Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Old Time Cleaning Hints

These great old household hints were taken from a magazine titled "The Prudential" dated 1900's.

BLACK SILK- brush and wipe thoroughly, lay on table with the side down intended to show, sponge with hot coffee which as been strained through muslin, iron when partly dry.
STAINS OR GREASE ON OIL PAINT-- use bisulphide of carbon, spirits of turpentine, or, if dry and old, use chloroform. These and tar spots can be softened with olive oil and lard.
RUST FROM STEEL-- take half ounce of emery powder, mixed with one ounce of soap, and rub well.
FRUIT SPOTS ON COTTONS--apply cold soap, touch with a hair pencil or feather diffed in chlorate of soda, then dip immediately in cold water.
GREASE ON SILKS-- take a lump of magnesia, bub it wet on the spot, let it dry, then brush the powder off.
MILDEW--moisten the spot with clean water, rub on it a thick coat of Castile soap and chalk scrapings, then rub with end of finger and wash.
OIL MARKS ON WALL-PAPER--apply paste of cold water and pipeclay. leave it on all night, brush off next morning.
PAINT SPOTS ON CLOTHING --salurate with equal parts turpentine and spirits of ammonia.
FINGER MARKS ON FURNITURE-- rub with soft rage and sweet oil
ZINC-- rub with a piece of cotton cloth dipped in kerosence, then with a dry cloth.
WINDOW GLASS-- paint can be removed by a strong solution of soda.
TINWARE- common soda, applied with a moistened newspaper and polished with a dry piece, will make tinware like new.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Removing The Yellow Stains From Vintage Tableclothes

I have tried all the commercial stain removers on my vintage linens. The yellow stains have been laundered, dried and really have been set in stone with age. Because I resell, stains are not acceptable, and almost every vintage, cotton tablecloth has been stained!!!
Someone, somewhere, has given me a working formula that does wonders on this vintage textiles. I would not use it on Grandma's vintage lace tablecloth, or something dear to my heart. It is only the last resort, but it does work. It will remove most stains and brighten the colors. The tablecloth can be printed, most of the time it will leave the colors.
I do not measure anything, so this formula will be a guesstimate for me. If you take 1/4 cup of automatic, granulated dish washing detergent, 1/2 cup of bleach, and mix with very hot water, it creates a miracle stain remover. I use my wash tub, or bathtub, and use enough hot water to cover the tablecloths completely. I usually throw in a few handkerchiefs, pillowcases, or aprons.
Sometimes, the linens have been weakened by insects, or the stain has eaten the fabric. A few times, I do get holes after this process. They are then cutters, but were not any good to me stained.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Saving The Family Prized Possessions

When a family's home is threatened by a natural disaster or fire, the first possession that is most likely grabbed, is the family photographs. Most photographs are stored in a protective album with sleeves. The album does keep the photos from light, which is the worst offender.
I had a silly photo taken in a crab shack in Florida while I was on vacation with my daughter. We had these silly crab claw antlers on and look totally happy!!! The photograph was a magnet for the refrigerator and that is where it has stayed. I did not have a copy made, and neither did my daughter. The light and pollutants from the kitchen have darkened my prized picture and the ends have curled.
Pets can also be a hazard to you family photo history. Are you thinking that this is a little far out. I had a beautiful black rabbit named Rosey and she had the run of the house most of the time. My photograph albums were under my bed and that was Rosey's best hiding place. Spring cleaning time came and discovered that Rosey also enjoyed chewing the corners of my albums. Years ago, my daughter had Mrytle, her pet hamster . Mrytle disappeared for a week. We found her in the bottom drawer of the desk. She had chewed and shredded some loose photographs and made a comfortable nest.
Duplicates can not be stressed enough. If framing a picture, make sure it is the duplicate. Dust and light are the worst offenders. If handling the pictures, hold at the corners only, your fingers can also leave a damaging residue.
If you live in an area of the country where bugs could be a problem. Keep your albums in a polypropylene storage container. Good advice also if you have four legged pets! Extremely particular, wear cotton gloves when handling your photographs.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Saving A Munising Wooden Bowl

I had picked up a wooden bowl made by Munising. They have not made bowls since 1955. The bowl had been mistreated. It had been washed of its original color and wood texture. I applied a light coat of Grapeseed Oil from the health food store. This restored the vintage bowl to a glowing color without harming it for serving food. It now can be used as a fruit bowl or salad bowl.

