How To Care for your Best Ornaments

The staff at have years of experience with ornaments of all types and they offer several steps for safeguarding your finest ornaments. They also have clever ideas for displaying your ornaments.

Be cautious when cleaning hollow glass, porcelain or crystal Christmas ornaments, drops or garlands and be especially gentle if the surface of your ornament is hand painted or decorated with glitter. Always use a soft, natural hair brush for cleaning your ornaments. Look for sable, ox or squirrel hair artist brushes in the filbert, hake, oval wash or square wash shapes at your local artist supply store or at a reputable artist supply store on line. Never use water, soap, solvents, liquid or anything wet of any kind on hand painted or glittered ornaments. Glass/ porcelain/ crystal ornaments with a plain, smooth or undecorated surface can be cleaned with a clean, soft dry lint-free cloth. Since most collectible glass or porcelain ornaments are delicate, avoid handling them excessively. Set them down on a soft, well-padded surface to clean. Handle the pieces carefully and do not squeeze the body of the ornament when you hold it for cleaning. Otherwise, you could break it. A cylindrical ornament stand (such as an egg, sphere or paperweight stand) will be helpful for holding your ornament steady while you are cleaning it.

What does acid free or archival quality paper mean? Use the glossary at to find out about these terms and more.

Solid glass ornaments, crystal drops, glass bead or porcelain garlands can be cleaned with a soft cloth moistened by a few drops of a good quality, gentle glass cleaner without solvents. A one/three parts mixture of white vinegar and water will also work but could damage the brass connectors between the garland beads. Solid crystal, glass or porcelain ornaments are less susceptible to contact breakage but, should still be handled carefully. Set them down on a soft, well-padded surface to clean. A cylindrical stand (such as an egg, sphere or paperweight stand) will be helpful for holding ornaments steady while cleaning. Plastic cleaning gloves with roughened finger tips will give you a better grip on the item and stop a glass/crystal garland from slipping through your fingers (onto the floor!) They’ll also prevent unwanted fingerprints on the surface of a cleaned crystal ornament or garland.

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