How to Clean Glassware

July 27, 2015

How to clean glassware

All glassware — not just fine crystal — needs care to avoid breakage, scratches and staining.  Follow these simple tips to ensure your glassware lasts for years to come.

How to Clean Glassware

1. Washing glassware

A late-model dishwasher can handle most glassware, including fine crystal, on the upper rack. There are, however, some pieces that require caution. Family heirloom glasses, plates and bowls, or large pieces with an awkward shape, such as decanters or vases, should be handwashed. Glued or repaired pieces, cut or etched glass and hand-decorated glass, as well as any pieces that are rimmed with gold or silver, should all be handwashed.

To wash crystal by hand

  • Use dish detergent and a small amount of ammonia.
  • Place a rubber mat or dishtowel at the bottom of the sink, or use a soft plastic wash pan to guard against chipping or scratching the glass.
  • Be extra gentle when washing glasses with gold or silver trim, which can wear away.
  • Rinse the crystal in clear water; add a small amount of white vinegar to the final rinse to prevent streaking. Dry with a lint-free towel.

A quick washing method

  • A quick washing method for party glasses is borrowed from bartenders. You need a basin of hot sudsy water for washing and a basin of hot clear water for rinsing.
  • Holding the base of the glass, pump it up and down in the sudsy water, then quickly pump it in the clear water.
  • To dry, set the clean glassware upside down on a cotton dishtowel that is placed over a wire cooling rack.
  • Glasses used to serve milk or milk-based drinks will need more than pumping in sudsy water; wipe them out with a sudsy dishcloth or sponge.

2. Removing glassware stains

  • To remove glassware stains, fill the receptacle — decanter, vase or glass — with water and five millilitres (one teaspoon) of ammonia and let it stand overnight.
  • Another method is to gently scour a stubborn spot with a little baking soda.
  • Avoid abrasive cleansers or scouring pads, which might scratch the glass.

3. Removing hard-water stains

  • Remove hard-water stains or lime deposits with white vinegar and a nylon scrubber.
  • Dip the scrubber in the vinegar and rub your glassware briskly but gently, taking extra care not to scratch or chip it.

4. Cleaning etched glassware

  • A well-lathered shaving brush can help you put the sparkle back into etched glassware.
  • Deep crevices in the glass harbour stubborn dirt that only the stiff bristles of a shaving brush can dislodge.
  • After scrubbing, rinse the glass in clear water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Following these easy steps will ensure your glassware remains sparkling.

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