Learning zone logo
Skip to content
Home     Animals     Fossils     Insects     Minerals     Rocks     Funstuff

In the kitchen ...

Krystal in the kitchen There are minerals in your kitchen.

What do you find in your kitchen cupboards and drawers? Plates, glasses, and mugs; knives, forks and spoons. They are all made from minerals.

Can you think of any other minerals hiding in your kitchen?

Scroll down and find out more about the minerals used in cooking.


Cutlery
Cutlery Knives, forks and spoons are usually made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is made by mixing molten iron with another metal called chromium which stops the steel from rusting. Iron and chromium both come from minerals.

Think about the properties of stainless steel:

You can see why we make cutlery from stainless steel.
Learn more about the minerals we use to make stainless steel


Crockery
Coffee mugs Plates, bowls, cups, saucers and mugs are made from clay minerals. You may have used clay at school to make a pot or bowl. Once it has been fired clay is fairly hardwearing. It is also a good thermal insulator - so it keeps your dinner nice and warm!

Think about the properties of clay:

You can see why we make crockery from clay.
Learn more about the minerals we use to make crockery


Drinking glasses
Drinking glass Most people have seen a quartz crystal, but did you know that quartz is the major ingredient of glass? Pure quartz sand is melted down, and mixed with other ingredients to make glasses of different sizes, shapes and colours.

Think about the properties of quartz:

You can see why we make glass from quartz.
Learn more about the mineral quartz


Pots and pans
Frying pans Pots and pans are made from metal - stainless steel, cast iron, copper or aluminium. All of these come from minerals. But did you know that the non-stick coating you find on many pans is also made from a mineral?

Fluorine is used to make non-stick Teflon ® and comes from the mineral fluorite. The same coating can even be found on your winter coat to keep it clean and waterproof.

Think about the properties of pots and pans:

Learn more about the minerals we use to make pots and pans


Cans and tins
Tin cans Cans for fizzy drinks are made of aluminium, which comes from a material called bauxite. It is light, easily shaped, and does not rust.

Tin cans - the cans you get your baked beans in - are actually made of steel. They are coated in tin, a metal which stops the steel from rusting. Cassiterite is the only ore of tin.

Think about the properties of these types of cans:

Learn more about the minerals we use to make cans and tins


Cleaning products
Ceramic hob cleaner Some of the cleaning products in the kitchen are also made from minerals. Hob cleaners contain clay minerals and a chalky material called calcium carbonate.

When mixed with detergents and other chemicals, their grainy texture can clean away the toughest grime.

Think about the properties of clay minerals:

You can see why we make cleaners from clay minerals.
Learn more about the clay minerals


The mineral you can eat - salt!
Salt Do you know which mineral you eat every day?
Halite is the mineral name for common salt - the kind you would put on your fish and chips. It is an essential part of our diet.

Think about the properties of salt:

Learn more about the mineral halite


Find out about the minerals we use every day...
Krystal the quartz
Building a house
In the kitchen
Around the home
Transport and technology
Neat and tidy
Health and medicine

Finish by playing Mineral mix and match! or return to the Homepage