Few things are lovelier than crystal glasses by candlelight or the simple elegance of a flower-filled crystal vase.
Until party guests leave and the flowers begin to droop, that is.
And you're left with the task of cleaning glasses with lipstick stains on the rims and a water ring around the vase.
Here's how to clean crystal glasses to keep them looking their best - party after party.
If the above don't get rid of the fog on your glassware, give Wine Enthusiast Stem Shine Wine Glass Cleaning Liquid a go. It works great at reducing cloudiness and soap scum residue from glasses.
If you haven't used your crystal glasses in a while, smell them before pouring in your elegant Cabernet. Some more delicate crystal absorbs musty or woody odors from the cupboard. They will need cleaning before use.
Remove your hand jewelry, swing the faucet away from the sink to prevent damage, and place a soft rubber pad over the bottom of the sink.
If you have a divided sink, have a rubber cover over the ridge between sinks.
Wash with warm water, using a mild hand-washing detergent (more is not better here - excessive soap can leave a cloudy residue). Add lemon peels to the rinse water for sparkle and shine.
Rinse thoroughly under warm water. Dry with paper towels or a lint-free cloth that hasn't been washed with fabric softener. (The softener leaves a light film that will pop the bubbles in your champagne - which isn't festive at all.)
Or give a professional glass polishing cloth, such as the Foxtrot Living Large Microfiber Polishing Cloths, a try for a brilliant, streak-free shine.
Before polishing your glasses, steam them over a pan of boiling water for extra sparkle. Replace your drying towel if it becomes too damp - a wet linen towel will cling to the crystal and could cause it to break.
To eliminate fingerprints from your crystal, wear gloves when drying by hand. And of course, you wouldn't force the cloth into the bowl of your crystal glasses; the delicate bowl will shatter under pressure.
Finally, if you're a little lightheaded after a night of enjoying your wine glasses, you may be too clumsy to tackle this delicate chore before retiring for the evening. Just give the glasses a quick rinse and leave an inch or so of water in the bowl of the glasses. There's always tomorrow.