Last week, I decided to be proactive and plan the holiday table. While my goal remains to become a flea market regular and find an eclectic mix of red transferware plates for the holidays, for now, itâ€™s the Maribeth salad plates from Pier 1. Paired with my everyday (and only) china, they do the trick. Next, a mix of antique pewter liquor cups and gills filled with Nandina berries and boxwood plucked from the backyard. Finally, I pulled out our wedding crystal and pewter candlesticks (last used in August) and realized I (gulp) had more cleaning left to do. Here are some of my fave pre- and post-event cleaning tricks:
Wax drips: If you have wax drips on a tablecloth or candlesticks, a short trip to the freezer will do the trick. Wait until the wax hardens, then chip off. If a wax stain remains on your linens, you will either need to pour hot water over the stain or iron between sheets of paper towels before treating and washing.
Pewter: If dusting doesnâ€™t seem to do the trick for pewter, stick with soap and water. Anything else will ruin the patina that develops naturally over time.
Crystal: A few drops of vinegar added to warm, soapy water will make crystal stemware sparkle. If you have a pitcher or decanter that is cloudy, add the same vinegar/soap/water mixture plus enough uncooked rice to â€œscrubâ€ the inside while you swirl the liquid around.
Silver: Rather than paying for a chemical cleaner, go the old fashioned (and green) route. Line a container with aluminum foil. Place the silver so every piece is touching the foil and add hot water until the items are submerged. Add a small amount of salt, then a cup or two of fresh baking soda and wait until the tarnish dissolves. When the water is cool, remove silver and polish with a soft, dry cloth. — Sarah L.