Restoring Antique Porcelain Plates
Restoring antique porcelain plates is a phrase that can often fill many people with dread. This is understandable since these types of plates and dinnerware is often very fragile and expensive. Luckily, this is a task that can actually be very easy to do, as long as you follow a few simple precautions. The number one rule when dealing with antique porcelain plates is that you need to be careful when doing it. As long as you keep that in mind, as you follow these simple guidelines you will have no problem in getting your porcelain plates clean again.
- Be very careful. Being careful with antique porcelain plates cannot be stressed enough. The reason for this is that over time, as porcelain ages, it tends to become even more fragile. When cleaning antique porcelain, be sure that you do all cleaning by hand. Never, ever put antique porcelain plates into a dishwasher or other kind of machine. The risk for breaking them is too high.
- Dust. Begin your cleaning efforts by first dusting. This will help to remove the majority of the dirt and grime that a plate can be infested with, and will help to prevent any scratching or gouging by the fine grains of dust. Your best bet to get as much of the dust off of an antique porcelain plate as possible is to use a microfiber cloth and very gentle pressure.
- Wash gently. Once you have removed as much of the dust as possible it is time to begin washing the plate. Use only a mild dish soap and warm water. You should only need to use roughly 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap to about one pint of water to get your dishes clean. However, don't be afraid to change out the water as often as necessary to avoid smearing any dirt and grime around. Again, be very careful as you are washing your plate so that you don't drop it or break it.
- Pat dry. After you have washed one antique porcelain plate, and before you begin washing the next, take time to pat dry the plate. This is to get the plate as dry as possible, while also preventing any scratching of the plates that can inadvertently come from the cloth. Once dry set aside the plate in a safe location.
- Use mild acid. For particularly tough or difficult stains, you may want to use a very mild type of acid. The best kind to use are cleaners that contain sodium aluminum silicate as an ingredient. However, when using this kind of a cleaner, be sure that you use an even milder mixture than what may come on the packaging.
- Seek professional help. There is nothing wrong whatsoever with actually hiring a professional to restore your antique porcelain plates. These individuals typically have the expertise, tools, and materials to properly get your antique nice and clean. Often, it is worth the added expense to avoid any potential harm to your treasured heirlooms.
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