Clean & Care Instructions

Crystal

General Do's & Don'ts

  • Don’t put your crystal in the dishwasher – it may be easier, but you’ll regret it.
  • Don’t clean your crystal with abrasive surfaces like steel wool or SOS pads.
  • Do be mindful that extreme temperature differences may result in cracked crystal. For example, pouring a hot liquid into your cool crystal may result in breakage – the opposite is also true. Keep your crystal away from open flames, such as candles, and don’t clean them in hot water.
  • Do resist the urge to store food or liquid in your crystal – the only exception is wrapped candy. Why? You don’t want to stain your crystal and…there’s a possibility that your crystal is “true” crystal and was made during a time when lead was a key ingredient. We rarely sell “true” crystal, but when we do, we let you know.

 

“True crystal has a certain shine to it and when tapped on the rim, will sound like a bell. This is important because most “true” crystal is decades old and was produced when it was okay to use lead. Lead is dangerous to your health. Don’t store any food or liquid that you plan on ingesting, in “true” crystal- the only exception is wrapped candy.”

 

  • Do enjoy your crystal. Good crystal, if properly taken care of, can handle a dinner party or a night alone in front of the TV.

How to Wash Your Crystal

Before Your Start Washing

 

  1. Remove any rings and bracelets from your hands and arms to prevent scratching your crystal.
  2. Wet a towel and place it in your sink, making sure that it covers the bottom and sides; this is to reduce the chance of breakage if your crystal slips out of your hand.
  3. If you fear that you may accidentally hit your crystal against your faucet, wrap a dish towel around your faucet and secure it with a piece of string.
  4. Fill your sink about a quarter-to-halfway with warm water only – your crystal may crack in cold or hot water.
  5. Add some dishwashing liquid to the water and slosh the water with your hands until you feel the dishwashing liquid is adequately distributed in the water.
  6. Make sure that you have cleared drying space for your crystal. A secure drying rack is best.
  7. Have a linen or soft, lint-free towel at the ready.

 

 

Washing Your Crystal

 

  1. Wash only one item at a time. Start with your most delicate and dirtiest item first.
  2. With a soft sponge or washcloth, gently wash your crystal. A soft-bristle bottle brush can be used to clean hard to reach places.
  3. Don’t let your crystal float around in the sink.
  4. Rinse your crystal using water from your faucet.

 

 

Drying Your Crystal

 

Be careful, because of slips or mishandling, drying is the most likely time that your crystal will break.

 

Hand Drying

 

  • Dry your crystal with a linen or soft, lint-free towel.
  • Don’t use a regular drying towel that has been washed with fabric softener, it will leave residue behind.
  • Don’t hold your crystal by its stem or attachment, such as a handle.

 

 

Air Drying

 

  • Use a drying rack.
  • Don’t just set your crystal on a towel, it will fog up inside because air can’t get underneath it.
  • A vase or decanter can be air dried right side up without a cover; however, it will take three to four days to completely dry.
  • If time is of the essence, you can use a hair dryer on the coolest setting to speed up the drying process.

 

Cleaning Decorative Crystal

  • Dust your decorative crystal with a soft, lint-free cloth.
  • Because you aren’t eating or drinking from your decorative crystal, using a lint-free cloth, you can wipe it with Windex or a mild ammonia solution (1 part ammonia to 6 parts lukewarm water). Make sure to rinse your item afterwards. Dry your decorative crystal the same way you would yo­­u other crystal (instructions above in “How to Wash Your Crystal”).

 

If you use ammonia, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated, dry area and are wearing gloves.

Removing Hard Water Lines, Stains, or Water Spots

First, Choose Between Two Cleaning Solutions:

 

  1. White vinegar and water (1 part white vinegar to 1 part water); or
  2. A denture tablet (yes, you read that correctly) and water. (Denture tablets can be purchased at your local pharmacy.)

