How to clean lead crystal cut glass
Updated: Feb 1
Everyone wants to keep their handmade cut crystal glass as clear and sparkling as the day it came out of the box, these are the lessons I’ve learned to do just that.
When I read 'The Orchid and the Dandelion' by W Thomas Boyce, describing children as either tough and resilient dandelions, or orchids which require very particular, supportive environments to thrive, my first thoughts were of lead crystal glass. Cut crystal is the orchid of the glass world - it won’t survive under testing conditions, but under the right ones it will shine like nothing else.
Cut crystal is sensitive. It doesn’t like intense changes in temperature. As a rule of thumb only wash it in water that’s comfortable for you to keep your hand in. Hotter than that and you risk shocking it which may cause cracking. Likewise don’t put it in a freezer, conventional oven or a mircowave.
Lead Crystal is suited to hand washing, it’s not dishwasher safe. The heat and detergent may dull and scratch surface. Rinse it in warm soapy water instead.
If you live in a hard water area it is worth removing excess water inside and out before leaving to dry as it may leave behind limescale marks. I use a microfibre cloth for this as they are very absorbent and even remove dirt and finger prints without the need for detergent. My cleaning kit consists simply of a microfibre cloth and wooden spoon, the handle of which is perfect for drying the inside of a bottle with a mircofibre cloth tied around it.
My last tip is for those who live in a hard water area and have a vessel which with an opening too small to dry excess water from the inside. In this case I would give the inside a final rinse in distilled water to any stop water marks forming.
Cut crystal is no dandelion, but treat it with a little care and it will reward you for years to come.