They always say that the special things in life are worth taking care of – especially if doing so doesn’t exactly mean much of an upheaval. If you’ve chosen to invest in fine crystal glassware then you’ve already confirmed yourself as a person of good taste and one for whom quality matters. As such, chances are you’re also the type that would prefer to look after your investment and ensure it holds onto its sparkle for as long as possible.
The same also applies if you’re lucky enough to receive crystal glassware as a gift Brierley Hill Crystal is especially recommended – a little thought and effort goes a long way in preserving it!
Glassware like this needs to be cared for.
It’s a case of keeping in mind a few very simple tips in terms of what to do and what not to do – once you’re in the habit, it’s child’s play! So with this in mind here’s a look at a few tips from the best minds in the business when it comes to making sure your fine crystal treasures stay just as fine for the long-term:
What to Do
First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to give your crystal glassware a good wash before you plan to use it. The reason being that proper cleansing puts in place something of a barrier that prevents dirt, grime and stains from sticking around too long – thus making the after-cleaning process that bit easier.
If you’re intent on removing the label your crystal will no doubt present, you can do this by soaking it in warm water with just a little detergent and giving it a wipe with a soft cloth. Never attempt to simply pick it off or use an abrasive cloth/sponge.
Use only moderately warm water and a light, approved detergent for washing, along with a soft cloth. If you use anything too harsh there is a real chance you could damage the finish beyond repair.
Always be sure to hold any wine glasses by the bowl itself and not by the stem. In addition, use a cloth or soft sponge to clean the inside of the glass without trying to squeeze your hand into the bowl – chances are you will end up breaking it!
If the glassware you are looking to keep in good condition is a vase, ensure that the water you keep in the vase is regularly changed as dirty water can quickly lead to stains you will not be able to remove.
Drying should be carried out immediately using a soft and ideally approved cloth. Leaving the glassware for too long will result in watermarks that could be very difficult to get rid of.
Make sure you use your glassware wisely.
If you are planning to use any of your crystal bowls or other items for serving or storing food, always use wooden spoons and other wooden utensils to avoid scratching the surface of the crystal.
When it comes to storage, remember that if you can keep your crystal behind a closed door and away from dust, dirt and moisture, it will be much easier to care for. If you’d like to keep it on display, consider a glass cabinet.
And if you plan to pack any of the glassware away for any reason, wrap each piece individually in paper or a soft cloth to avoid damage when the items rub together.
What Not to Do
Number-one on the list of what not to do is that of exposing crystal to extreme temperatures or any fast changes of temperature – it could lead to cracks or even shattering.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s surprising how many people try using their crystal glassware for reheating things in the microwave…don’t do it!
You should also never stack items of crystal inside one another or on top of each other, as there’s a pretty strong chance that the crystal of one will damage the surface of the other.
When it comes to dishwashers, you will always come across glassware that claims to be dishwasher safe and detergents that claim to be kind to crystal. However, as soon as you throw them into a machine you lose all control of how well they are cared for – if it really counts to you, do the washing yourself.
And finally, never store fine crystal glassware anywhere in or around the cooker in a kitchen where it will be susceptible to the grease and oil that’s given off during cooking. High shelves and on top of kitchen cabinets are very big no-nos. If you’re going to store it in the kitchen, make sure it’s in a well-sealed cupboard away from where the action happens.
Image credits: Southern Lady’s Vintage and Jerry7171