Crystal and glass that isn’t cared for properly will deteriorate in any number of ways. Glass that’s stored incorrectly can get chipped, but it may also suffer from cloudiness and scratches. Finding a professional who can grind out chips and scratches is becoming harder in this throw-away age and the process is expensive, so look after your expensive glass and crystal carefully and it will reward you with years of service.
If the cloudiness in a piece of crystal or antique glass is a funky shade of lavender or purple, sad to say there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s a sure sign that the glass has had too much exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays. Never purchase antique glass that is purple, despite what some dealers will tell you, that purple is a sure sign of abuse, not age.
If you treasure your stemware you should never submit it to the pounding it will get in a dishwasher. Chemicals in dishwasher detergent will damage the surface of the glass and strip off any platinum or gold embellishments it may have. Wash all crystal and glass by hand in warm soapy water, rinse well and stand on a soft cloth to drain. Polish with a lint free cloth afterwards and leave the glass to dry completely before putting it away.
Empty glasses of any unwanted liquids immediately, including water. In some hard water areas lime and other minerals can be a devil to clean off glass. If you want to know how to remove cloudiness from glass stemware if you did put your stemware in the dishwasher, try this:
You will need:
A mild liquid detergent – Ivory is recommended
White vinegar (up to a gallon depending on how many glasses you are trying to clean)
- Spread out a soft tea towel to the side of your sink
- Lay a soft cloth in the base of your sink if you intend to wash more than a couple of glasses
- Fill your sink with hand hot water and a few squirts of Ivory and submerge the glasses for 10 minutes (the cloth will help protect the glasses, but don’t soak so many they clink against each other!)
- Thoroughly wash each glass with a soft, clean rag that hasn’t been used for anything else (it may contain grit or grease particles)
- Rinse each glass under warm running water and place on the towel to drain
- Dispose of the soapy water and refill the sink or the bowl with white vinegar
- Soak the glasses for another 10 minutes
- Use another soft rag to go over the glasses, hold each one up to the light so you can see exactly where to concentrate your efforts
- If stubborn deposits such as lime continue to adhere to the glass, use a finely textured pad gently
- Be careful not to apply so much pressure the glass breaks!
- Rinse under hot water to remove the vinegar residue and then polish with a soft lint-free cloth
- Good luck!
If you have azaleas or rhododendrons in your garden save the vinegar, add plenty of water to it and give them a treat!
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