As a Shabby Chic designer you’ll probably come across plenty of old antique, porcelain and glassware items that you would like to add to your home. These items might be passed on to you or you could find them at flea markets, but often times you’ll notice they need some polishing up. We’ll go over the simple steps it takes to get and keep your porcelain, glass, copper, and brass items in top notch shape.
Porcelain is pretty straightforward to treat and clean, you just need water and a couple other items. First fill a bucket, sink or tub with warm water, then place a towel at the bottom to protect the porcelain surfaces. Then add mild dishwashing detergent and one ounce of clear ammonia to the water. Let the porcelain soak for a few minutes and rinse well.
Washing Glassware and Bottles
For glassware and other glass items, you want to repeat the setup above for porcelain, except you want to use a quarter cup of ammonia instead of an ounce, then rinse thoroughly and dry carefully. In some instances you may find some old glass bottles might become discolored or clouded, so to alleviate these effects you want to soak them in a mixture of one cup ammonia and four cups warm water.
While the above method works great for both the outside and inside surfaces of glass, old stained bottles and other types of glass might require a stronger cleaning solution to get rid of those stubborn stains in the inside. One method to clean the inside surfaces is to mix sand with denatured alcohol, then just simply swirl the mixture around in the glass or bottle until it begins to appear clear. To get rid of any sediment that might cling to the inside of the glass surface, fill it with a mixture of white vinegar and water and let it soak for a day or two.
Cleaning Brass and Copper
A homemade scrubbing paste can be ideal for cleaning and polishing metal items made of brass and copper. The paste consists of a mixture of salt, flour and white vinegar. You want to use equal amounts, and if you are unsure how much you will need start with one tablespoon of each. Scrub the paste on the surface to be cleaned and rinse well.
Another way to clean brass and copper is to use a lemon. You need to cut one lemon in half and dip the open portion in salt then scrub the brass or copper surface with the lemon directly.