 

Now You’re Ready…

 

  1. Line your sink or a bucket with a towel.
  2. Add your cleaning solution to the sink or bucket.
  3. Soak your item in the solution overnight. Your vase can soak up to ten days if spots don’t come off overnight.
  4. Rinse and dry your item.

 

If that doesn’t work, …

 

  1. Cut a lemon in half;
  2. Remove the seeds;
  3. Rub the stain, hard water line, or water spot with the lemon; and
  4. When the stain, line, or spot is removed, rinse, and dry your item.

 

 

If you notice that you often have to deal with this problem, consider washing your crystal with distilled water or purchasing water softeners.

Removing Wax

Your dinner party must have been that good. Next time, keep your crystal at least three inches away from a burning candle.

 

  1. Let the wax dry before doing anything.
  2. Once dry, gently pick off the wax with your fingers – be careful not to scratch your crystal.
  3. Use some denatured alcohol to remove any residue.
  4. Finally, rinse and dry your item.

Fixing Cloudiness

  1. Go to your local hardware store and purchase “Bar Keepers Friend”, a cheap, all-purpose cleaning agent.
  2. Next, immerse your crystal item in clean water to get it wet.
  3. Sprinkle a small amount of “Bar Keepers Friend” over your item and clean it with a sponge.
  4. If that doesn’t work, make a paste out of “Bar Keepers Friend” and water. Coat your item with the paste for a few minutes.
  5. Rinse your crystal under running water, making sure to remove all residue.
  6. Dry your item by hand with a soft, lint-free cloth or by air.

 

If “Bar Keepers Friend” doesn’t work, your glass surface may be damaged. Seek a professional crystal glass cleaner. Unfortunately, it may be cheaper to purchase a new set of crystal.

Fixing Dullness

Before you start, make sure that you are in a well-ventilated area and are wearing gloves.

 

  1. Make a mild ammonia solution (1 part ammonia to 6 parts water).
  2. Dip a soft, lint-free in the ammonia solution and wipe your item.
  3. Finally, rinse the item with water and dry it.

Contacting a Professional

If all else fails, contact a professional crystal glass cleaner. Consider the expense of contracting the professional cleaner versus purchasing a new, identical crystal item. Search for chandelier cleaners or glassware, china, & crystal repair shops.

Wood Furniture

General Do's and Don'ts

  • Don’t be afraid to dust your furniture. When you don’t dust, your wood piece will eventually have a filmy layer of dust that can scratch its surface.
  • Don’t use an all-purpose cleaner or water to clean your wood furniture, unless it has a plastic coating. (Note: Kitchen tables and children’s toys usually have plastic coatings.)
  • Don’t paint your nails or use nail polish remover over your wood furniture – a spill is likely to strip the wood finish.
  • Don’t polish your wood with olive oil, it smears and attracts dust.
  • Do use coasters, placemats and tablecloths to protect your wood – your mom was right.
  • Do understand that wood expands and contracts in relation to temperature and humidity. Therefore, don’t place your wood item in direct sunlight, near sources of heating and cooling, or stored in an attic or cellar-type environment.
  • Do wipe spills as soon as they happen.
  • Do know what type of finish has been applied to your wood furniture. When you buy furniture from us, we’ll tell you. Click on the tab “How to Determine the Finish on Your Wood Product” for guidance.

General Cleaning

  • While a feather duster or clean, soft cloth can be used to dust your wood furniture, it best to use a damp cloth (you don’t want dust to scatter into the air and settle back on your wood furniture). Follow up with a dry, clean, soft towel to remove any water residue.
  • Don’t clean your wood furniture with water, it may get absorbed and damage the finish. Exception: sticky spots – dip a clean, soft cloth in soap dissolved in water, wring it nearly dry, and wipe the sticky spot. Follow up with a dry, clean, soft towel to remove any residue.
  • Use a wood specific cleaning spray or liquid – you’ll thank us later when your wood finish stays looking brand new. (Sprays and polishes that contain silicone may leave behind residues that can interfere with refinishing.)

