Crystal stemware is a classy way of serving up drinks and wine. However, if your crystal glasses look cloudy, then it may ruin the drinking experience for you and your guests. In this article, we'll take you through the step by step process on how to clean crystal glass, and get rid of that cloudy film on your otherwise pristine glassware.
How to Clean Crystal Glasses: A Step-by-step Guide
Step 1: Rinse Out the Glass
First, rinse out any remaining liquid from the glass. This will prevent the liquid from staining, particularly if you're serving red wine, or other heavily-colored drinks. Rinsing out crystal glasses before washing will also help keep your kitchen sponge clean.
Step 2: Use Warm Water and Dish Soap
Use warm, not hot, water to clean your crystal glasses. This will soften up any dried liquids, making them easier to wipe away with a soft sponge. Use a mild dish soap to scrub away any dirt, and wipe the inside and outside of the crystal glass with a soft, non-abrasive sponge, or a lint-free towel.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry Immediately
Rinse out the crystal glass until you can feel the squeaky-clean finish. Take a soft cotton towel, such as a microfiber cloth, to wipe the glasses dry instead of letting them air dry. This will prevent hard water residue from forming on the glass, which is often the culprit of its foggy appearance.
Using the Dishwasher
When using the dishwasher, always make sure your crystal glasses are labelled dishwasher safe before cleaning them with this method. Use a mild detergent on a delicate wash cycle, and wipe the glasses dry after washing instead of putting them through the heated dryer. This will protect the glass from cracking or hitting other items.
Removing Water Spots
Step 1: Make a Vinegar Solution
To remove water spots and other stains from your crystal glasses, use a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Place two cups of vinegar and one cup of warm water in a large plastic bowl, and place the crystal glasses inside until they are submerged in the liquid.
Step 2: Soak the Crystal Glasses
Soak the crystal glasses for 5 minutes, then use a soft towel, sponge, or brush to scrub the stains off the glass. White vinegar should break down stains and oils, so it can remove fingerprints, wine stains, and water spots with ease.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry
Rinse the crystal glasses with room temperature water, and dry with a lint-free towel immediately after washing. You should be left with a clear glass that has no stains or fingerprints. If stubborn spots remain, try polishing them away with a baking soda paste.
Removing Stubborn Spots
Step 1: Create a Cleaning Paste
Create a cleaning paste that will be sure to get rid of stubborn residue. Mix enough baking soda and white vinegar to create a thick paste. The baking soda will lift and polish the stains off the glassware, while white vinegar will soften the grime.
Step 2: Apply Cleaning Paste on Crystal Stemware, and Let it Sit
Apply the paste directly on stained areas, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. As the paste is left on the surface, it starts to break down the stains to make them easier to remove. This cleaning paste is especially effective on mineral deposits, soap scum, fingerprints, and colored stains, but may not work with scuff marks or scratches.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry with Lint-free Cloth
Scrub or wipe away the grime, and rinse the glass in cold water. Use a soft cloth to dry the glasses before placing them back into storage. The stains should wipe off easily, without leaving any chalky or waxy residue.
Tips on Maintaining Your Crystal Glasses
Maintaining your crystal stemware is relatively simple as long as you know how to properly clean them. Other maintenance tips include avoiding scratching and scuffing the glass, and avoiding causing the glass to shatter:
- As much as possible, use soft water to rinse your glasses to prevent hard water stains from forming.
- Place the glasses in a dry location to prevent fogging and mold.
- Wipe glasses dry instead of air drying for a spotless shine.
- Avoid storing glassware precariously as they may fall and shatter. For the best storage method, place them in insulated boxes, or store them in stemware racks.
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