Saturday, September 15, 2012

Natural cleaning tips for flea market finds

It's great to clean with natural ingredients and better for the environment.

Before using any of these natural remedies, test in an inconspicuous area prior to use. When working with valuable antiques or collectibles, contact a professional prior to cleaning or refurbishing 

Pewter - I know this sounds strange but to polish pewter, gently rub the item with cabbage leaves and buff with soft cloth, works a treat

Wax – To remove caked-on wax from candle holders, place them in the freezer for several hours. Wax should come right off

Wood Furniture – To clean and shine wood furniture, combine two parts olive oil to one part lemon juice until mixed. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the furniture. Wipe off excess cleaner with lint-free cloth

Microwaves – Yard sales are great places to pick up pre-owned microwave ovens. To remove stubborn grit and grime from the inside of the oven, simply steam it clean! Place a glass measuring cup filled with water inside the oven and heat until boiling. Remove the measuring cup and wipe down oven with a clean cloth. The food should wipe right off

Glass Cleaner – This quick tip could not be easier.  To bring up old glass like new again, clean glass with lemon juice, avoiding streaks as you wipe

Paint – To remove old paint from glass windows, apply hot vinegar to paint and rub. The paint should lift off easily

Old Suitcases - Vacuum inside and out to remove any dirt and dust, carefully wipe hard surfaces with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar. To clean interiors lightly spray with a 50/50 water vinegar solution, wait 5 min then use a damp sponge to wipe away any mold  mildew or dirt, you may need to repeat this step a few times, washing the sponge each time. Leave case open and allow to dry completely in a sunny position

Old Rugs and furniture - Sprinkle generously with coffee grounds. Wait 24 hours then vacuum. Vodka is a natural deodorizer and kills bacteria. Simply fill a spray bottle with the cheap stuff, and use it straight. You won't smell the alcohol once it dries. Spray rugs, upholstery, draperies and other textiles liberally with the vodka and let dry. Also baking soda is great as its completely nontoxic and absorbs odors marvelously

Antique tin - If well maintained, an antique tin can be passed down from one generation to another for decades without losing its luster. Incorrect cleaning might be the biggest factor in antique tin becoming damaged and losing its luster. Gentle cleaning is required especially if the tin has a pattern. Never rub the tin only use a dry soft cloth and gentle patting. A soft paint brush is good to use as well. If after all these steps the antique tin is still dirty, use a mild soap and water to gently wash the tin. Then dry thoroughly as tin can rust, so only do this as an absolute last resort. Never use scrub pads or steel wool to clean antique tin with

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