How to wash and keep the crystal shine in your glassware

Keeping that crystal clear shine in your glasses as you use and re-use them isn’t rocket science, but there are a few useful rules that will help them stay beautiful for ever.

The secret is clean

And the first rule is don’t put them in the dishwasher.

Doing this would not be great news, your dishwasher is full of greasy pots and pans with baked on lasagne and the left overs of Sunday roast. The dishwasher is designed to blast and pummel, over time tiny scratches etch your glasses making them appear cloudy and dull, when this happens the clouds are here to stay.

So use the dishwasher for your everyday glasses that don’t cost the earth and are easily replaced.

Another cloud on the horizon

There’s nothing you can do about scratched glass, however your glasses may be cloudy for another reason, that can easily be solved. The change from crystal clear to that foggy opaque blur on glass is caused by a build up of mineral lime scale. This can be a particular problem in hard water areas, whether you’re using the dishwasher or not.

You can reverse this affect easily by soaking your glasses in white vinegar for varying amounts of time, either neat or diluted in water, dependent on the amount of build up. Do not scrub, let the acidic vinegar do its job by dissolving the deposit, just gently wipe with a soft sponge. Then rinse or wash as below.

Alternately, if you are using a dishwasher set it for glassware, making sure the salt level has been topped up and rinse your glasses with nothing in the machine apart from white vinegar either poured into the bottom of the machine or in the rinse aid compartment.

How to hand wash

And so the second, and only other rule for keeping the shine in your crystal, is to hand wash it.

Start by lining the bottom of your sink with either a small bath towel or a couple of thick tea towels. This means you can relax a little because there’s less chance of chips or breakage during the wash. Also have a towel laid down on the work surface by the side of the sink to stand them on as they come out of the water.

Fill the sink with hand hot water and the smallest amount of washing up liquid, just a few drops should do it. The secret to a good streak free finish is all about hot water and little else.

Use a soft, clean, non-abrasive sponge to wipe your crystal then swish it in the water and set to stand on the towel at the side. For fiddly jobs such as champagne flutes you can buy cotton soft tipped, natural brushes on Amazon, to gently clean around those small hard to reach places.

When your glasses are clean but wet, simply let them stand for a while to air dry on the towel.

Before they are completely dry a good wipe and polish with a cloth is all that is needed.

Now to the cloth, either use a lint free linen tea towel or, even better, a flour sack drying towel. These are perfect as they are lint free 100% cotton, soft and super absorbent. Available on Amazon.