Collecting Vintage Thrifted Glassware and How to Make Them Shine
There was a time I was only buying acrylic drinking glasses. We found several sets at Costco, and I reasoned, with a young family, that would be the most logical solution to inevitable breaks. So for many years we had acrylic glasses. And they weren’t terrible, but I started to feel a longing to be a grown up again, and drink from a glass that was actually made of glass. Do I sound silly? I don’t know, I think drinks taste different out of glass. Not only that, the acrylic glasses clouded up and looked awful, and eventually they started to crack and have leaks.
A few years ago, I started thinking about real glass glassware again. Part of it was when we would have guests I would be choosing between the acrylic glasses and sippy cups. In addition, I was starting to see everything through the lens of a camera once I started my blog, and suddenly, I really wanted glass.
I looked at stores for sets that didn’t seem ridiculously overpriced, that had a vintage voice to them, and I always came home with nothing. I almost had my husband pack home some Anthropologie glasses on a trip, but I couldn’t justify the price (or the risk of breaking on the trip home). But then, I was reading the first issue of the Magnolia Journal, where Joanna mentioned she had a collection of mismatched vintage water glasses. I loved that idea. That way, if one broke, you wouldn’t be out on an odd number of glasses (which was one of my main hesitations in having glass with a young growing family). And two, it would be a game of finding pretty vintage glasses. But would I find any in Alaska?
So, as collections go, I started with one. A pretty water goblet I found for 75 cents.
Then, much to my surprise, I found six coordinating water glasses a couple of months later at a different thrift store. I scooped them right up. But they were dingy, cloudy, like they had been clear but the years and possibly dishwasher film had left them less than brilliant. So I worked some magic with a soak in baking soda, white vinegar and dish soap. And would you know, they came out sparkling, like they were brand new! I was beyond excited. I finally found real glass glasses I liked, and they were $1 a piece.
A few weeks later I happened upon the same set of 4 wine goblets. I scooped them up and this time decided to document the transformation. They were dingy, and now, after a half an hour soak in the baking soda, vinegar and dish soap, they shine as well.
Then two weeks ago, I found 4 more larger water glasses of the same set! I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea I would keep finding pieces to the same set, I just was going for vintage looking glass, something that I liked. I am always keeping my eye out for more. You never know when one will break, and truth be known, we have a lot of guests. But I am so thrilled with my collected set of vintage glassware.
How to Make Collected Vintage Glassware Shine
1 c. Baking Soda
1 c. Vinegar
2 T. Dishsoap
Put ingredients in a large sink, and add several gallons of hot water. Let the glassware soak for 30-45 minutes.
Finish by cleaning with a soft rag. Rinse and towel-try with a lint free towel. (Below is an image for you to Pin.)
I was watching reruns of Fixer Upper last week, and wouldn’t you know, in one of the design scenes, on the table was the exact water glass! I must have good taste. 🙂
Have a great day! Thanks for stopping by!
Wow! Very helpful information! All my glassware is from thrift stores too, for the same reason (little kids use them too), and I’ve always avoided buying the cloudy ones because I didn’t know there was a way to get them clear. Now I know! Thanks!
Awww, perfect! I’m so glad that is helpful!!
Lucky YOU!!! I love when things work out like that. I also really like the style that you picked. They appear to be a bit heavier so maybe they can withstand a few bumps without caving. They must be all the rage in Alaska…I’ve never seen them here…CA
Who knows where they originated. Obviously they found there way here. And if there were a prop on Fixer Upper, they are in Texas. A friend in Colorado also found a set at a thrift store the day that I posted. So I guess, you just have to keep your eyes open. You never know.
I absolutely love vintage glassware! I am starting the transition in our family from plastic to all glass. There is something so special about drinking a sweet tea from a classic mason jar! Your collection is stunning and thanks for the wonderful tips! Can’t wait to start looking for more pieces!
Tia, yes, I agree. It’s so true. Glass is a huge difference. And when you find it thrifted, it makes it feel less precious and plain old useable for a family, which I love. I want my home to be pretty, but not uptight. I hope you find some perfect pieces for the personality of your home!
Wow, I saw these exact water goblets at my local Salvation Army today! Lol
Yes, they’re definitely around. One just has to be on the look out for them, especially in Alaska where things are a bit more scarce. 🙂