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Care Advice for Vintage Materials

Frenchy from VintageFrenchStore gives us some advice on how to take care of vintage items.

When buying new items they often come with a care advice label telling us how best to clean and look after our purchase. But vintage and antique pieces generally do not, so here I share some of my top tips on caring for these materials.

Metals

Bronze - Simply dust lightly with a soft cloth or use a clean, soft, dry paintbrush to remove dust. Never use metal polish on bronze.

Very dirty Copper - Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle with fine table salt, use the cut side of the lemon to rub over the surface of the copper to effectively remove tarnish. Rinse and dry and finish with copper polish on a soft cloth.  

Silver and silver plate - In a plastic bowl, place a sheet of baking foil which you have crinkled up and then flattened out again, add a tablespoon of washing soda. Pour in hot water and then place your silver and plated items in so they are completely submersed. Leave for ten minutes, then take out and rinse and dry with a soft cloth. Your items will be clean and shiny with the minimum of effort.

Antique Linens

Always wash carefully by hand with a mild detergent and warm water, add a few drops of lavender oil to rinse water and dry naturally. Iron carefully.

Wood

Items made from wood can be polished with beeswax, either a solid furniture wax which can be applied with a cloth and then polished off, or a beeswax spray polish, both of which feed and nourish the grain of the wood, be careful not to use a silicone based spray though, as this leaves a sticky residue coating.

Glass and porcelain

This should be carefully washed in warm soapy water and rinsed and dried by hand. Don't be tempted to put it in the dishwasher as the detergents are too harsh for delicate items.




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