It works – it really does! Regular household hydrogen peroxide is terrific for cleaning stained china! I’ve used this cleaning trick many times now and it has worked almost every time. All you need is regular hydrogen peroxide, soaking time, and a warm oven. It’s pretty remarkable and very easy.
I had a chance to give it another try with a set of salad plates gifted to me from my dear friend, Cissy. I immediately loved this vintage Homer Laughlin pattern with the edging and gold florals. Although the exact pattern name is unknown, the mark says “Homer Laughlin Colonial.” These stained, slightly crazed pieces needed a little time and effort and I knew just what to do.
With a tray underneath to catch spillage, I poured the H2O2 onto the first plate and filled it almost to the edge. Then I carefully placed the second plate on top, filled it, and continued until all the plates were soaking. After soaking for two days, I poured off the H2O2 and put them in a cold oven. With the temperature set to 200 degrees, the plates baked for about an hour. What happens in the oven is the heat evaporates the H2O2 that has seeped into the china pores, bringing the stains up to the surface.
Here are the incredible results – before soaking, after being in a warm oven, and then cleaned.
So, give it a try with any stained china you might have or find. It’s definitely worth the effort! Check out my previous cleaning post for some more incredible before-and-afters! One thing I have learned since that post is you don’t need to use anything stronger than the standard concentration of H2O2. It just takes a little more time and may take a couple of soakings, but it works just as well and much cheaper, too. Voila!
A peroxide soak works to clean up stained vintage china as I attested to in a previous post, “Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China,” but I have another product worth trying – denture cleaner. Using the two together, this cleaning episode is also dramatic and definitely worth sharing!
Recently I picked up a small set of vintage china that came with 4 very stained teacups. Someone suggested using denture cleaner to get rid of stains so I decided to do an experiment – denture cleaner vs peroxide. I put two tablets of denture cleaner in a container with two of the cups and dropped 1/2 tablet inside each cup. I added water to both cups and the container. For the other two cups I poured peroxide inside the cups and placed them in a separate container. I also added peroxide to the container to cover the very stained bottoms.
Over several days the cups soaked in the two solutions. I changed the denture solution several times and added more peroxide as needed. The denture cleaner did remove some stains very effectively but stripes of stubborn stains still remained. What was interesting was the stains on the two in the peroxide were uniformly lighter but neither of the soaking solutions thoroughly cleaned the stains at this point.
I decided the denture cleaner had done all it could so I put all four in the peroxide soak. Over the next week, after rotating the cups periodically and adding more peroxide as the water evaporated, the stains slowly faded.
Following their second long soaking, I put them in the dishwasher. The hot water in the dishwasher continued the cleaning process as I noticed amber colored drops of stain had seeped out of the porous china. It reminded me of the previous time when I had heated up peroxide-soaked plates in the oven. What happens is the peroxide solution seeps into the pores. When heated, the water evaporates and brings the stains to the surface. Take a look at the photos in “Out, Dang Spot, On My Vintage China” to see what this looks like since I forgot to take photos this time.
One final hand washing and the results are stunning! The inner and outer stains are gone and these vintage cups look terrific!
Peroxide does a terrific job cleaning stained china but, in this instance, I also think the denture cleaner helped. With my next group of stained dishes, I’m starting with denture cleaner but I will be ready with the peroxide soak if needed. Although the process can take time, it’s both cheap and effective. More vintage lovelies restored and available at Southern Vintage Table!
FYI – After writing this post, I decided to separate my tips from the “Features” category on my blog. So, you’ll now see “Vintage Tips” in the menu on the home page. We are always looking for ways to clean and restore vintage treasures so if you have a tip, please consider sharing. And, as always, thanks for your visit!
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!
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.
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.
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.
One 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.
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.
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.
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.
PS – 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…
When I first started my vintage china collection for Southern Vintage Table, I labored over removing the stickers, tape and permanent marker prices. I would peel, scape and soak every dish to get that mark off! Now, I use three products that make cleaning thrift store vintage china a breeze!
1. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This product is fantastic – it will quickly remove the permanent ink some thrift stores use for pricing and easily takes care of sticker glue and tape residue. It also does a terrific job of cleaning the bottoms of plates and other china so that when you are finished, the plate looks almost brand new! Do be gentle with some china patterns, especially if they have gold layering. I also use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for other cleaning tasks. Today I cleaned the outside of two vintage suitcases and removed most of the scuff marks. They both look amazing all cleaned up and are now ready for my next event!
2. Eucalyptus Oil. This stuff will also remove sticky stuff on dishes. Sometimes the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser won’t get the mark off so I’ll dab some eucalyptus oil on a paper towel and wipe it off. It also smells nice and clean.
3. Very fIne sand paper. Some of the older china that’s crazed or china that’s unglazed on the bottom will soak in the permanent ink pricing. Using a very fine sand paper and lightly sanding can sometimes do the trick. Be gentle. I have also sanded down chips or sharp places on glass dishes and some china so that the imperfection is almost imperceivable.
Hope these tips work for you. If you have any other hints or advice for cleaning thrift store finds, please share!