Holiday-themed dishware, crystal stemware and other heirloom-quality serveware often go unused for weeks, resulting in dust and other build-up, which means doing the dishes before and after the meal. Skip the pre-dinner wash by following these tips to keep stored items clean and ready to go.
1. Store the top plate of a stack of plates upside down. This will prevent dust and pests from settling on the surface of the plate used when eating. If needed, lay a few wine corks underneath on their side to keep the inverted top plate from sliding.
2. Some stemware can be stored upside-down to prevent dust from collecting in the bowl, but not crystal stemware because the crystal may crack under pressure. Group fragile stemware together and drape a cloth napkin on top to keep dust from settling inside. If grime collects on the outside, hold the stemware over boiling water to loosen before washing.
3. Wrap sterling silver serving platters and silverware in plastic wrap or resealable plastic bags to limit the silver’s exposure to air, which causes tarnishing. Add pieces of chalk or silica dessicant packets to the packages; both absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing.
4. Slip a coffee filter in between stacks of plates to prevent nicks. For fragile china, keep the stacks short to prevent the weight of the stack from damaging plates towards the bottom.
5. Store serving vessels and stacks of plates in recycled-plastic dry cleaning bags to prevent dust from collecting.
6. Store items in boxes to ward off dust and pests and for easy retrieval. Plus, use the boxes as a platform in your pantry for additional storage.
7. Line serving vessels like a tray or cake stand with a cloth napkin to keep the surface free from dust.