How do I Choose the Best Enamel Canisters?

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  • Written By: Norma Jean Howland
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Shopping for canisters may bring back childhood memories of baking cookies or cakes, which may help inform your decision-making process along the way. If you like the vintage look, you can either buy new canisters that look aged, or choose to purchase enamel canisters at an antique store. If you're shopping in an antique or secondhand store, you may have to overlook a little chipping here and there and just make sure the lids still fit properly to keep your items fresh. If you prefer a new canister set, there are a huge variety of styles and colors available, from functional white to something a bit more striking, such as a black and gold checkered affair.

Choosing a canister set that fits into the style and color scheme of your kitchen is an important consideration because if you don’t like the way they look, the canisters may end up stashed away in a cupboard. Enamel canisters can be purely functional, or they can make a fashion statement. For example, there are antique-looking enamel canisters that feature ornate flower patterns and rounded edges that would fit right into a country kitchen. Also available are more modern styles, featuring squared edges and bright colors of green, gold, or red, that could compliment a more contemporary kitchen area. You may even choose a combination canister, one that combines enamel with some other kind of material, such as an enamel lid with a rattan body.


Before you purchase an enamel canister set, it is important to inspect the lids. The lids may sit on top, snap down with a wire, or push down to form a seal. They should fit well enough to keep your dry goods fresh, but not be too difficult to remove. Something else you may want to think about when purchasing canisters is how difficult they will be to clean. If they can be thrown into the dishwasher, that may be a plus, although many companies recommend hand washing to preserve the finish.

Typically, canisters are used for sugar, flour, coffee, tea or spices, but they can be used for just about anything and aren't limited to kitchen use; a canister set may be used in the bedroom or almost anywhere storage is needed. If you are purchasing enamel canisters for another room, such as the bedroom or bath, you may decide to buy a set and split them up or buy a set for each room.


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