How to Clean and Care for Old Wine Glasses 🍷

Wine and cocktail glasses

A fancy dinner or an informal drinks party are both great occasions to showcase your great old glassware. Vintage and antique glasses are mostly hand made, typically of a good quality and have bottles of individual character. Also, most of them are not as precious as you may think, durable and are very easy to take care of.

Quick Tips

  • Wash by hand in a warm soapy water
  • Old glass can get clouded - this is normal
  • Using dishwasher is not recommended

Cleaning
Glass is a pretty tough material. Wash old wine glasses the same way as modern - by hand, with soap and sponge in a warm water. Using dishwasher is not recommended, especially if the glass is gilded or has enamelled decoration.

What to do if
The glass surface is clouded. Clouded surface appears on some old glasses - this is a normal occurrence and happens due to surface wear from the acids present in the drinks. If you are determined to eliminate the cloudiness, then you will need a specialist glass cleaner or a restorer, as the process requires a special chemical solution and a vibrating machine.
Alternatively you can leave the glass as it is - the cloudiness is not visible when the glass contains a drink.
If the cloudy glass is due to hard water limescale, then simply use a kitchen de-scaler.

My old glass was chipped. Be careful with broken or damaged glass. If it is dangerous to use, then either delegate it to be a decorative piece or get rid of it. However, some damage on glass can be easily fixed. Small chips on the rim or on the stem base can be polished off. A glass restorer will simply reduce the rim down and polish over the chips. This typically is a fairly cheap procedure and a straightforward work should cost about £10 per chip.

Antique glassware does require any specific storage arrangements. Keep it together with your modern glass in a dry place.

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