A nostalgic heirloom, or a brand new possession, antique china is a beautiful and delicate home accessory. With each generation it is passed on, the set increases its value. Don’t be fooled, however, tending to china is a full-time job. The trickiest part – figuring out how to clean china, and keep it in once piece. Personally, I consider each scratch, every crack or any other imperfection a direct insult to my ancestors. Therefore, I have developed my own ritual for tending to the precious set.
Firstly, you have to remember -china should only be hand washed! Forget all about how green it is to use the dishwasher. In our case, it poses a threat with its harsh detergents, high temperatures and prolonged cleaning cycle. Yes, I admit, it is possible to successfully, and without any incidents, run the china in the device, but if you want 100% guarantee that nothing bad will happen to your heirloom – do it the old-fashioned way.
General China Cleaning
Whether you are preparing your china for storage, or taking it out to impress guests, you have to sanitize the unit. As already mentioned, hand washing is your best option, and here is what you need to do:
1. Cover the bottom of the sink with a mat or a towel. In case you accidentally drop a piece from the set, the hit will be softened, and hopefully, you will avoid inflicting any damage.
2. As usual, fill the sink with water, but warm, not hot, and add a small amount of dish-washing detergent. Be careful what product you use as ammonia- or bleach-based cleaners could harm the sensitive surface of the china.
3. In case you are using a sponge (better not), make sure you use the soft side. Any abrasives or scrubbers will scar the unit. Your best choice – a soft wash cloth.
4. Let the china dry naturally, and then polish it with a microfibre cloth.
Natural China Cleaners
You are already familiar with how sensitive and breakable your china set is, so to avoid unnecessary risks with common household cleaning products, you can mix up your own remedies. As I like to say, when grandma’s antiques are involved, her cleaning methods work best! Even my friends, some of the best cleaners from St Albans, agree with me! If you have forgotten the granny methods, let me give you a heads up:
1. All-Purpose China Cleaner – A healthy, fresh-smelling remedy, composed of lemon juice and salt, will clean and shine your china! Make a paste from both ingredients, and rub it on a damp cloth. With the solution, you can effortlessly erase the harsh traces of time from your set.
2. Brown Stain Cleaner – Mix a paste from equal parts salt and vinegar to prepare the ultimate brown stain cleaner. Let it sit on the unit for as long as 15 minutes, rub and then rinse.
3. Tea and Coffee Stain Cleaner – When using your china on a regular basis, or you are simply a junkie for high-quality Arabic coffee or delicious English tea, your china will be inevitably exposed to stains. Luckily, all you need is some vinegar and baking soda. Wet the unit with vinegar. Get a dampened clean cloth and dip it in baking soda, and start rubbing the vinegar-covered surface.
Last but not least, I would like to remind you that antique china needs to be stored very carefully, since it is rather delicate. Never leave it in a moist, uncontrolled environment for longer than a couple of hours. When storing the unit, place paper sheets between the units to avoid unnecessary scratches.
Always appreciate your heirloom!
I learned these helpful cleaning tips from the cleaners St Albans. They advised me on how to store, clean and dry my antique china set, so if you have any additional questions, you can turn to them!