Cleaning is an important part of maintaining antique glass, but it isn't the most important part.
The most important part is keeping your collection intact. On cleaning day, create enough room to work, including space for your tools and pieces. Cover the area with a soft cloth or towel. You want to create a cushion in case you put down a piece roughly, tip it over or drop it.
If you're planning on placing a very dirty piece in water and a little laundry detergent or ammonia, line the sink with soft towels first, or if the piece is small enough, clean it in a rubber or plastic tub. Once your hands get wet, it's easy to lose your grip on smooth, slick surfaces. A couple of layers of soft cotton may mean the difference between a close call and the broken shards of your next homemade mosaic project.
Clearly, one of the most appealing aspects of owning glass is enjoying its luster and the way it transforms light into art, so cleaning is important. To ensure that your dirty glass makes it to the sink without any mishaps, evaluate the path to and from your work area as well as the work area itself. Move objects like tables, electrical cords, toys and throw rugs, and make sure the kids (and pets) aren't playing nearby.