Have a crystal-clear collection
ALL those who possess a good collection of crystal and glassware must have a tough time maintaining it. Not only must crystal ware be handled with care but it can also not be subjected to the usual cleaning methods. To ensure its proper care it is important to understand the subtle difference between glass and crystal.
Glass is made from silica and other materials. It is not affected by the weather nor by most chemicals. Most glassware is easily broken by blows; sometimes hitting it hard only damages the glass invisibly so that later it shatters from just a light impact. Glass is blown or moulded into many shapes for decorative items, and for beverage glasses and other eating and serving dishes.
Crystal is made from
the same basic material as glass but lead is added to fine crystal
which adds sparkle and strength. Heat-resistant glassware is treated
to withstand high temperatures. Such utensils may break when subjected
to sudden changes in temperature. Oven-ware is not suitable for
top-of-range use as it is not made to stand direct flame heat. Glass
ceramics are made from hard crystalline materials which were first
used on missile nose cones. Glass ceramics are used for range tops,
counter tops, dinnerware, and cookware. The cookware may be used in
the oven, under the broiler, on the stove, or in the microwave oven.
They are guaranteed by the manufacturer not to break from temperature
Glass flower vases, cruets, or carafes used to hold water, wine, oil or other liquids may develop stains in the bottom when allowed to set for a long time. Normal washing with soap and water may not get off all the stain. To remove these stains, try the following steps:
Some crystal or fine glassware has a gilt design or edge on the rim of glass or as a decorative design or a patterned glass dish. Never soak such items in solutions containing ammonia, washing soda or strong detergents. Never use abrasive cleaning powders. Use regular mild dish-washing detergent and a soft cloth. A precaution would be to rinse such glassware in clear water while food residue is still fresh or soft.
Mild alkalis, such as ammonia solution, may be used when stronger cleaning is needed. Do not use abrasive scouring powders or other abrasives as they will scratch glass.
— Compiled by Chetna