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Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori – Spring Cleaning Tips

Silver and silver plate items have to be cleaned very carefully.

Silver and silver plate items have to be cleaned very carefully.

Lori Verderame on Google+

Dr. Lori, Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori hosts antiques appraisal events worldwide. Dr. Lori is the star appraiser on Discovery channel.   Visit www.DrLoriV.com, www.Facebook.com/DoctorLori, Lori Verderame on Google+or call (888) 431-1010.

By Lori Verderame

Art And Antiques Need Special Treatment

Spring cleaning has its drawbacks and its ad­vantages. The drawbacks are obvious: nobody really likes to clean. Once the task is complete, the advantages to spring cleaning include gaining additional storage space, discovering items that you thought you had lost, and netting some quick cash if you work to sell some of your unwanted stuff online. In the world of art and antiques, spring cleaning is a great opportunity to review the condition of objects, repurpose items, sort out what to keep and what to sell, and reconsider a collection’s display options within your home.

Here are some tips for your spring cleaning your valuable art and antiques:

  • Don’t be too hasty to clean paintings. Many people automatically want to clean old paintings, but some just don’t need to be cleaned. If a painting only has minor evidence of surface dirt but no evidence of yellowing varnish, consider leaving the painting alone. Never clean a painting using soap and water as this will dry out the pigment and the canvas, and can lead to pigment flaking and damage over time.
  • Glass jars and bottles require special care when cleaning. For cloudy glass jars and bottles, use equal parts of white vinegar and distilled water, and wash gently. Try to avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaning agents on your antique items. Do not submerge any glass item into standing water that is too cold or too hot as this “shock to the system” may result in cracking your antique or vintage glass item.
  • Don’t be overzealous when cleaning silver pieces including silver plate. Basically, as you clean or polish sterling silver or silver plate, you rub off a layer of the metal’s sheen. Try to polish silver and silver plate items, such as tea trays, water pitchers and frames, no more than once or twice a year. Use appropriate white cotton cloths and recommended polish. Be gentle when polishing silver plate so you don’t rub the silver off to the point where the under metal — usually copper — shows through the silver.

The tools that you use during spring cleaning of your art or antiques are just as important as the cleaning supplies and techniques. Q-tips or cotton swabs can be very helpful to get into those tight or rough places. Cloths that do not leave textile or cotton residue behind are also the desirable cleaning choice when it comes to antiques and art. And don’t forget to do your spring cleaning of fragile collectibles while seated at a table and when you are not tired or in a hurry.

Take care with these tasks so that you don’t damage your valuables, whether you plan to keep them or pass them on. Happy spring cleaning!

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