The damage was done by washing and soaking in hot water. The dishwasher would destroy it. High temperatures and long soaks in water are the worst elements for this collectable wood bowl. After using the bowl, it should be cleaned with a light rinsing of dish detergent and hand dried. If the bowl starts to show wear again, a soft cloth with oil will make it glow again. The wood should not be placed in direct sunlight, and kept from high heat or extremely cold.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Storing and Cleaning Vinyl Records

I live in the Motown City. There is a least one very serious record collector who has a climate controlled room in his home. Not all of us can afford such a collectors dream, but there are ways to help preserve records within our means.
If you happen to find a promo record by the Esquires at a yard sale, and it is extremely dirty and gritty, follow these great tips. These tips are for vinyl records. Use a air compressed can to blow off the loose particles. A face cleansing peel, emollient free and hypoallergenic, can be applied with an artist brush. Do not place this on the label. When the peel is dry, gently remove from the records surface. This will remove dirt from the groves. Then use a regular cleaning, by using a squirt bottle with distilled water and a teaspoon of dish detergent. Place the record on the turntable, and using a soft cloth wipe the record. Turn the record at the edge only. Clean both sides, then rinse with distilled water the same way.
Records do not stand extreme heat, light, or weight. Store them where the temperature is consistent, no plastic wrap, and use special plastic sleeves. Store upright, do not cram together, but snugly against each other. Plastic should be stored in the dark, cool, clean, and aired space.
The records will stay in good condition, for your grandchildren. If they are like mine, they will use them for skeet practice!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Storing and Preserving Coins

I am not a coin collector. I do buy coins occasionally, if I am at an auction, and feel that the bidding price is low. I have a wooden box on my closet shelf and the coins are tossed in there. Since I am writing about preserving collectible, some research would be necessary.
One of my good friends collects coins. I arranged to have dinner with him and glean his expertise. This was his advice:
Clean the coins, first with a small amount of mild detergent and distilled water. Holding the coin around the edges, dip the coin until all residue is removed. Do not use an abrasive cloth or brush. Rinse the coin with distilled water, removing all detergent. Let it stand dry on a soft cotton cloth. After the coin is dry, mix an equal part of alcohol and acetone and re-rinse the coin in this solution. After complete drying, the coin is now ready to place into a flip, a polyester coin pocket.
When my friend ask me about my coins and how they were stored, He rolled his eyes and I had to buy dinner!!! My project this afternoon is to preserve my coins. Who knows? One might help pay for my grandson's college.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How to Perserve Magazines

I just bought a very large box of vintage magazines, all the 1930's and early 40's at an estate sale. Before I even purchased them, I checked for mildew or mold, and mice damage. They do love paper for their nests! The magazines were in pretty good condition, even though they were just thrown in a box. Some of the covers were gone or torn, but the pages did not have a odor.
What is the best way for my buyers to preserve a magazine that they have purchased from me? They must be kept out of the basement, garage, or barn and away from moisture. They do have to be kept dry. An attic is not great either, it may be too dry a climate, and the pages will brittle. Sunlight will fade and yellow the pages too. If you have to show off your prize collections, wear white cotton gloves, and handle like a baby. They must be stored in a dry closet or drawer and with pest traps. No mice allowed.
If you have a large collection, stacking very tightly together will keep oxygen from seeping into the pages. This is also a fire retardant as tightly packed paper will burn very slowly.
Perserving one magazine would be best in a polyester, transparent sleeve. Make sure your pages are free from dirt, tape, paper clips, or anything to would leave marks. Store in a high grade storage box. Check you magazines from time to time for bugs!! Spiders are a sign that bugs are around, and look for dead bug carcasses.
If you come across any "Seventeen" magazines from the 1950's, get them!! They are hot right now!!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Removing Black Tarnish From Silverplate

I just picked a Barton silverplate pitcher up for pennies. It was black with tarnish. I had just sold silverplate flatware that was also beyond black. Both were profitable for me. I do not recommend this cleaning system, unless the pieces are hopeless and you are not afraid to toss them. Some tarnish hides flaws too.
Line a shallow pan with alulimun foil. Place the silverplate on the foil and cover with a warm, salt water mixture. Let it stand over night in this mixture. There will be a odor from the oxidation, so you might want to put in the garage. Then start cleaning with a silver paste. You will be amazed at how easily the tarnish is removed. Have a few stubborn pieces, resoak them. Once again, i do not recommend for Grandma's prized pieces, unless there is no other alternative. In a pinch and do not have polishing paste, I have used toothpaste to shine some silverplate in a hurry.
A special cleaning solution can be made to clean without damage. Mix equal parts of acetone, and alcohol. Using a soft cloth or brush clean all parts of your silver. Make sure that you dry it with a soft cloth. This will leave your silver with some protection too.

Silverplate I Love It Black!!!

Silverplate is a big money maker for me. The blacker the tarnish, the better. It is overlooked at auctions and the final bid price is reasonable. With a small amount of work, i can restore it for resale and a profit.
Tarnish is eating away silver and has a corrosion effect. It is caused by reactions to chemicals, oxygen, oils, food, and chlorine. Never put silverplate in the dishwasher, it will remove the finish, and cause scratching. Never wrap it in plastic wrap, this will increase the tarnish process, and i will be picking it up for a song at my next auction!!! The worst thing that can happen to your silver is to use a silver cleaning dip. It will remove the shine and finish and leave you with a dull and lifeless piece.
A good cleaning once in awhile with a soft, flannel cloth and a silver cleaning paste should keep your silver in nice condition. I use an old toothbrush ( never throw them away) to clean the crevices in the designs. Storing in a lined silver chest is best for flatware. Spoons are always more delicate. The bottoms can be damaged by placing constantly on a hard surface, and serving spoons do not alway react well to the soup. Once the finish is gone, replating is the answer.