Karl Lohnes on storing your silver, crystal and china
Canada AM home and decor expert Karl Lohnes
Published Friday, January 6, 2012 9:56AM EST
This week I take a practical approach to decorating with cleanliness and shine, making sure that all your treasured tabletop and bar items look their very best after a long year of storage in the china cabinet.
With a bit of technology and a few old-fashion practical hints and tips you can release your inner-butler and create tabletops that sparkle, shine and gleam!
- Use padded, soft-sided boxes for wine and champagne flutes.
- Use cases for silver cutlery and roll-up bags for silver table accessories.
Tips: Silver items that are stored out of sight can be kept in Ziploc bags to stop tarnishing. Wrapping silverware in dark blue tissue paper will also keep it from tarnishing, according to my grandmother.
- Use felt plate protectors and padded boxes to protect your fine china.
Tips: Never stack higher than eight plates is the rule. If you do stack your china plates, lift them off when ready to use instead of sliding. Do not stack fine china cups and do not hang cups from hooks or pegs. Always place them on a shelf, one by one in a row. Finally, do not place china in a box in a cold basement or hot attic. Extreme temperatures can crack fine china.
- The easiest way to clean off spots is to lightly mist glassware with one part vinegar and nine parts water in a spray bottle. There are many cleaning cloths on the market. Always make sure you buy one for polishing and cleaning glass.
- Here's an old-time method that will help remove tarnish from your silver treasures. Line a plastic basin with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Place the tarnish flatware inside. Make sure all the pieces are contacting the foil. Sprinkle in 1/4 cup baking soda and pour in one gallon boiling water. Stir and let the silver soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the silver. Rinse and buff with a clean, soft cloth.
- Use pads in a sink, use liquid dishwasher soap -- as apposed to powder or pucks. If using a dishwasher always use the delicate cycle.
- Consider purchasing sturdy, see-through stackable plastic tote containers with handles on either side. That way everything can be stored and seen without labeling.
- Do not add scented sachets or smells in storage boxes or cabinets. Crystal and glassware can actually absorb the smells.
- When purchasing crystal, flatware or china always buy extra to allow for breakage, loss, wear and tear.
All storage products features on Canada AM are from Solutions:
- Hagerty Zippered Flatware Storage Drawer, $70
- Richards Quilted Wine Goblet Chest, $15
- Richards Champagne Flute Chest, $13
- Richards Plate Dividers, $10
- Hagerty 6-Piece Place Setting Roll Cloth, $13
- Simlpehuman Microfiber Mitt Kit, $25
- Architec Smartmat, $10
- Casabella Spray Bottle, $6
- Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloth, $6