Clean My Swarovski - Helpful Hints to Clean Swarovski Crystal
Swarovski figurines have a magical sparkle. Swarovski collectors are excited to display their collection seeing that beautiful sparkle and sometimes a soft rainbow on the wall that appears when the glimmer and angles are just right.
However, that sparkle and glimmer will begin to fade as dust settles in your beautiful Swarovski Crystal. While the task of cleaning Swarovski crystal figurines sounds simple, it can be time-consuming, tedious, stressful, and expensive.
Cleaning Swarovski: Task Considerations
- Consider the timing of the task. The larger the cabinet and collection, the more time the project will take. Do not attempt to start the project when there is not sufficient time to complete the job. Rushing creates stress making the task of cleaning fragile crystal more difficult. If there are young children in the home, a good time may be to do this when they are in school, and not curious to play with the crystal or attempt to help.
- Consider cleaning the empty cabinet, not just cleaning the dusty crystal.
- Consider updating your official Swarovski inventory list and insurance values.
Swarovski Cleaning Supplies: Suggested List
- Several pair of Swarovski gloves. The cleaner may want to wear them for the cleansing task. Swarovski gloves were also included with the limited edition pieces, like the Swarovski Eagle, Swarovski Peacock, Swarovski Wild Horses, Swarovski Bull, Swarovski Elephant, and Swarovski Rhinoceros. If the cleaner does not have the Swarovski gloves, a pair of cotton lint-free cloths will also work for the project.
- Spray bottle filled with quality window cleaner. This cleaner should NOT be a cleaning solvent NOR abrasive solution. Please note: this should NOT be used to clean mirrors or plaques with paint as the liquid MAY REMOVE the paint.
- Several soft cloths for cleansing, polishing, and drying.
- Dipping containers. 2 Large Bowls or a double-basin sink. One bowl should be filled with warm soapy water (using a quality dish soap) and the other bowl with cool clean water. These bowls will be used for cleaning for the 'extra dusty' Swarovski crystal. Line the inside of the bowls with a wash cloth or small towel (just in case the crystal might slip or get too close to the edge. )
- Resting area. This is a spacious area for laying out dirty and clean Swarovski Crystal...this should be a large, flat, secure surface
original Swarovski Boxes for temporary storage during or after the cleaning process.
- Hair dryer that features a cool setting for rapid drying. (Never use heat from ANY source to dry Swarovski crystal.)
Cleaning Swarovski: Process Overview and Details
This project begins before opening your cabinet. For safety sake, avoid shirts or blouses with long sleeves. The cloth on the sleeve is apt to catch a crystal figurine that the cleaner is not intending to touch.
- Put on a pair of Swarovski gloves.
- Move your Swarovski crystal from the cabinet to the resting area.
When removing your Swarovski Crystal figurine from the display cabinet, the cleaner should remove only a single item in each hand. Do not try to cluster a several items in one hand, as you will be courting disaster for sure. Holding several items in one hand is likely to encounter slipping and collision between pieces causing chipping. Chips, no matter how minor, have a negative affect on crystal value, so please, do not try this.
- Once the cabinet is cleaned, then comes the Swarovski crystal cleaning.
- Clean your Swarovski crystal pieces one by one. Steps a - c below will be repeated for each item you wish to clean.
- Most often, your crystal can be cleaned by buffing the items with your gloved hands. You can also use one of the soft cloths to assist in this step. Crevices can be cleaned using a dry pastry or paint brush. Never get the felt bottom of any paperweight wet, nor any wooden surfaces.
- Spray a bit of the window cleaner on one gloved hand, and buff with the dry gloved hand. An additional cloth may come in handy too. Always handle the crystal item by the body, not the protruding parts.
- If the crystal requires more cleaning, using the dipping containers, gently swish the crystal item in the soapy and immediately rinse in the cool water bath. Do no allow crystal to soak in water. After rinsing, you can let the item air dry, resting on a clean lint-free cotton cloth, or use a hairdryer with a cool temperature setting to dry the item. Any water marks can be buffed with a cloth at this time.
- Put on a clean pair of Swarovski gloves.
- One by one, place your clean Swarovski Crystal figurines back into the cabinet.
Store Clean Swarovski Crystal in Original Storage Boxes
Perhaps you have decided to arrange your crystal figurines differently, putting away some of the pieces. Or perhaps you purchased new ones that you wish to display and there is not room for some of the older ones. Here is some advice on storing it.
- Ensure the crystal figurine is clean and dry. (Old dirt is harder to remove than fresh dirt)
- Find the original box.
- Examine the cut in the foam and properly place the item in the box. Do not squeeze the foam too tight or force it into the box.
- Be sure to put back all literature or receipts that were originally in the box.
- If it does not fit comfortably into its box, re-examine the foam cut and try again. Some items are especially tricky.
What if a Swarovski figurine becomes damaged during cleaning?
Alas...no matter how careful you have been, a Swarovski collectible item has been damaged. First, keep your wits about you and take a break from cleaning for a few minutes. The shock of having damaged an item can affect the steadiness of your hands and the last thing you want is another damaged piece of Swarovski.
During the momentary rest, you can determine if the Swarovski crystal figurine is a current piece, that is, a crystal that is presently marketed and sold by Swarovski. This can be done by:
- checking at the www.Swarovski.com website. If it is current, you will find it there.
- referring to your current edition of Warner's Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski. Each item states if it is current or retired.
- checking under RetiredSwarovski.com. This sites contains lists of retired items only. There are lists organized by year and alphabetically. There is also a Search feature that can be used.
- calling Swarovski at 1.800.556.6478. The Swarovski representatives should be able to help you make this determination. If you have the Swarovski part number / system number, this would be useful information to have at your fingertips when making the the phone call. The Swarovski part number / system number are found on the Swarovski cylinders and boxes that the crystal is packaged in when it is shipped to the Swarovski retailers.
If the piece is current, Swarovski can give you a return authorization number and you can ship it back to them for repair.
If you determine that your Swarovski crystal figurine is retired and that Swarovski will not repair or restore it for you, there are still options. TCWizard.com may be able to repair Swarovski or perform Swarovski crystal restoration. Visit the www.TCwizard.com website for details on how to contact the company, and read their procedures.
Do not try a self repair. Your attempt could likely increase the cost of professional repair services, and if the item is still current, Swarovski will not accept it for repair. There are no bonding adhesives available at your local hardware/general merchandise store made for this specific purpose.
If your crystal figurine is insured, you may want to contact the insurance company immediately, before making any plans for repair or restoration. Your agent should be able to guide you through this process. Under no circumstances throw away the damaged crystal pieces. Wrap the pieces separately, and put them in their original Swarovski container or other protective box. You will need the pieces to prove your insurance claim. The claim adjuster may take the damaged pieces during the investigation or at the end to complete the settlement. If the adjuster wants the pieces, but sure to take photographs of the damaged item(s) before physically giving him the pieces. Always keep your Swarovski box and Swarovski certificate (also known as Swarovski COA or Swarovski paperwork) because if the insurance is going to do replacement of your Swarovski collectible, they may not replace the box and certificate as well, usually only the Swarovski crystal figurine that was damaged. (It is not impossible for your item(s) to become missing in the physical custody of someone else. Photos would then be necessary to settle your claim.)
If you are shipping your Swarovski figurine for repair or restoration, either to Swarovski or a restoration specialist, again, please photograph your item(s) before wrapping them for shipping, packages do get lost in shipping.
If your item is so badly damaged that it cannot be restored, or you prefer to purchase a replacement Swarovski figurine in MINT condition, you can likely find one at a Retired Swarovski Dealer, such as Crystal Exchange America.