Pyrex In Name Only

Pyrex in Name Only
by Sharon Ericson

Life would be substantially more difficult without standards. -Rafael Aguayo

I have no clue who the fellow is, credited with the quote. I just know that right now, in light of what I just discovered about Pyrex, it’s a great quote.

I grew up with Pyrex. The same Pyrex measuring set that my mother used as a newlywed, several years before I was born, was the very same Pyrex that I used to make my first cake when I was 11 years old. Decades later, the very same measuring cups are still being used, as good as the day they were purchased other than a little wear and tear on the bottoms – typical for glassware.

I still have my original Pyrex 1-cup measuring glass, purchased when I got my first apartment. It has been used in the microwave, used to melt liquids by sitting on an open flame, has fallen in the sink, on the floor, off the counter and it doesn’t have a scratch.

I wish I could say the same for the pieces of Pyrex I’ve purchased in the last half-dozen years. I’ve shattered several 8-cup batter bowls, chipped the spout off a 4-cup measurer, had one crack while heating water, and just last week, yet another 4-cup cracked right smack down the middle when a larger, heavier ceramic bowl was knocked against its rim.

I found myself wondering if I had just progressively become that big of a klutz over the last few years, or if there was something else going on. But what?

The “but what” turns out to be that since 1998, Pyrex no longer contains borosilicate – silica and boron oxide – which was what made Pyrex the household name it is today – giving it its strength, durability and ability to withstand direct open flame.

To my shock and dismay, I discovered that since 1998, Pyrex kitchen brand is no longer made from borosilicate, but instead, run-of-the-mill, everybody-else-uses-it soda-lime glass.

No wonder I was losing “Pyrex” measuring cups faster than an angel food cake falls after door is slammed! I was using nothing but cheap low-end soda-lime class with a “Pyrex” label printed on it. How deceiving!

I’ve never been one to buy clothing or any other item just for its label. And I’m not about to ever buy another piece of over-priced Pyrex again. Why pay a premium for quality that is no longer there. Pyrex is immoral for having licensed out their name, without guaranteeing the same standards would be followed by “World Kitchen”, the company now producing Pyrex kitchenware.

Spread the word! There’s a great deal of speculation as to why Pyrex explodes or cracks but it seems few know of the real reason – that Borosilicate is no longer an ingredient.

Also, it just might be a good time to boycott Corelle dishes and other products made by “World Kitchen”. article on “Pyrex Panic: Shrapnel in the Kitchen” – but NO mention of the Pyrex formulation – removal of borosilicate – is mentioned. Numerous interviews were quoted in this article with Pyrex spokespeople NEVER disclosing this fact!

  1. Hi, It’s Mike from the MN group. I linked over to your blog here from one of your recent email posts and I found this Pyrex article really interesting! I’m a fanatical Pyrex lover, but I’ve had two quart measuring cups shatter recently and I’m sad to learn it wasn’t a fluke. I guess I’ll just be careful with them. On the other hand, I had no problems with the various storage kinds with the blue lids. I use them constantly and they seem much more durable than the measuring bowls.

    Also, I wanted to offer some feedback on this site in general: it’s a beautiful design! A rarity among blogs, I really like the simple and clear layout! I find most blogs painful to look at.

    — Mike Parker    Apr 27, 11:18 PM    #
  2. Hi, Mike!
    Great to see you stopped by! I’m pleased this information was helpful. Your gracious comments, regarding my site, are truly appreciated.

    Sharon    Apr 28, 08:46 AM    #
  3. I understand that same has come to be true for Kitchenaid. It seems they have replaced key elements in the motor with plastic, which flexes and breaks when the motor heats up. It’s sad to see the quality names sell themselves out for a minor increase in profit. I think most of us would be glad to pay a little more and get what we expect than to be deceived in such a way. Many name brands no longer stand behind their names at all:-(

    Brite<-who has also had Pyrex casserole dishes shatter in the oven and ruin a good meal (and a good evening lost to oven cleaning!)

    Sue    Dec 1, 08:57 PM    #
  4. Hi, Sue!
    It is sad and amazing to see the changes in “quality”. It used to be that name-brand appliances could be passed down through the generations and now we’re “lucky” if they last a few years. They make a lot of money on selling “extended warranty” programs, yet another scam!

    Sharon    Dec 1, 10:33 PM    #
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