:14 am

Simple clay jars are for me still the best option though. Other methods might remove odors, but it might also remove the aroma of the tea itself.
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