General Hints on Antique & Collectible Care

Coins should be left in "found" condition. Cleaning makes them less desirable by collectors. Let the buyer clean them

Ceramics can be washed with soap and water. Wipe with only a damp cloth if they are repaired, damaged, or have painted decorations.

Old ceramics can be ruined if wrapped in plastic bubble wrap, especially if it is hot, discoloring of the glass occurs and plastic may stick to it. Newsprint can also rub off on old ceramics. Tissue paper should be used closest to the surface and then wrap with newspaper.

Porous pottery and ironstone can be cleaned with wig bleach obtained from a beauty salon. But do this very carefully as some bleaches can cause the glaze to seperate from the clay.

White powder forming on glass or pottery with a lead glaze is poisonous. Remove the item!

Store plastic toys or other plastic items away from the heat, not touching one another.

Storing old toys remember to remove the batteries first.

When cleaning antique cloth dolls first vacuum through a layer of nylon net.

Repairing dolls - Setting, combing or changing the original hair on a vinyl doll lowers its value.

Use disposable diapers to wrap the heads of china, bisque or porcelain antique dolls

Polishing old furniture - use paste wax applied with a stenciling brush. To buff use a shoe brush.

Change position of lamps and decorative items on wooden tabletops. Exposed wood will lighten after time if you don't.

Clean mildew on wooden furniture with a cloth moistened with one cup water mixed with one tablespoon bleach and one tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent. Dry with a clean cloth.

To remove unpleasant smell from an old chest of drawers, use baking soda, cat litter, or charcoal chips to absorb the odor.

Tin signs or cans will fade in ultraviolet rays coming in a window, or fluorescent light.

Marble sculptures will discolor from outdoor pollutants if near a window or smoke from a fireplace. They may scorch or crack near a heater.

Lemon juice will remove the remains of gum, adhesive tape, and other sticky tapes.

If you scorch a textile while ironing, rub a cut onion over the scorch, then soak cloth in cold water for one hour. Rewash and try again.

Do not vacuum silk.

Do not store foods or beverages in crystal bowls or bottles for long periods of time. Vinegar, acidic juice, and alcoholic beverages will leach the lead out of the glass.

Use care when cleaning glass with an iridescent finish. Hot water and soap will remove the finish.

Storing antique glass ornaments never in a damp basement. Mildew will cause damage.

Do not use olive oil to treat a wooden bowl, it will turn rancid. Rinse bowl well if using an olive oil based salad dressing.

Displaying paper Light (of all types), electric, fluorescent and sunlight, will eventually harm paper.

Cleaning antique ivory dust with a soft cloth or brush, use a clean woolen cloth to buff it.

Chlorine in bleaching cleansing powders or disinfectant floor washing products used in a room containing bronzes will harm the bronzes.

Cleaning clocks clean and lubricate every five years.

To set most clocks, hold the minute hand in the center, turn it clock-wise, wait for each strike. Wind fully each time.

Displaying grandfather clocks – never put them near a heat register or radiator.

Attach your old Grandfather clock to the wall. Most old Grandfather clocks have a small hole for a screw inside on the backboard.

Cleaning andirons - use liquid metal polish and 0000-grade steel wool to remove resin caused by smoke.

How can I get the white filmy color off of glassware? Use denture cleaning tablets dissolved in water and put glass into it, and it will take the filmy color away.

How do I care for my textiles? 1) Do not put in bright or direct light. 2) To store: roll it right side out around a card board tube. 3) if you must fold- every 6 months refold in the opposite direction (opposite) side. 4) Use acid free paper in between the rolls.

How do I care for old quilts? 1) Never put in sunlight because it will fade. 2) Never store in plastic - store in old pillow cases. 3) You can hand wash in the bathtub (you will see yellowish water). This is good, it means old acid is reacting with the dyes. 4) Use non perfumed soap to clean. 5) Rinse 5 times or so to get residue out lay flat to dry.

General Hints on Antique & Collectible Care Courtesy of My Granny's Attic Antiques, Collectibles & Custom Gifts -

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