Caring for Keepsakes: Crystal

Caring for Keepsakes: Crystal
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Fine crystal is a very special keepsake and great care should be taken when cleaning and storing your pieces. Full lead crystal is "softer" than regular glass, and it will scratch, so it should be stored where it will not touch your other pieces of crystal or any dishes for that matter. Do not store glasses upside down-this may cause stress to the rim, which is delicate. Carry your pieces one at a time, never in groups. Hold the stem of your glasses when moving and using them.
Wash your crystal in warm water with a mild detergent, and rinse with warm water. Changes in temperature, such as going from very hot to cold could affect the crystal, and in some cases cause clouding or even cracking. Dry with a soft clean lint free cloth or paper towels and never use anything abrasive on the piece. It's really best to buy rubber mats for the sinks and rubber coated strainers. In a pinch, you can place a soft towel in the bottom of the sink too. If you end up with hard water spots on your crystal, you can use a small amount of vinegar to remove them (in fact, you can actually add a little vinegar to the dish water if you wish when you wash crystal.) If absolutely necessary you can use a soft brush to do this for stubborn spots.

The dishwasher is not recommended for fine crystal, but you may want to use it with pieces that are used on a regular basis, and may not be full lead crystal. Set your dishwasher on the delicate cycle if it has one. Securely set the glasses upside down in the dishwasher, but do not let them touch each other. It's best to wash a load with just crystal. As soon as the wash cycle is finished, open the door to allow the steam to escape. Don't over use the detergent-if you are washing just the crystal, they probably aren't overly dirty and you can use less. Dry with a soft cloth and store them as suggested above.

Also, if you have any small pieces of crystal, figurines or jewelry, do not use jewelry cleaner, but again, wash with a mild soap, and polish with a soft cloth. If a figurine does crack you can try gluing with a clear-drying epoxy intended for glass or crystal, NOT Super Glue, or something similar. Dry the figurine in the sun if possible to help the bonding.

Crystal is a beautiful keepsake which can be handed down to family members. Taking these extra precautions is worth it!

About the Author:

Brenda Hyde is a wife, mom to three kids and a freelance writer. She is the editor/owner of Old Fashioned Living and sends out two free email newsletters. You can sign up for them HERE

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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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