Caring for Crystal
Taking care of your Crystal Stemware:
Crystal glasses are beautiful to behold and a joy to use; however, their delicate nature and costliness require you to be a little more careful with them than your regular glasses, dishes or cups. This need not be a chore – by following these simple instructions your crystal stemware will remain in pristine conditions for generations to come.
1. Wash your crystal stemware with warm water, a soft sponge and mild dish soap. Don’t use extreme water temperatures or soaps that contain ammonia. Wash your stemware as soon as possible after using it: this will help prevent staining. Don’t put your crystal stemware in a dishwasher, as the glasses are prone to shattering in such conditions.
2. Dry your stemware immediately after washing it. Use only a lint-free or linen cloth. Be aware that your stemware is structurally weakest where the bowl joins the stem; for this reason, do not hold the glass by the stem and twist it while drying. Instead, hold the bowl of the glass gently in your palm while drying the inside of the glass.
3. Store your crystal stemware in a dust-free, safe area – preferably inside a dedicated stemware storage container. Do not keep your crystal glasses upside-down in a cupboard: the lip of the glass is particularly delicate and will crack under the weight of the glass.
4. Special care: If you leave your stemware out too long and grime, dust or stains have built up, try holding the piece over a pot of boiling water or a home steamer until the build-up loosens. At this point wash the glass with a soft sponge and very mild soap, as specified above. Please take care not to burn your hands while holding your stemware over the hot steam – it is strongly advised that you wear oven mitts to protect your hands.
Crystal often contains lead. Try to avoid letting wine or other liquids sit in crystal glasses for extended periods of time. Liquids left sitting in such vessels will slowly begin to leech lead out of the crystal, making the liquid quite unsafe to drink.
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