Easy DIY fixes for glassware that really work

July 27, 2015

Guests hold your glassware in their hands all night, which means that keeping it flawless is important. The best part? It's easy. Here are some fixes that really work.

Easy DIY fixes for glassware that really work

Separating stuck-together glasses

In a stack, glasses can sometimes become wedged together. Other times, a vacuum forms when one is placed inside another. Here's a trick to help separate them:

  • Fill the top glass with cold water.
  • Dip the bottom glass in hot water.
  • The cold water will make the top glass contract while the hot water makes the bottom one expand. Give the differing water temperatures a minute to work, then gently pull the glasses apart.

Repairing damaged glassware: fine scratches and chips

  • If there's a scratch or a small chip on the surface of everyday glassware, you may be able to grind it out. Take antique or valuable pieces to a restoration professional.
  • When you do make repairs yourself, wear sturdy gloves. If a glass should break in the process, you could get a serious cut.
  • For fine scratches in glass, mix jeweler's rouge (from a crafts store) with denatured alcohol to make a paste. Dip a small piece of soft cotton cloth into the paste and rub out the scratch with a circular motion. Rinse the glass with cold water, dry, and then polish it to a shine using a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • To grind down a chip in the rim of glassware, wrap a wet emery cloth (available at hardware stores) around a small dowel. Hold the glass steady against a counter with one hand and rub the dowel back and forth across the chip until the rim becomes smooth. Then wash and dry the glass.

Repairing a break

To repair a break in a glass plate or serving bowl, the key is to match the edges of the break precisely, and to hold the pieces together tightly while the glue sets.

  • Use a clear, slow-drying epoxy glue that allows you time to adjust the pieces to an exact fit.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to dissipate the glue fumes.
  • Start by cleaning and drying the broken surfaces thoroughly. Fit the pieces together dry to determine the best order of assembly. Glue and join the pieces one by one, and then wipe off any excess glue with a cotton swab that's been dipped in an appropriate solvent.
  • Finally, clamp and support the glued pieces while the glue dries.

Cleaning up broken glass

When a glass breaks, put on gloves and carefully pick up the large shards and discard them in the garbage. To safely clean up the remaining slivers and tiny pieces, use a moist paper towel. Bits of glass will cling to the surface of a damp towel when you pat it gently around the area where the glass broke. Follow up with a thorough vacuuming.

Whether your glassware is broken, chipped, or simply stuck together, now you've got the tools to solve the issue. And the best way celebrate? With a homecooked meal or a nice glass of wine.

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