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All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubSeason #CollectiveBias
While the parties and entertaining are just getting underway, in about a month we'll all be in clean up mode (sniff, sniff!). I wanted to share my simple tricks for storing holiday dinnerware (so you don't even have to wash it next year when you pull it out!).
My mother began giving me my Christmas dinnerware the year my husband and I got married. She would give me a couple of pieces every year. Sometimes, she'd hit the after-Christmas sales and I'd end up with several sets at a time. It's been such a treasured collection. While I'm definitely a self-proclaimed dish junkie, this is truly the only set that has been completely mine. All of my other sets came from antique stores, thrift stores, estate sales, and relatives that passed on. This Christmas set is truly the only set of dishes I own that came straight from the store (via my mom!). And now that my mom is getting older, she passed on her same Christmas pattern to me as well (she actually had all the serving pieces in her collection). I truly treasure this set and look forward to pulling them out every year. Here's how I take care of them so they always stay in tip-top condition.
Last year, we celebrated my father's 80th birthday in our home just a couple of days after Christmas. My mom decided to surprise me and complete my set of dishes...actually, y'all, she went above and beyond. She wanted everyone at the party (loads of family members) to be able to use my plates for our big meal...I ended up with 40 plates total! I about died. I vowed to try my best to make sure those plates are used not just at my dad's party, but as long as I have them. It was such a generous gift. I did a bit of research before putting them away last year (since it was a lot to put away), to make it easier on myself this year (I mean...who wants to wash 40 sets of dishes in one go, amiright?). I chatted with some military friends who move often and we came up with the best solutions. And they worked perfectly. Not only did they survive being put away for a year...they even moved to our new home and still stayed beautiful (and clean!).
Before storing all of my dinnerware, I thoroughly clean everything. I start with all of my favorite Scotch-Brite™ Brand sponges and dishwands. I use the Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge for my dinnerware. The blue non-scratch sponge is perfect for non-stick cookware, counter tops, cook tops, tubs, shower tile, windows, and dishes (like my treasured Christmas tree pattern dishes). The Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge (green) is perfect for pots, pans, oven racks, grill racks, tools, tires, sinks, and more.
I also grabbed a Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Soap Dispensing Dishwand and Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Soap Dispensing Dishwand refills. These dishwands are great if you want clean dishes...but need to preserve that holiday manicure, too! Scotch-Brite™ Brand has the right tools for every surface.
These sponges are great for all kinds of holiday (and everyday) tasks around the kitchen...like the dreaded lasagna pan! We tend to do a lot of heavier, Italian meals during the holidays. My stoneware pans, like this one, seem to work in overtime. Stoneware is similar to cast iron and I'm unable to clean it with soap. I love the green Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge for all of my stoneware. Between this lasagna pan, my stoneware cookie sheets, and my bar pan, I need a good sponge to get all of the baked awesomeness off of these pieces...without soap that can damage their seasoned finish. The Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge can clean tough, baked-on messes 50% faster than other competitive sponges.
Since having a white sink installed in this home (I was very accustomed to my older stainless one in my previous house), I have to shine the sink after all of these big holiday meals, too. I use a little scrubbing paste and my Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponge to get it nice and sparkly!
If I use the right tools for each surface in my home, cleaning can be easier and faster.
Not only do I love my Christmas dishes from my mother...I also love the vintage 'Season's Greetings' glasses that were passed down to me from my late uncle (my mom's brother). To me, these go perfectly with my dinnerware. I remember drinking out of them as a kid at all of the holiday gatherings our family would host. They have a gold rim around them and are somewhat delicate. The Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Soap Dispensing Dishwand is perfect for getting these glasses looking really sparkly. The blue dishwand safely cleans non-stick cookware without scratching. I love that I can control the soap with its dispensing pump. I can also use it on my counter tops and cook top.
Like I mentioned above, before I begin to store away my holiday dinnerware, I clean it all thoroughly. I use my Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge on my Christmas dishes so the design stays beautiful for years to come.
After my dishes are clean and dry, I grab my supplies. To store my holiday dinnerware, I use styrofoam dinner plates, large (basket-style) coffee filters, and plastic wrap. I also keep a lint-free towel on hand to wipe off any water spots or anything like that that I see on my dishes. This may seem over the top, y'all. But, trust me, a year from now when you're pulling out all of your pretty china for the holidays, you won't spend an entire afternoon washing every single piece because of all the dust they gathered in their off seasons. A little prep work goes a long way.
I start with my dinner plates. I place them in stacks of 4-6 with a styrofoam plate in between each one (the styrofoam plates protect the designs).
I use two large pieces of plastic wrap and seal each stack completely. This is a military wife trick I learned from a friend who moves a lot. The plastic will keep all of the dust away from these plates. I do the exact same with my salad plates except with smaller styrofoam plates.
I separate the bowls with about 3-4 coffee filters in between them. I wrap them with plastic wrap, too.
Once they're all wrapped up, I place them on their shelf in my storage closet. I would love to keep these in my china cabinet...but as I mentioned above, my mother increased my collection by leaps and bounds last year. I don't have near the space (plus...I'm a true dish hoarder and have all of my flea market and estate sale dish finds in the china cabinets).
Next year, before the first holiday meal, all I have to do is unwrap these pieces and I'm good to go. The time-saving factor here is HUGE. Plus, I know my precious collection that my mom has spent years building for me is protected year round.
I grabbed all of my Scotch-Brite® brand tools at Walmart. Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges and Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges are available in 3-packs for $2.96, 6-packs for $5.48, and 9-packs for $7.97. Click here to save $1 on any two Scotch-Brite® Products (Scrub Sponges, Lint Rollers, and Scrubbing Dish Cloths).
Click here to see what some of my fellow bloggers are cleaning up with their Scotch-Brite® brand tools.