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How to Clean Crystal

Never actually use your fancy stemware, because you’re not sure how to clean it? Follow our crystal-cleaning guide.

Watch the Temp
Getting the right temperature is key. Extreme hot or cold can cause crystal to crack. So if you place a crystal bowl in the fridge, allow it to warm to room temperature before putting it under hot water to clean. In general, avoid using water that is either too hot or too cold to wash or rinse your crystal.

Crystal Bowls and Glassware
1.) Prepare a solution of one quarter cup ammonia with a mild lemon detergent to prevent spotting. Never using harsh detergents, which might dull the crystal over time.
2.) Wash your crystal by hand using the solution you prepared and a soft cloth – not a scouring pad. Scouring pads and other rough dish washing tools might work well on other dishes, but they’ll scratch or dull crystal.
3.) Rinse in clean, moderately warn water and allow it to air dry on a rack.

Vases and Decanters
1.) Fill the vase or decanter halfway with moderately hot water mixed with a small amount of mild detergent (Seventh Generation or Method are great choices), two tablespoons of white vinegar and ½ cup uncooked rice.
2.) Swirl the vase or decanter and let the rice remove any residue inside. (Seriously, it works!)
3.) Dump out the rice, rinse well with moderately hot water, and air dry the vase or decanter upside down on a rack.

Cleaning Crystal in the Dishwasher
In general, you should wash your fine crystal by hand. But If you feel you must use a dishwasher to save time or energy, follow these tips:
- Lower the top dishwasher rack to make enough room for your crystal. You don’t want your best glasses bumping against the sides or top of the dishwasher during the cycle and chipping or breaking.
- Try to space out your stemware so that the pieces aren’t touching one another. If they bump or vibrate too much, it could cause them to crack.
- Never place metal-accented crystal (those glasses with the metal rim on the lip) in the dishwasher. Save those for when you have time to hand wash them.
- Use the dishwasher’s “fine crystal and china” setting or the “air-dry only” cycle. After the cycle finishes, open the door so the crystal can air dry.
- Don’t use too much dish detergent – only the amount recommended.

Get more cleaning and organizing tips from The Nest.

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