Friday, April 20, 2007

Sherri's Helpful Hints

China and Crystal Care

Most china patterns made within the past 20 years will hold up better in the dishwasher than your great-great-grandmother's will. But it's always safer to handwash - try these tips.

1. Fill the sink with tepid water and wash one dish at a time using a mild detergent (ivory for instance).
2. Avoid soaps with lemon or bleach additives as they can harm the surface of dishware.
3. Don't let dishes sit in soapy water too long. If you can't get to them right away, give dishes a quick rinse to remove as much food as possible.

If you have to use the dishwasher, keep these things in mind.

1. Use the gentle cycle
2. Use a mild detergent and avoid lemon=scented products. Citric acids can harm delicate surfaces.
3. Don't overstuff the racks. Leave plenty of room between plates so they won't hit each other in the rinse cycle. Plus, you get a cleaner dish because all areas can be reached when washing.
4. Wash pots and pans separately.
5. Turn off the heat cycle. To do this, activate the energy-saving setting on your dishwasher.

Use care in storing dishes.

1. Place a cushioned layer between each piece. Use scraps of flannel, coffee filters, or felt.
2. Avoid storing china in areas that get too hot, such as an attic.
3. Stack no more than two teacups together.

How to Have Sparkling Crystal

The dishwasher definitely isn't the best choice for crystal. The heat from a dishwasher combines with minerals such as lime, iron or calcium and over time it will bake into the pores of crystal, causing a cloudy appearance.

Here are tips to keep your crystal sparkling:

1. Wash in lukewarm water with a mild, nonabrasive detergent. Place a rubber mat or dish towel in the bottom of your sink for extra protection against chipping and breaking. Avoid too many suds - the extra bubbles will leave residue.

2. Add a splash of white vinegar to the rinse water for a spot-free finish.

3. Dry the crystal with a lint-free cloth before storing. And be gentle, don't twist glasses from the base.

Stemware Do's and Don'ts

Store crystal pieces right side up to help protect delicate rims.

Don't cram pieces in a cabinet. Give them breathing room.

Avoid storing crystal in areas with high temperatures, such as an attic.

Don't save crystal for a special occasion; it's made to use. Frequent use actually cuts down on buildup.

Tips from Southern Living.

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