Just like before any holiday and you plan on hosting friends or family at your house, it is important to make sure that your dinnerware is looking its best.
China, crystal, and silver deserve careful handling when it comes to washing and caring for these types of dinnerware.
Scratches, heat and harsh detergents can all damage fine china, especially pieces that are antiques. That is why when it comes to washing china, it is best to hand wash these dishes instead of the dishwasher.
Before you turn on the sink, line the bottom of your sink with a dish towel or some rubber mat, this will help for cushioning your dishes. It is also recommended you avoid using any dishwashing liquid that has lemon, orange, or any other type of acid, as well as any liquid soap that contains chlorine bleach. The acid will wear the finish, while the chlorine leaves behind a residue that will break down the china at a molecular level.
When it comes to storing china, be sure to store it in an area that has the same temperature and humidity as the living areas of your home. You should avoid storing it in an attic or basement, as changes in the humidity can cause fine cracks in the glaze. It is also recommended you add cushioning between the pieces of china, if you plan on stacking them on top of each other.
When you wash your silverware it is important you wash it immediately after you have used it. Make sure to wash it well as well, as it is important to remove salt and citrus from the silverware, as they can cause damage to the silverware, as there is only just a thin layer of silver over a metal base.
Don’t let the silver soak in the water for a long time, as water is corrosive and can loosen the glue that is used on the handles. Similarly, with china, it is best to detergents with citrus. The residue that they leave can cause rust on the silverware.
Use a soft wet cloth to wash the silverware and then dry it immediately with another soft cloth, this is to prevent water spots on the silverware. If you plan on storing silver for an extended period of time avoid using air-tight containers. Make sure you use felt bags or a silver chest that features tarnish-resistant lining.
One of the biggest enemies of glassware is cloudiness. This is sometimes caused by mineral deposits from water and can be removed. However, sometimes it is caused by the heat of a dishwasher baking those minerals into the pores of the glass, this may be permanent.
It is best to wash your crystal by hand in lukewarm water using a mild, nonabrasive detergent. The less the better, also a friendly reminder to not use abrasive pads.
You should add a cup of distilled white vinegar to rinse the water to reduce the spots on the glassware. It should then be dried with a paper towel almost immediately. You should also avoid twisting the glass as you hold the base. This could break the stem of the glass.
When it comes to storing the glass, you should store right side up to avoid chipping the delicate rims. Also give it plenty of space to allow the glass to expand in the heat, all without touching any of the other pieces it may be stored with.