How to Care for Antique Glass

Using, Cleaning and Storing Old Crystal, Pressed and Cut Glassware

The antique glass may be more stable than contemporary glassware, but it still needs special care and attention when it comes to cleaning, using and storing it.

Very old glass from the 18th and 19th century has a chemical and physical formulation that makes it quite stable. While contemporary glass can break much easier, the antique glass would have to fall onto a hard floor or be struck to break it. All glass will break, however, so while antique glass may be stronger, it is also more valuable and that alone means more care should be given when it’s handled.

Handling Antique Glass

An antique glass should be handled with both hands. Wine glasses should be held with one hand on the stem and another on the bowl of the glass. Antique glass pitchers should be held with one hand on the handle and the other around its main body.

Never let water sit too long in a crystal or cut glass vase. It will leave a ring as it evaporates. Change the water daily, to keep it topped up and fresh. An antique glass should not be cleaned with abrasive cleansers, but without abrasive cleansers that white ring left behind by the minerals in the water may be difficult to remove. Avoiding those rings will keep the glass clear.

Use candles that don’t drip or run in antique glass candle holders, and the wax should never be allowed to burn all the way down. The heat from the candle can damage the glass top that holds the candle.

Cleaning Antique Glass

It is best not to wash the antique glass in a stainless steel sink with a stable faucet. The glass can easily hit the faucet and break. The glass can slip out of hands and fall on the stainless steel, or simply break as it bumps into other items that may be in the sink. Antique glass needs to be washed one piece at a time, not in the dishwasher and not with other dishes in the sink.

A plastic container with a folded towel at the bottom is the best sink for antique glass, with using a soft cloth and a mild dishwashing liquid. Both glass and water should be at room or even temperatures without being too hot or too cold.

When drying an antique glass, place a soft towel on the kitchen counter to act as padding, and use a lint-free dishtowel to hand dry and polish the glass.

Storing Antique Glass

The glass is best stored in a china cabinet of glass cupboard. The shelves should be lined with felt. Plates should be stacked with felt or cloth between them. Wine glasses should be placed upside down on each shelf without touching.

An antique glass should be used and enjoyed, rather than hidden away for special occasions. They just need to be used with a little more care and attention. And knowing how to care for antique glass will give it’s owners a lifetime of use.

How to Clean Porcelain Figurines and Ornaments

How to Clean Porcelain Figurines and Ornaments
Porcelain is a delicate ceramic product made from hard-fired clay. It is typically used for making a wide range of decorative items. Due to its fragile nature, porcelain needs to be handled with great care, especially when cleaning it. Fortunately, there are gentle methods that do the trick and keep your favorite porcelain pieces beautiful and in tip-top shape. 

Here’s how you should clean and remove stains from your cherished porcelain collection.

  1. Using a soft, dry cloth like microfibre, remove any surface dust.
  2. If the object you are cleaning has tiny holes or crevices, use a soft, lightweight brush to clean out any dirt or dust.
  3. Place porcelain items in a plastic bowl or line the sink with rubber mats to avoid damaging them in cases of slips and falls.
  4. Wash the items slowly with warm water and mild soap or detergent. Keep the temperature of the water consistent and use mild detergent to avoid damaging the items, especially those with metal trimmings. Allow very thin items to acclimatise to the water temperature to avoid destroying the delicate finish.
  5. Remove stains with baking soda paste or a salt and vinegar mixture.
  6. Never use a toothbrush or scourer to clean porcelain; use a soft cloth or sponge to rub stained areas with a light hand.
  7. Never use bleach or abrasive, harsh cleaning agents.
  8. For stubborn stains, try soaking the items in warm water. Or you can purchase a commercial porcelain cleaner from your local hardware store and use it with extreme caution. Try the product on a small, not so visible area first.
  9. Rinse your porcelain figurines and ornaments in warm water
  10. Place on paper towels to dry.

Here’s a helpful and informative video tutorial on how to clean porcelain items without damaging them: