how to use chargers on dining table

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Have you ever found yourself in a restaurant or at a dinner party, unsure of how to use the chargers on the dining table? Don't worry, with a little bit of knowledge and practice, it's easy to add an elegant touch to any meal with chargers. In this article, we'll explain what chargers are, how to use them, and some tips for choosing the right chargers for your table.

What Are Chargers?

Chargers, also known as service plates or underplates, are large decorative plates that sit beneath the dinner plate. They are typically made of porcelain, glass, or metal and are used to add sophistication and elegance to a formal dining setting. Chargers come in various sizes, shapes, and designs and can be mixed and matched to complement different table settings and occasions.

How to Use Chargers

Using chargers is simple and straightforward. Once you're seated at the table, the charger should be the first plate you encounter. Place your napkin on top of the charger, and then place your dinner plate on top of the napkin. When the first course is finished, the charger remains in place while the used dinner plate is removed. The charger acts as a decorative base for each course, adding a touch of elegance to the table setting.

Choosing the Right Chargers

There are countless options when it comes to choosing chargers for your dining table. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices:

  • Consider the occasion: Formal occasions call for ornate and intricate chargers while simpler, more understated chargers might work better for casual dinners.
  • Complement the table setting: The color and design of the charger should complement the other elements of the table setting, such as the tablecloth, napkins, and dinnerware.
  • Choose the right size: The charger should be slightly larger than the dinner plate, but not so large that it overwhelms the table.

Caring for Chargers

With their delicate designs and materials, chargers require special care to ensure they last for many meals to come. Here are some tips for caring for your chargers:

  • Hand wash: Chargers should never be put in the dishwasher as the heat and harsh detergents can damage them. Instead, hand wash them with mild soap and lukewarm water.
  • Store carefully: Chargers should be stored separately from other plates to prevent scratches and damage. Use felt or cloth separators to protect each charger and store them in a cool, dry place.
  • Inspect regularly: Check your chargers regularly for cracks, chips, and other damage. If you notice any issues, remove the charger from use to prevent further damage and consider having it repaired by a professional.


Chargers are a simple yet effective way to add elegance and sophistication to any dining setting. By following these tips on how to use and care for chargers, you can create a beautiful table that is sure to impress your guests.



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