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Top : From Days Gone By

 My Granny's Attic Antiques and Collectibles & Custom Gifts - Antiques Collectibles Kitsch   Days Gone By  Helpful Hints Caring For Your Antiques & Collectibles 2 

From Day's Gone By - Antiques and Collectibles Resources, Vintage Recipes, Lost Arts and Crafts, Hints, Tips, How To's, Words of Wisdom, Fun & Games

Caring for Your Antiques and Collectibles & Other Helpful Hints

How to Test for Bakelite or Lucite

Before I get fancy with any testing I always do a simple bakelite test - rub my thumb firmly across the surface and then sniff. If it gives off a chemical odor, it is bakelite.

Hot Water Test:

Don't do this if the item has string, wood, hand painted decoration, or other non-plastic decorative materials; hold the edge of the piece under HOT running tap water for up to 30 seconds and then smell it. Bakelite has a characteristic Phenol or fresh shellac odor. No odor probably means that the piece is Lucite.

The 409 Method:

Formula 409 all-purpose cleaner is a better testing agent. Test on a small area, that cannot be seen such as on the reverse of a pin or the inside of a bracelet. Put a small amount of 409 on a swab and rub it on the test area for a few seconds. If the swab develops a yellowish color, no matter what color the plastic is, then it is likely that the piece is bakelite. Wash the area immediately afterwards with mild dishwashing soap and warm water and towel dry immediately.

Scrubbing Bubbles Test:

Same as the above only using the scrubbing bubbles cleanser, this is a harsh chemical so I try to stick to the hot water test before I resort to the last two methods.

French Ivory and Bakelite - Is French Ivory the Same as Bakelite?

French Ivory is celluloid which was introduced in the late 1800's as a substitute for ivory and animal horn. It is a semi-synthetic plastic. Celluloid is flammable so it is not a good idea to stick a hot straight pin into it. Bakelite on the other hand is entirely a man-made plastic that was introduced around 1910. It is heat-resistant and tougher than celluloid. The colors are also much brighter

From Days Gone By

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How To Season Cast Iron Cookware

I grew-up with my Granny and Aunts cooking in cast iron cookware and now I rarely use anything but. This is how I know to season it.

Be sure any that any adhesive labels and/or tape is completely removed. Wash, rinse and dry the item.

Grease the inside surface with a solid shortening such as Crisco, a light coating is all that you need. Put your greased item in a preheated 300F oven for 1 hour. Remove the item and wipe it until it is almost dry to eliminate any pooled grease. Put it back in the oven for another half hour or so, and remove it and allow it to cool completely.

The more you use cast iron the more seasoned it becomes. Especially if you cook fatty foods or in the case of a waffle iron just a tad of butter before you make the waffles.

Never use soap or other detergents and don't use a scouring pad. This will break through the protective layer you have worked so hard to acquire. Hot water and a sponge or dish cloth is all that you need to clean a piece of properly seasoned cast iron.

If things begin to stick to the pan when you cook it is time to re-season the pan.

From Days Gone By

 My Granny's Attic Antiques and Collectibles & Custom Gifts - Antiques Collectibles Kitsch   Days Gone By  Helpful Hints Caring For Your Antiques & Collectibles 2 

How To Clean Rusted & Old Cast Iron Cookware

The Safe Method:

For one item or a couple of small items, begin by spraying the pan with oven cleaner and putting it in a plastic bag. The bag keeps the cleaner from evaporating and allows it to work longer. After a day or two, take it out of the bag and scrub it really well with a brass or wire brush. Removing mild rust can be done with a fine wire wheel on an electric drill or Dremel type tool and crusted rust can be dissolved by soaking the piece in a 50 percent solution of white vinegar and water for a few hours. Don't let it soak in vinegar for more than 12 hours or it could eat through the cast iron.

The Dangerous - Living On The Edge Method:

The lye method which I never use because I usually have small children and pets around my ankles is: Use care, chemical proof gloves, a mask and eye cover. Lye will eat you up. Make a soaking solution of one and a half gallons of water to one can of lye mixed in a plastic container. The items should be placed in the
solution so that they're covered and allowed to soak for four or five days. Remove the pieces and use the wire or brass brush to scrub them clean. Rinse them really well to remove any traces of the lye. Once the pans clean, it should be seasoned.

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