How to Clean your Antiques by your own at home
Breathing new life into your valuable piece may be not quick process, but it worth the effort and time when you own precious piece of antique to enjoy years and years to come.
Too many scratches can detract from the Vintage’s appearance so you need to do some cleaning and restoration to your loved valued items from time to time. The term Restoration refers to light cleaning and cosmetic repairs. The goal is to maintain an antique or vintage piece’s structural integrity and outer appearance so it retains its value.
In order to clean your own pieces at your home you need to know some techniques including the good knowledge of your piece and reading articles like this blog. You may also watch some YouTube videos that show you step by step cool techniques to follow, depending on your available products and the value of your antique piece.
Using the right tools, products and techniques will make the task easier and interesting.
While restoring your piece, make sure to keep in mind:
Your safety: insure using all safety stuff if you attempt to use chemical cleaners. Use facial masks if needed, gloves and cleaning tools. Keep a towel or papers under your piece of antique or furniture while you are cleaning.
Preserving as much of the original finish and color as possible.
Follow these simple key steps to clean your antiques
First of all, and before starting your cleaning routine, test your cleaner on a small portion of the furniture first. You want to make sure that your chosen cleaner that will not harm your antiques. Test a small amount on a tiny area of the furniture that is not easy to see, such as underneath the seat of a chair. Wait a few hours and check. If you do not notice any damage or discoloration to the furniture, this cleaner is probably safe to use.
Here, I did search on the easiest ways to clean and restore antiques and I came up of easy ways to clean and polish your antique pieces from home ingredients. Many people used it and worked with them very well.
1- Cleaning Wood Antique Furniture:
Choose a mild cleaner. To start, choose a mild cleaner. A mild dish soap diluted in water is a safe choice for most antiques. If dish soap is not successfully removing grime, you can try a slightly stronger cleaner. Something like Murphy’s Oil would work, but use only a small amount. You should not use big amount of oily products on older furniture. Murphy’s Oil, when diluted, is usually safe to use on antiques. However, with very old wood furniture, some experts feel furniture paste wax, which you can find at most department stores, is a better option for cleaning antiques than oil.
Rub the surface down with a soft cloth and your chosen cleaner. Wet a rag with a light amount of your chosen cleaner. Gently rub down the surface of the furniture. Keep wiping the surface with the same rag until it no longer picks up new dirt.
Avoid scrubbing and use gentle wiping motion, as this can damage the finish of old furniture. Move the rag in the direction of the grain of the wood.
Remove stuck on stains with steel wool. Some areas may have stuck on stains or grime. You can use steel wool to remove these stains with gentle motions.
Rub in the direction of the wood grain without much force. Keep rubbing until the unwanted dirt and debris is gone.
Use a toothbrush in hard-to-reach places. Some areas in the furniture, like corners or curves, may be hard to reach with a rag. For these areas, use a toothbrush. Dip a toothbrush in your cleaning solution. Following the grain, scrub down hard-to-reach areas until dirt and grime is gone.
Wipe down the furniture and allow it to dry. Once you’re finished cleaning, you can wipe down the furniture with a dry rag. Use gentle motions to dry up most of the liquid until the furniture is dry. Then, allow the furniture to air dry a bit before continuing with the cleaning process.
Polish the furniture when finished. Once the furniture is dry, add a layer of polish. This will make the finish glow and give the furniture a nice look. To polish, simply take a clean cloth and buff the furniture until it glows. For Antiques, avoid Furniture polishes, especially silicone-based polishes.
2- Cleaning Brass & Silver Pieces
– Cleaning Brass Items:
Prepare Paste of following items: Lemon Juice – wheat flower – salt
Mix all the items together until you have a pate mixture. With tooth brush apply the pate on the Brass piece of antique. Keep brushing the dirt areas until you get a nicely polished piece that looks new. The more you apply the paste with brush, the better the result.
– Cleaning Silver Items:
Add aluminum foil, baking soda and salt to boiling water then add your silver pieces to the boiling water. Leave them 2 to 3 minutes until you are satisfied with new polished antique.
3- Cleaning Porcelain Figures and Ornaments:
Ornamental objects can easily trap dust and dirt, so it’s important to keep them looking their best.
When washing porcelain, avoid changing the temperature of the water as well as avoid using bleach or abrasive cleaners.
- First, remove any dust with a dry cloth. Microfiber material is the best as the negative charge helps pull away dust from the surface instead of moving it around the vase or figurine.
- Then, use a small, soft-bristled brush to extract dust from tiny holes and curves on the ornament.
- Wash the porcelain item in warm water and mild detergent. Always wash the pieces in a plastic bowl.
- Rinse the item under warm water and place it on the paper towels to dry.
Maintaining Antiques, Easy tips
If you want to clean up antiques, be gentle. You do not want to damage them by using harsh chemical cleaners. Make sure to maintain your antique items after cleaning by dusting and polishing them regularly.
I summarized here below easy tips to maintain your antiques valuable and appealing.
1– Dust antique furniture regularly. To prevent the buildup of grime, dust your antique furniture regularly. When doing routine dusting in your home, take a rag and dust off any debris built up on antique furniture. It’s better to avoid dusting sprays
2– Keep antique furniture out of sunlight. UV light is very damaging to antiques. Therefore, do not leave antiques outside and don’t store them near a window, where they may be exposed to sunlight from outdoors.
3– Use a humidifier in a dry environment. Antique furniture is affected by moisture in the air. Changes in humidity can cause wood to shrink and crack. Keep a humidifier in the room where you store your antiques. This will keep the humidity stable, minimizing the negative effects of changing in moisture in the air.
4– Remove antique furniture right away if you expect a pest infestation. Antique furniture can be very valuable. Therefore, avoid exposing it to pests. Certain types of bugs, like beetles, as well as rats and mice will chew through antique furniture. If you notice a pest infestation in your home, remove antique furniture right away. Store the furniture elsewhere until the infestation is resolved.
5- Leave paint on Antiques. Keep antiques as close to original as possible, including any chipped or stained paint. You should avoid altering the paint.
At the end, it’s a good idea to consult an antiques expert before attempting to restore or alter antiques and old furniture. Talk to a local antiques dealer and ask for advice or tips. If you’re not familiar with restoring Antique furniture and if you have so valuable pieces, you may need to hire a professional instead of attempting to restore them on your own.
It also will be a good idea if you read the book ‘ Yankee Magazine’s MAKE IT LAST -1000 Ingenious Ways to Extend the Life of Everything You Own’. Form its title, you will find many ways to restore your valuable items easily.
It always worth to spend some money and effort to make something last instead of throw it away. It surly will pay you back much more than its cost
Go ahead, have your own experience for cleaning your own pieces using above guides and reading more about it and I will be more than happy to share your comments and experience.