Fine Crystal Care
By Julie Shuford, Bering's Hardware
A good friend of mine recently hosted a brunch for her four year old daughter's friends and their mothers. Everything was going quite nicely until my girlfriend poured hot tea in a crystal pitcher, instantly causing the pitcher to shatter from the heat. The pitcher shattering wouldn't have been so bad, if it hadn't been her mother's - who is no longer with us. Yes, it was a very special piece. My girlfriend, like many of us, was unaware how to care for crystal.
If you do plan on using your lovely crystal, like the beautiful Baccarat Massena wine glass, or lovely Waterford Lismore bowl featured below, at your brunch or get-together, then we have some helpful tips on how to care for and clean your crystal pieces!
Let's begin with first making the recommendation to always hand wash your crystal with mild dish soap in lukewarm water. It is a safe bet for caring for your crystal. While some manufacturers claim their pieces are dishwasher safe, we always advise hand washing. You run the risk of a dishwasher setting that is to warm, as well as the pieces hitting one another during machine washing.
Once you have hand washed your crystal pieces, it is important to dry them with a soft cloth. Do not leave your damp pieces to air dry. Air drying can produce water spots, especially in areas with hard water. Burp cloths or cloth baby diapers make excellent choices for drying pieces.
The majority of us clean our crystal because we are using it for food. However, displaying your crystal pieces as décor in your house, like the Juliska compotes below, also calls for the occasional cleaning. Exposing crystal to food or air can cause it to develop a film like patina from acids in food and oxidation from being exposed- resulting in crystal streaking if not washed properly.
Sometimes even hand washing just does not achieve the clean streak free look you were hoping for. If you need a little help, as well as a quick alternative, spritz some Hagerty Chandelier Cleaner or Akemi Crystal Cleaner and wipe with a cloth towel.
Here are detailed steps to wash your crystal:
- Draw some soapy lukewarm water. Be sure to use dish soap without a lemon additive.
- Include 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
- Place no more than one crystal piece in the sink at a time to prevent pieces from chipping from hitting one another.
- Hold piece in liquid and rub with a soft cloth before rinsing under the same temperature of water.
- Gently dry with a soft cotton towel.
- Spritz with Hagerty Chandelier, or Akemi cleaner for a little extra sparkle.
About the Author:
Julie Shuford is the Marketing Manager for Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX. Julie is a girl's girl who loves a good sale, a long run, and time with her husband and new baby boy. Bering's Hardware is a unique retail store that provides everything from hardware to fine china, such as the pieces shown in this article.
Thanks for all the great tips Julie!