As I was cleaning price tags off of brass animals and trying not to take silver foil rims off vintage barware, I thought I might take the opportunity to share a little about how I clean up my finds. I already shared a little about cleaning off wood and frankly, for most other stuff, the extent of my "system" is running the piece under warm water and using a little dish soap on a sponge.
However, occasionally I run across problems that can't be solved with simple soap. Take those brass ducks, for example. For some reason, price tag glue sticks to brass like, well, glue. And anything that that has a foil rim like those drinking glasses on the left needs special care, especially if there is any tape or price tags stuck to the foil. Ceramic dishes with dirty unglazed feet are another issue.
So I've developed an arsenal of sorts fr dealing with the issues that crop up.
Take the brass menagerie, for example. I've never found anything but Goo Gone that will get rid of all the sticky residue that gets left behind. Just put a little on a paper towel and scrub. it comes right off.
For unglazed ceramic pottery feet (like the ones on that Santa Anita Ware serving bowl above), a little Soft Scrub and a soft nylon scrubber does wonders.
Stainless steel gets polished with Bar Keepers Friend. I also use it on my stainless steel sink.
Finally, tarnished silver gets sprayed with that spray polish in the blue can above. Just spray on, let dry for a few minutes, then wipe off with a microfiber cloth when it turns pink.
Everything above was purchased at my local hardware store: Twins Ace Hardware. They're super helpful. In fact, whenever I've had something I wasn't sure how to clean, I just brought it with me and got a recommendation. That's how I found that wonderful spray silver polish above.
As for those silver foil rimmed drinking glasses, the price tags weren't an issue this time, but I have heard that soaking the tags in Zippo lighter fluid will take the tags off while leaving the foil decoration. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll update when I get another stubborn one, which I'm sure will be some time soon.
In the meantime, most of the above is going into my Etsy store. However, I am keeping the globe, which I snapped up for $3.
In fact, it's already in place.
I also have plans for the three brass candlesticks I found for $3. Here they are again with another three that I found a few weeks ago for just $2. But that's for a future project and one I can't do today, sadly. Plus I'd like to collect a few more so I pick them up whenever I can find them for less than $1 each.
Have you found anything great while out thrifting lately? Started picking up bits and pieces of things in preparation for a future project?