Vintage Tips – Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China!

My focus this week at Southern Vintage Table has been to clean and organize – linens, silverware and china.  As I shared in last week’s blog, I was given a set of vintage china – a beautiful cream-colored pattern with red and blue flowers around the rim. Most of the pieces were in impeccable condition but some of the plates were discolored. I was determined to find a way to get Lillian’s china cleaned. Well, keep reading ’cause I have some good news – it can be done!

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Here’s the before – washing in hot, soapy water didn’t touch these stains!
Here's after soaking on 8% hydrogen peroxide overnight and then being in a warm oven for one hour.
Here’s after soaking in 8% hydrogen peroxide overnight and then baking in a warm oven for one hour.
All clean!  Amazing transformation!
Amazing transformation!

Here’s how it was done. I first researched how to get discolored vintage china cleaned and below are three articles I found.  Be sure to read all three because they each convey slightly different information but most importantly, there are safety precautions you’ll need to follow if you decide to use hydrogen peroxide. Of course, there are many more articles about cleaning china so you may want to do your own search for ideas, but this is certainly a good start.

Safely Removing Crazing Stains from Porcelain/Pottery

Removing Stubborn Stains from Antique Limoges Porcelain

Miss Mustard Seed – How to Clean Ironstone and Houzz

I first tried OxiClean soaks by filling the sink with very warm water and adding a full scoop of the detergent. I soaked the dishes overnight, checked them in the morning, removed the cleaned items and refilled the sink.  oxyclean

I did this all week and many items came completely clean.  I could tell some stains were fading but they were still visible so I went to the next level – 8% hydrogen peroxide, which I ordered online. The article mentions to be very careful with hydrogen peroxide and I will agree – it will hurt if you touch it with your bare hands!  Be sure to wear protective gloves.

peroxideOne of the articles mentions to fill a container and soak the entire dish.  I didn’t have enough to soak all of them so I poured the solution on the plates and the bowls and let them soak overnight.

In this case, you can see the hydrogen peroxide seeping into the crazed cracks where the discoloration is lodged.
In this case, you can see the hydrogen peroxide seeping into the crazed cracks where the discoloration is lodged.

The next morning I poured off the solution into a container so I could reuse it, put the plates and bowls on the cold racks and then set the oven to 200 degrees. Per the directions, I baked them for 1 hour.  When I removed the pieces, I put them in hot soapy water.  As the article warns, do not put them in cool water straight out of the oven or they may break.

Do not preheat the oven !
Do not preheat the oven!

The first time I removed the dishes I was so impressed with the technique!  All of the dishes were definitely cleaner and most were completely unstained. Some needed a second go-around. Only a few still had some discoloration but it was hardly noticeable, especially when you saw the before and after.

After cleaning Lillian’s dishes, I tried the technique with two other sets of dishes that had similar stains. These two didn’t need baking because the hydrogen peroxide bleached them overnight.

before bowl
Before soaking in 8% hydrogen peroxide
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
Amazing transformation after an overnight soak!
Before...
Before soaking in 8% hydrogen peroxide
Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC
After and beautiful!

Right now, I have one final sink of dishes soaking in two scoops of Oxi Clean.  I also added a stash of vintage napkins and I already see that the stains are disappearing!  It’s been a long process and I am still at it, but what terrific results!  If you have dingy or discolored china, read through the above articles and decide what technique you should use.  It’s definitely worth the effort!  One final note, if you have crazing, this will not fix the cracks but it will help remove the stains between which making them much less noticeable.

Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NCPS – As far as my long ago goals, I’m finished with the silver and still working on napkins but should have them finished this week!  I’m crossing my fingers on that one…

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Southern Vintage Table Vintage China Rental NC

3 Replies to “Vintage Tips – Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China!”

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