How to Clean Crystal

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Though crystal vases, goblets, decanters, chandeliers and collectibles are very different in appearance and function, they all have at least 2 things in common: they are all brilliantly beautiful and they all need to be cleaned to look their best. There are a number of simple ways to clean crystal using household items that you likely already have on hand.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Lemon and lemon juice
  • Uncooked rice
  • Warm water
  • Ammonia
  • White vinegar
  • Denture cleaning tablet
  • Dishcloth

Clean Crystal

  • Clean everyday crystal such as goblets and decanters in the kitchen sink. Fill the sink with warm, not hot, water and add liquid dish soap. Gently clean crystal with a soft dishcloth. Wash one item a time to reduce the chance of breakage or cracking. Rinse well with warm water and air dry. Towel drying crystal isn’t necessary; it can often add streaks or lint.

  • Clean foggy crystal by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the interior of the crystal vessel. Rub the exterior with a half of a lemon. Add warm water to the lemon juice inside the crystal vessel until it is full. Allow lemon juice and warm water to stand for at least 3 hours. Wash crystal as usual.

  • Remove hard water spots and cloudiness by immersing your crystal in warm undiluted white vinegar for at least one hour. Then, wash normally.

  • Remove stains like red wine by filling the crystal item with warm water and then adding a denture cleaning tablet. After the tablet dissolves, the stain will be gone. Follow up by washing with soap and water.

  • Add a brilliant shine to crystal by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of ammonia to a sink full of warm water and liquid dish soap. Because ammonia is harsh, use it sparingly. Don’t use this method to clean crystal that is decorated with gold or silver leaf, or any other type of non-crystal embellishment. Rinse well and air dry.

  • Clean the interior of a crystal vessel by filling it halfway with a mixture of uncooked rice and undiluted white vinegar. Cover the top of the vessel and shake gently. Then, follow up with a normal wash.

Tips & Warnings

  • When washing crystal in the sink, place a rubber mat at the bottom of the sink to prevent breakage.
  • Add white vinegar to the wash and rinse water to prevent spotting or fogging.
  • Never wash crystal in the dishwasher. If the high temperature of the water doesn’t break or crack your crystal, the dish washing detergent could pit the surface of your crystal, causing it to look cloudy.

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