Keeping Collectibles Sparkling and Stain Free

Discover the best way to clean glass, crystal, porcelain and other valuable collectibles to maintain their integrity and shine for years to come.

There are times it's necessary to wash your collectibles in and around your kitchen. It's not just fine serving items that may need special care.

• How to wash Porcelain or China Dishes: For greasy buildup, line your sink with a towel, hold the china or porcelain piece at its sturdiest spot, and wash in warm water and dishwashing liquid. We suggest giving Fairy washing up liquid a try since it has the essential everyday grease cleaning power you need.

• How to wash Vases: Don’t soak vases in soapy water to loosen the grime. The porous nature of china and earthenware may allow water to seep under the surface of the glaze. The safest method to rid your vases of stains and dried-on dirt is with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Gently rub away stains with a nylon-mesh pad but never with an abrasive sponge. Be mindful that a soapy vase is a slippery vase. Keep a firm grip on the piece as you wash it. Let it air-dry. A blast from a hair dryer set medium will help dry the interior of the vase.

• How to wash Crystal: Crystal is softer than glass and more easily scratched. And crystal pieces cannot withstand extremes in temperature, so don’t even think about putting them in the dishwasher. Your best bet for maintaining their sparkle is to line your sink with a towel and gently hand wash them with dishwashing liquid and warm water. Avoid breakage by washing one piece at a time and setting on a towel-lined surface to air-dry.

• How to wash Glass Candlesticks: The first step in removing hardened wax from candlesticks is to gently pick off chunks with your fingers. Then remove any waxy bits left on the glass by using a soft cloth dampened with denatured alcohol. Once the wax is gone, carefully hand wash candlesticks with hot water and some dishwashing liquid.