a Crystal Tip

I have a huge collection of fine crystal, some inherited, some gifted, and some purchased. Some years ago I came upon a method to wash it and prevent a premature clouding/filming so that it remains quite clear for display.
I first wash it in a 4:1 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar. This is followed by a rinse in a 5:1 mixture of distilled water and rubbing alcohol.
Crystal pieces in my display cabinets have remained unclouded for up to 2 years. Pieces out on display, of course, require dusting. If they're not handled and pick up fingerprints, they will also remain unclouded for a prolonged period of time.
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Wayne in Phoenix

Big on natural foods?? 82.38% of people die of "natural" causes.
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Thanks for the suggestion, and just in time. I have a lot of stemware in a display case and it is time to clean it. I once heard someone say that they used alcohol to rinse the glassware, but when I asked for details I didn't get a reply.
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You're welcome. Glad it was timely.
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Wayne in Phoenix

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New to the group witha ? "Somewhere" I heard of mixing the two (vinegar and iso alcoholol) in water (not distilled) for cleaning windows. I have an interest in chemistry, but not enough to do this type of equation (between acetic acid and iso alcohol with water as a standby). Any reasons you know of NOT to mix the two in water? I could always ask in the sci.chem newsgroup, and may eventually do that, but thought I would ask here first since my source was on the subject of cleaning. Just wondering...
TIA
Dave snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com

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AFAIK, there is no reason not to mix both the vinegar and alcohol in water. In fact, I use such a mixture when I clean windows. I feel the crystal requires a more detailed approach since it's under display and under bright lighting.
The premise for mixing them in separate solutions is that the vinegar solution does the cleaning, cutting filmy or greasy deposits, whereas the alcohol solution is used as a final rinse with the alcohol providing more rapid evaporation and leaving virtually no film. The fact that the vinegar solution becomes "soiled" itself would allow for a slight film to deposit on the crystal if not rinsed after cleaning.
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Wayne in Phoenix

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Some commercial mixes are vinegar and alcohol.

So far I haven't been impressed with vinegar on glass. I suppose that means I haven't tried it on the kind of dirt that vinegar likes.
For removing tough filmy dirt on windows, windshields, mirrors, and kitchen ware, I like 8 parts water, 2 parts ammonia, 1 part vinegar. First I wash off loose dirt by other means. Then I apply a little of the mixture to the glass, just enough so when I polish with newsprint, the paper will be partly damp and partly dry. I polish until dry, and there's a lot of drag as the paper grabs the dirt. I think the ammonia helps cut films and the acetate from the vinegar helps prevent streaking.
For eyeglasses, I use water with alcohol and a tiny bit of dishwashing detergent. I apply a little and wipe with an old cotton sock. It seems that the alcohol helps the water pick up greasy smudges.
With your crystal, perhaps the alcohol in the rinse removes grease left by the vinegar. There's another benefit. Alcohol reduces the surface tension, which means less beading and less spotting.
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Best Regards,
Lloyd

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wrote:

You're absolutely right about all this, Lloyd. I also use ammonia in the mix (or a commercial cleaner with ammonia) for things that are really grimy. Vinegar or vinegar with alcohol simply isn't enough for things like that.
That said, I was merely discussing a great way to clean crystal that doesn't spot are encourage filming over time. The crystal never becomes so grimy that it requires anything stronger.
BTW, you described a really good way to clean windows *and* eyeglasses!
Regards,
--
Wayne in Phoenix

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No, I know of no reason not to mix the vinegar and alcohol. In fact, I use such a mixture with tap water when I clean windows.
The premise of using them separately with crystal is that the vinegar water cleans and cuts filmy deposits, but even that single solution would eventually leave a film. The solution with alcohol provides a final rinse with the alcohol providing more rapid evaporation as the articles are dried and also leaves virtually no film.
--
Wayne in Phoenix

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You will get better results with separate wipings, first with the vinegar followed by the alcohol. The alcohol strips away any residue left by the vinegar cleaning and dries quickly. A glass cleaner may contain a mix of both vinegar and alcohol for the convenience. There is not enough acetic acid (in a household product) or heat to cause a chemical reaction when these are mixed.

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Thanks, Phisherman.
The answers you provided were what I had finally come up with on my own, after thinking about it a couple of days. Still, I appreciate the input.
Dave snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com

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