Cleaning Your Ice Crystal Collectibles
Beautiful ice crystal collectibles are a popular passion. Some people like to collect antique or interesting stemware and barware while others can’t resist crystal figurines. Many crystal collectibles are delicate. Displaying such crystal pieces mean having to clean dust from them occasionally. The most interesting ice crystal collectibles are decorated with cut or etched designs. Figurines often have small crevices that are difficult to clean. Add to that the delicacy and the fact that dust can scratch the surface and you can see that cleaning your ice crystal collectibles can be somewhat harrowing.
Tools and Techniques
Special cleaning solution, lint free gloves and a blower brush help clean crystal properly. Household glass cleaners often contain ammonia which can cause crystal to become cloudy. There are cleaners made for crystal chandeliers that do not contain ammonia and can be used on smaller crystal pieces. Any ammonia-free glass cleaner can be used, of course. Your crystal pieces should be submerged in water individually.
A sink should be lined with a towel in case a piece is dropped. About a cup of cleaner can be added to a sink full of water. Most crystal pieces can be allowed to soak if necessary. If several pieces are being cleaned at the same time, place a folded towel on the counter next to the sink to cushion the waiting pieces. Cut ice crystal can be cleaned using a cotton swab in the small areas. Let the piece air dry on another towel before returning it to its display cabinet.
Crystal figurines should never be allowed to soak in water. Some figurine parts are glued and can come apart if left in water. This is also a good reason not to display them in direct sunlight for long periods. Photography stores usually carry cleaning supplies including lint free gloves and cloths and blower brushes. A blower brush can be used to remove dust safely from crevices.
Rubbing a dusty area will result in scratching the ice crystal piece. When removing ice crystal pieces from display cabinets, do so one at a time and start with the pieces in front and work toward the back. Collectors know that most accidents happen when moving pieces, especially when reaching past delicate pieces to reach something behind them. To avoid difficult in cleaning ice crystal candle holders, always use good paraffin candles. Other types of candles leave hard-to-remove melted wax on the crystal while paraffin lifts off easily.
If melted wax cannot be removed easily, you can warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds unless the candle holder has a metal holder. Remember that ice crystal pieces should never be cleaned in a dish washer. Displays of crystal pieces in museums will show you that, when carefully cared for, fine crystal can remain collectible for hundreds of years.