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How to Clean Your “Good Stuff”


While you might allow members of your immediate family to scrounge for paper plates and plastic forks and wipe their hands on their pants instead of a napkin, chances are that the holiday season appeals to more refined manners. With friends and extended family on their way to see you, you will probably want to clean the “good stuff.” Here are a few helpful hints for doing just that:


True, you haven’t dug it out since it arrived in a wrapped package on your wedding day. But holiday entertaining will give you a great excuse to find and clean up your fine silver.

  • Line the bottom of a heat-proof glass or plastic dish with aluminum foil. Make sure the shiny side is up. Combine one TBSP baking soda and one TBSP table salt to one gallon of boiling water. Stir.
  • Immediately after stirring, carefully place soiled or tarnished silver pieces in the dish, making sure they are completely submerged and touch the foil. Once the tarnish is gone, rinse the silver in warm water. Dry and buff with a soft cloth.
  • Toothpaste is an everyday household item which can remove tarnish from silver at a fraction of the cost of commercial silver cleaners. Rub the silver with toothpaste. Then, run under warm water, working the paste until it becomes lathery. Finally, rinse off and dry completely.
  • To get a head start on easy cleaning for next year, make sure you wash the silverware as soon as possible after each use—quickly removing acidic food remnants like salt, olives, vinegar or eggs, which can break down your fine silver. Clean the flatware using warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and then drying with a clean soft cloth towel.


Plastic champagne glasses or coffee mugs won’t do when you entertain colleagues or snooty neighbors. Go ahead and get out your crystal wine glasses, flutes and dusty brandy snifters so you can entertain with style.

  • Unlike other stemware, wine glasses are specifically designed to enhance the experience of drinking wine. For example, stemware designed for red wine typically features a large, broad bowl to perfectly capture the bouquet. White wine stemware, on the other hand, is narrow to contain delicate aromas.
  • The visual appeal of wine is also considered in the design—the way the light plays with the liquid, and the “legs” and “tears” which form on the inside of the glass when you swirl the wine in it. All of these features enhance the aroma. So, to maximize your guests’ wine-drinking experience, it’s important to remove fingerprints, dust, leftover wine and marks which could mar visual appeal. Very fine wine glasses are made out of from delicate crystal. So they require special care.
  • To clean:
  1. Rinse glasses in very hot water.
  2. Use a single drop of mild, unscented dish detergent for each glass and partially fill each vessel with hot water.
  3. Hold the glass carefully by the bowl and insert a clean, wet sponge, preferably attached to a long handle for ease of use with the stemware.
  4. Turn the glass around while holding the sponge in place.
  5. Wash the outside of the glass by holding the bowl with one hand and washing the outside of the bowl, stem and base with the sponge. Don’t hold the glass by the stem as it is delicate and easy to break.
  6. Rinse each glass thoroughly (inside and out) with piping hot water.
  7. Allow glasses to air dry, right side up, or hand-dry using a lint-free towel or unscented paper towels.

Fancy Linens

  • When an old bed sheet just won’t do, you will probably want to get your grandmother’s fine linen tablecloths out of moth balls. Here are the steps you should take to clean them before and after use.
  • If your kids stowed the tablecloths before you realized there were stains, have no fear. You can treat stains (from cranberry sauce to spilled gravy or wine) even if they are old and set.
  • If you don’t want to hassle hauling linens to the dry cleaner (which would probably be the best bet), then wash on the gentle cycle, let fabric air dry and then iron on warm.

My Cleaning Lady is a domestic referral agency.  The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices. My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.