The Importance of Waxing

Waxing is not just for your body, it’s important for the well-being of your wood pieces. Forget polishing or spraying, wax is all you need. Liquid or paste wax provides a hard finish and long-lasting protection to your original wood finish. Wax is more durable than sprays or polishes, thus helps reduce surface scratches, and doesn’t smear.

 

If possible, we suggest purchasing paste wax specifically for wood over liquid wax. A paste wax finish may last up to two years, depending on use. Always use a clear paste. Wax containing linseed oil, turpentine, or vinegar will dark your wood and attract dust and lint.

 

Applying paste wax is a lot of fun. Here’s a great video showing how to properly apply paste wax:

How to Determine the Finish on Your Wood Product

Unfortunately, wood furniture gets damaged from wear and tear. It’s actually not that hard to restore your wood furniture, but you must first know what finish has been applied to it.

 

There are five main types of wood finishes:

 

  1. Oil: Oil finishes protect wood by making a slippery surface, but don’t create a hard protective layer. Common oil finishes are Danish Oil, Teak Oil, Linseed Oil, Mineral Oil, and Tung Oil.
  • Danish Oil: Provides a lustrous finish
  • Teak Oil: Provides a slight sheen
  • Linseed Oil: Provides a satin finish, with a golden hue colour that turns amber over time.
  • Mineral Oil: A non-toxic finish, with less of a sheen than teak oil, that is used on butcher blocks and wood items that will be in contact with food.
  • Tung Oil: Provides a transparent and almost wet-looking finish.
  1. Shellac: Offers a hard protective layer.
  2. Lacquer: Offers a hard protective layer.
  3. Varnish: Offers a hard protective layer.
  4. Polyurethane: Offers a hard protective layer.

 

Testing Your Wood

 

Gather the following items:

  • Q-tips
  • Linseed oil
  • Acetone (nail polish with acetone will do)
  • Denatured alcohol

 

 

  1. In a hidden area on your wood furniture, apply a droplet of linseed oil. Wood with an oil finish will absorb the linseed oil. The linseed oil will not be absorbed with other wood finishes.
  2. If your wood is not finished with oil, dip your Q-tip in acetone and apply it to a hidden area on your wood furniture.
  3. Three things can happen:
  • It Becomes Tacky: Shellac or Varnish
  • It Beads: Polyurethane
  • It Dissolves Completely: Lacquer
  1. If it could be shellac or varnish finish, dip a new Q-tip in denatured alcohol and apply it to another hidden area on your wood furniture.
  • It Dissolves Right Away: Shellac
  • It Doesn’t Dissolve Right Away: Varnish

Fixing Scratches

Slight scratch? Apply paste wax or…use a felt-tip touch-up pen.

Deep scratch? Use wood filler, then once dry, follow it up with an appropriately coloured felt-tip touch-up pen. Apply wood filler in several then layers between drying. Alternatively, you can use a coloured filler wax stick.

 

 

Multiple Deep Scratches? With high grit sandpaper, sand the finish until you get a smooth surface. Then apply another coat of the same finish. There’s a chance that your scratches may be too deep and you sand off the finish.

Removing Ink Stains

To remove ink, use a mixture of baking soda and water. Before you do anything drastic, text the mixture on an invisible area on your piece to test whether it will affect the finish. If the baking soda-water mixture affect the finish, use a mixture of soap and water. If not, pour the baking soda-water mixture over the ink stain and wipe if off with a damp cloth.

Fixing White Marks

Condensation from a cold glass and heat from a hot beverage can penetrate your wood finish and create a white ring on your wood piece. When this happens to you, quickly wipe away any water and grab a hairdryer. Use your hair dryer on the affected area.

