Crystal Decanters

Decanters for wine and spirits are decorative vessels for storing and serving a wide variety of beverages.

Wine can be permitted time to ‘breath’ before serving, and a leaded crystal decanter is far more stately than a Jim Beam or Jack Daniels bottle.  Often the decorative crystal or glass tops do not seal completely, and when used for alcoholic beverages, the alcohol can evaporate and leave stains, or even a hazy or cloudy appearance.

The first step is to place a thick towel in the bottom of the sink, as a sharp blow on a corner or edge might crack or chip the decanter.  Using warm water and soap fill the decanter and allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to loosen any residue.  A bottle brush will allow you to gently scrub the bottom to loosen up tough stains.  Rinse the decanter thoroughly, as any remaining soap can taint the taste of future contents.  The decanter may look clean, and clear when wet, however the hazing or water stains, similar to a hard water deposits, may only be evident after the inside is dry.  Allowing a mild acid, such as white vinegar to sit in the decanter, again over night, usually will remove this film.  Some people use rice, rock salt, or baking powder to act as a bit of an abrasive that will aid in the removal of these stains as it is shaken or swirled around in the vinegar solution.  If the vinegar is not acidic enough to remove the film, a mild commercial acid such as CLR can be employed.  Limit the time that the CLR remains in the decanter, and give it a quick wash with regular dish detergent and water, ensuring a thorough rinse before drying the inside.

Some decanters have very narrow necks.  Roll up a good quality paper towel and slide it inside the decanter.  (A cheap paper towel might fall apart or leave lint inside) Spin it around to unroll it inside, being careful not to allow the paper towel to fall inside completely!  Remove the paper towel and let the decanter sit out overnight to dry completely, then fill it up with your favorite beverage to be displayed and served in style!

Cleaning Acids from Carpets

General Info:
Be sure to check the helpful hints for the Do’s and Don’ts of stain removal and Six Sure Ways to Set Stains.

Tools & Chemicals:
Ammonia (household strength),dish washing or fine fabric detergent, white terry towels, white vinegar, warm water, measuring cup, spoon.

Technique:

  • Work on removing the stain as soon as you notice it. The longer the stain is left on the carpet the greater the chances are of the stain setting.
  • In every case remove all excess wet or dry material before attempting to clean. Blot wet materials using a white terry towel (check helpful hints for a detailed description of blotting). Vacuum excess dry materials or gently scrape up materials with a spoon.
  • Mix 2 tablespoon of HOUSEHOLD ammonia in one(1) cup of water.
  • Apply a small amount of the mixed solution to the white terry towel and blot on the stain. Continue intil no further transfer of the stain is apparent. If the stain remains proceed to the next step.
  • Mix 1/2 tsp. of dish washing soap or fine fabric detergent into 1 (8 oz.)cup of warm water.
  • Apply a small amount, blot or tamp and repeat until the stain is removed. Be patient. Complete removal may reqiure repeating the same step several times. Tamp down on the carpet, do not scrub as this may distort the texture of the pile.
  • Cover the stain with the towel and press down repeatedly to absorb the stain material and detergent.
  • Once the stain is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry white terry towel until all moisture is removed. Repeat this process several times to remove cleaning solution residue. (Residue can attract soils).
  • If the spot or stain turns brownish when dry, mix 1 part white vinegar and two parts water. Apply a small amount and blot. Repeat only once.

Precautions:
Never use a stronger concentration than is recommended.
Never use laundry detergent or automatic dish washing detergents because they may destroy or dye some fibers.Industrial strength ammonia should be mixed according to manufacture recommendations.

Antique Baby Gown

Here is a question submitted by Eva:
How do I clean a 100 year antique baby gown?

Cleaning and preserving a 100 year old gown is not something that should be attempted by the consumer due to the risk of destroying the gown. However, there are several options available to the consumer.

If the gown is to be worn again, it can be restored to its original condition by a professional, but this will negate the antique value of the gown. You will have an antique gown that now looks new.

The gown can be cleaned and preserved in its current antique state by a professional. The gown will be clean, but any yellowing and other characteristics of an antique will be preserved. The gown will be packaged in a viewing chest designed for that purpose.

The final option, and the only one open to the do-it-yourself consumer, is to purchase a Christening Gown Preservation box. The gown can be placed in the box in its current condition. The box has a clear window for display. This will greatly retard any further deterioration of the gown, but will not entirely prevent it. Take a look at examples of Gown preservation kits at The Gown Medic.

Answered by Forum Expert Ed from Suncoast Preservtion Labs. For more info check out Ed Bio on the Ask A Pro page.