What a dilemma! You want to use your glass and you want to keep it safe, pristine forever. If you use your glass it can get wear. What do you do?
Here are three tips to avoid getting wear on your precious vintage glass.
1. Hand Wash Your Glass
I know, the dishwasher does a great job. But it also is very hot with strong detergent and that can make older glass more susceptible to damage. Plus, as we talked about in our last blog post, Tips to Care for Your Vintage Glass – Water Spots and Haze, the dishwasher is likely to cause your glass to get cloudy over time.
Fill the sink with nice hot soapy water. Don’t make it too hot – you don’t want to burn yourself. Put a dishcloth on the bottom just in case a plate slips out of your fingers. Only put a piece or two in the sink at a time, wash gently with a cloth or even a Mr. Clean type sponge. Rinse well with warm to hot water and set on a towel on the counter or in the dish drainer.
Dry with a linen towel. I love vintage linens and washing our Rose Point stemware is a good reason to buy some when we go antiquing! Linen works better than cotton and far better than the synthetics and doesn’t leave lint. Put the glass away right away.
2. Store Properly
Put a paper plate between each plate or bowl. You can stack cups if you are careful, but it’s a good idea to put a napkin or facial tissue between them.
Plates show stacking wear on raised surfaces. For example, plates with ribs or an optic on the rims might show a bit of stacking wear on the top of each rib. Putting a plate or napkin between each one protects that raised surface.
Elegant glass plates with ground rims can dig into the plate below; a plate or napkin or foam separator protects from damage to the ground rim and the bottom plate.
Store goblets and tumblers right side up. I have a set of very old Fostoria needle etched stems that my grandmother got for a wedding gift 90 years ago. She never used them, but every one is nicked on the rim because she stored them upside down.
When the rims are down, any sort of movement drags the rim over the top of the shelf, causing friction and wear. Over time your rims get a worn look and it’s easier to nick the edges too.
3. Don’t Serve Tough Steak with Glass Plates
Use your plates with softer foods that don’t require sawing to cut. Or, if you would like to use your favorite glass for any meal, then accept that you will have utensil marks. Some people will keep plates that already have wear, and use them for meals where the diners are a bit more aggressive with the cutlery.
This doesn’t mean you need to only serve cake and plastic sporks. Your glass won’t instantly get damaged the minute someone uses it, but over time you will notice more wear if you use it for dinner than for sandwiches. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
This brings us to the last tip, which I’ll cover next time. Teach your family to value your glass and treat it with care. You’ll find that goes a long ways to keeping your treasured glassware in good condition!