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.
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.
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