Got another cleaning tip for you this week! If you have a silver-plated dish, platter or goblet that has lost its sheen, I have a product you may want to try.
This is the before shot of a silver-plated goblet I picked up at a local thrift store. I thought it could be cleaned with silver cleaner but, unfortunately, the silver-plate had simply worn off – this was as good as it was going to get. The red you see in the photo is the base metal.
I found a product that will return the silver sheen – it’s called Alexander Hamilton House Silver Secret.
Months ago I found this product online and haven’t been able find anything else about it except what’s on their website. I decided to give it a try on some silver plated cutlery that had some of the silver worn off. Well, my expectations were a bit unrealistic because, as it clearly states on the website, it is not a filler. Although the silver adhered to the cutlery, the surface was not smooth. For this project, however, it looked like the silver-plate had just worn off so the results were much better.
With gloves on, I am re-plating the goblets with a cloth that was dipped into the plater. Since the liquid has silver in it, you’ll want to wear gloves and protect the surface you are working on. I used parchment paper on the counter.
Consider trying Alexander Hamilton House Silver Secret if you have silver-plated items that need a bit spiffing up. From my experience, it works much better when there are no surface pits or scratches. Please note that I am not endorsing this product for any gain – I just happened to use it and thought others might want to know about it as well. If you have any experience with this product, please share in the comment section!
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…
Many good things come to and out of thrift stores. The causes many of them support are so worthy, from local hospices to homes for the less fortunate to schools. The shoppers benefit from the low prices, the donators know their goods will bring funds to help others and the stuff finds a new purpose in someone’s home. Can you tell I love thrift stores?
One creative event a local thrift store recently sponsored was a parking lot yard sale. Folks in the community could “rent” a space for $20, bring their stuff to sell and, at the close of the morning, the remaining things get donated to the thrift store. Definitely a win-win setup!
I decided to go late to this sale in the hopes of finding the extra-special good deals, right before the trucks come through the parking lot to pick up the unsold items. When I got there I found one lady who was packing up. She told me to look for anything I’d like to have and she’d give me a good price. Yes, I thought, just how I planned! I found some very tarnished silver-plated and brass items and some assorted glassware and piled up my stuff. I’m thinking it’s going to be maybe $20. She looked at the pile. “How about $5?” Wow!
I started cleaning as soon as I got home. The glass dishes went into the dishwasher and I began to wash the metal items. The silver-plated utensils and small dish shined up nicely with a little polish but the brass was hopeless.
That was when I decided to see if anyone had painted brass with chalk paint – bam. There it was – a once-brass-now-painted-white deer looking so clean and crisp with a coat of chalk paint.
I started painting. I had already mixed up some chalk paint with a recipe I found on the Internet. Mix 2 1/2 tablespoons Plaster of Paris with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water until there are no lumps. Add 8 oz of matte paint with primer and mix till smooth. That’s it!
I painted all of these in one night. The next day I added a light coat of wax, buffed them up and voila!
Oh yeah, I also painted a brown briefcase and a frame. Don’t they look terrific?In a previous blog, I touted Annie Sloan paint and I still believe she’s got a great product. But, it’s very pricey. With my slim budget, this is a great alternative. So, support a thrift store and find something that’s interesting – wood, brass or even silver-plated. Mix up a batch of chalk paint and transform it!
Tammy of RSVP Events let me in on an incredible secret – Annie Sloan Paint and products! It makes distressing so simple – no sanding or priming beforehand – just paint, wax, sand and buff and that’s it!
Here’s the link to Annie Sloan and the link to the American shops that carry her products. The color range is wide – your only problem will be deciding which one! Also, you may want to check out the DIY videos for Annie Sloan – there’s lots of them out there.
Remember that Southern Vintage Table has vintage china and these beautiful distressed decor items available for your next party!
One of the key web tools for sharing inventory of my vintage china and accessories is Pinterest. I love this site! It’s easy to import, or pin photos, and organize them onto boards. Plus, the presentation is professional and, with great appreciation, free!
When I first started using Pinterest, I uploaded photos from my website, Southern Vintage Table, and from my computer. I wasn’t thinking of the order of my uploads because I thought I could later reorganize them on my board. As I added more photos and looked back at the board, I realized there were large clusters of the same type of photo and I wanted to mix them up a bit. When I looked up how to do this, I discovered you can’t rearrange pins within a board.
But, I found a semi-solution that helped break up the clusters. I chose a pin within the clusters and reassigned it to another board. (Click on the pencil/edit icon in the upper right of the photo. Next to the board field, scroll to find a board to temporarily pin the image.) Then I opened the new board with the moved pin at the top and re-reassigned it, pushing the pin to the top of the original board. With repinning to another board and then re-repinning to the original board, the end result is a better mix of photos and an overall more attractive board.
Using this technique, you change the order of an entire board. Just start a new empty board and repin your photos from the original board in the order you want them to appear for your viewers. Remember to think backwards with the pin you want to be seen first being the last one you move.
(FYI – Pinterest lets you easily change the order of boards. Just click on the board and drag it to the new position. Hopefully, they’ll make it just as easy to move pins!)
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!