 

If your hair dryer doesn’t work, try rubbing on petroleum jelly or toothpaste to the white ring, and then wiping it away with a damp cloth. Unfortunately, the longer the mark stays unaddressed, the more likely it will penetrate below your wood surface and be hard to remove. At this point, if it bothers you, strip your furniture and reapply the original finish.

Porcelain & Fine China

General Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t put your porcelain in the dishwasher or microwave, unless there is a label on its bottom stating that it’s safe.
  • Don’t clean your porcelain with abrasive surfaces like steel wool or SOS pads.
  • Don’t ever use bleach on your porcelain, it will damage the glaze.
  • Do be mindful that extreme temperature differences may result in cracked porcelain. For example, pouring a hot liquid into your cool porcelain may result in breakage – the opposite is also true. Keep your porcelain away from open flames, such as candles, and don’t clean them in hot water.
  • Do wash your less used or decorative china once a year – cleaning annually preserves the glaze and paint.
  • Do enjoy your porcelain, that perfect time to use it may never happen.

How to Store Your Porcelain & Fine China

  • Don’t hang your teacups – even if it looks pretty.
  • Don’t stack your teacups – too much friction can cause breakage.
  • When stacking dishes, place cloth napkins, paper towels, or doilies between each dish to reduce friction.

How to Wash Your Porcelain & Fine China

Always wash your porcelain shortly after use – don’t let your porcelain items remain dirty overnight. The process of washing your porcelain & fine china is similar to washing crystal.

 

 

Before Your Start Washing

 

  1. Remove any rings and bracelets from your hands and arms to prevent scratching your delicate item.
  2. Wet a towel and place it in your sink, making sure that it covers the bottom and sides; this is to reduce the chance of breakage if your item slips out of your hand.
  3. If you fear that you may accidentally hit your item against your faucet, wrap a dish towel around your faucet and secure it with a piece of string.
  4. Fill your sink about a quarter-to-halfway with warm water only – your item may crack in cold or hot water.
  5. Add some dishwashing liquid to the water and slosh the water with your hands until you feel the dishwashing liquid is adequately distributed in the water.
  6. Make sure that you have cleared drying space for your item(s). A secure drying rack is best.
  7. Have a linen or soft, lint-free towel at the ready.

 

 

Washing Your Porcelain

 

  1. Wash only one item at a time. Start with your most delicate and dirtiest item first.
  2. With a soft sponge or washcloth, gently wash your item. A soft-bristle bottle brush can be used to clean hard to reach places.
  3. Don’t let your item float around in the sink.
  4. Rinse your item using water from your faucet.

 

 

Drying Your Porcelain

 

Be careful, because of slips or mishandling, drying is the most likely time that your item will break.

 

Hand Drying

 

  • Dry your item with a linen or soft, lint-free towel.
  • Don’t use a regular drying towel that has been washed with fabric softener, it will leave residue behind.
  • Don’t hold your item by its handle or any other attachment.

 

 

Air Drying

 

  • Use a drying rack.
  • Don’t just set your item on a towel, it will fog up inside because air can’t get underneath it.
  • A teapot or jug can be air dried right side up without a cover; however, it will take three to four days to completely dry.
  • If time is of the essence, you can use a hair dryer on the coolest setting to speed up the drying process.

Removing Tough Stains

A small amount of baking soda on your sponge will do the trick for most tough stains.

 

Grey or Black Cutlery Markings?

 

With a damp sponge and baking soda, gently rub the marks away. If that doesn’t work, try toothpaste.

 

Really Tough Stain?

 

You have two options:

 

  1. Make a salt-vinegar solution (1 part table salt to 1 part white vinegar). Place your item in the solution and allow it to soak for a few minutes before you wash it.
  2. Make a baking soda and water paste, apply to the stain, and gently rub it away, then wash your item.

 

 

Nothing’s Working?

 

Time to bring out the big guns. You need 30% or 40% volume cream peroxide, which you can get from Amazon or a beauty supply store. If you’re wondering, commercial bleach is sodium hypochlorite, color safe bleach is hydrogen peroxide.

 

Baste your item in the cream peroxide for a few days or until your stain disappears. Then soak your item in water and then wash the cream peroxide out. Make sure to get all the cream peroxide off or your glaze will be destroyed.

 

Warning: Make sure that you are wearing gloves and are in a well-ventilated area before using peroxide.

Dealing with Fine Cracks

Cracks happen, especially if your piece is old. Your piece is sensitive to very hot and very cold temperatures; thus don’t store your delicate pieces in your basement or attic, which are probably at different temperatures from the rest of your house.

 

Piping hot food or liquid, or very cold food or liquid, on any porcelain or fine china with fine cracks will break your piece. Unfortunately, for plates, it means making sure that any food that is placed on it is room temperature. We define room temperature between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.

 

Unfortunately, for plates, it means making sure that any food that is placed on it is room temperature. You can experiment with putting your dishes in warm water, drying them, and then putting food on them – the temperature difference between the warm food and warm plate is much less and thus less likely to cause breakage.

 

But wait, before you pour coffee or tea into your delicate tea cup, here’s what you should do:

 

  • Pour cold cream or milk in the cup first. The cold milk or cream helps moderate the heat of the tea or coffee as it’s being poured into the teacup.
  • Alternatively, get a teaspoon and pour your hot tea or coffee over the spoon – this also helps moderate the heat of the tea or coffee as it’s being poured into the teacup.

Silver

General Do’s & Don’ts

  • Don’t use your spit as polish – it’s not an appetizing thought for others.
  • Do use a soft bristled toothbrush to get to nooks and crannies.
  • Do keep a few pieces of chalk where you store your silverware – the chalk will absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing of your items.

The Tried & Tested Aluminum Foil Method for Tarnished Silver

What You Need:

 

  • 1 litre of water (approximately 4 ¼ cups of water)
  • A sheet of aluminium foil
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • A dish, bucket, or pot that is bigger than your silverware.
  • Kitchen tongs

 

  1. Line a dish, bucket or pot that is bigger than your silverware with aluminium foil – dull side up.
  2. Place your silverware in the dish, bucket or pot.
  3. Bring your water to boil and add one tablespoon of baking soda.
  4. Pour the baking soda-water solution into your chosen dish, making sure that your silverware is fully submerged.
  5. After 10 seconds (or longer if your item is heavily tarnished), remove your silverware with kitchen tongs.
  6. If this doesn’t work, apply a paste of baking soda and water (1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water). Apply the paste with a damp sponge, then rinse and dry.

 

 

To achieve a sparkle: Instead of baking soda, mix 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent with your boiled water. Soak your silver in the solution for one minute, rinse with water, then air dry.

Testing the Cleaning Potential of Household Items

A Paste of Baking Soda and Water: Apply a paste of baking soda and water (1/4 cup of baking soda and 2 tablespoons of water). Apply the paste with a damp sponge, then rinse and dry.

 

Ketchup: Squirt a small amount of ketchup on a paper towel. Rub the ketchup gently over tarnished areas. If you don’t see results immediately, let the ketchup sit on the tarnished areas for 15 minutes. Finally, rub off the ketchup with a soft cloth and rinse and dry your silverware.

 

Cornstarch or Cream of Tartar: Make a paste of cornstarch and water. Apply the paste to your silverware with a damp cloth. Let it dry. Then, rub off the dried paste with a rough towel or cheesecloth. Cornstarch can be substituted with cream of tartar.

 

Hand Sanitizer: Squirt a few drops on a soft cloth and rub away any tarnish.

 

Toothpaste: Put a pea amount of toothpaste on a rag and polish your silver. Finally, rinse off the toothpaste with water and dry your silver with a soft, clean cloth.

 

Window Cleaner: Simply spray window cleaner on a rag gently clean your silver.

Still have questions?

Email us at hello@miltonclassichome.com
Ask Benson.