Car­ing for An­tiques


How to clean an­tique Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions

Col­lected over the years, Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions are re­garded by many of us rather like old friends. Tak­ing them out each De­cem­ber is a bit like a re­union, their sparkle kin­dling fond me­mories of past fes­tive gath­er­ings. But the re­al­ity can be rather di !er­ent. If you haven’t packed your much-loved baubles away care­fully, months in stor­age in a dusty a" ic may have taken their toll, but the fragility of many tree or­na­ments makes them tricky to clean. So how best to deal with a year’s worth of dust and also keep them as pris­tine as pos­si­ble for the next fes­tive sea­son?

You Will Need

1. A soft brush – a large make-up brush or a soft tooth­brush are ideal 2. A soft cloth 3. Sturdy plas­tic stor­age con­tain­ers with well-fit­ting lids 4. Orig­i­nal card­board boxes if avail­able 5. Card­board tubes (such as kitchen towel) 6. Tis­sue pa­per

1 Clean grimy painted glass baubles by gen­tly brush­ing with a dry soft brush. Use the side of the brush and min­i­mal pres­sure to avoid re­mov­ing glit­ter and frag­ile fin­ishes. Mois­ture can dam­age the paint, es­pe­cially on vin­tage dec­o­ra­tions, so damp cloths should not be used. 2 Pol­ish un­painted plain glass baubles with a soft cloth and a lit­tle glass cleaner. 3 Gen­tly dust vin­tage tin­sel with a dry cloth and fin­ish with a damp one. 4 Us­ing the up­hol­stery fit­ting of a vac­uum cleaner on the low­est set­ting, vac­uum syn­thetic trees to re­move dust, then wipe with a damp cloth. And when it’s all over… 5 Stor­age: re­place baubles in their orig­i­nal boxes if you have them and then put them in large plas­tic stor­age boxes. Other­wise, line the base of a stor­age box with a thick layer of crunched up tis­sue pa­per. Start­ing with the stur­di­est, wrap each dec­o­ra­tion sep­a­rately in tis­sue be­fore ar­rang­ing in a sin­gle layer.

Avoid plac­ing dec­o­ra­tions too closely to­gether. Top the dec­o­ra­tions with a layer of tis­sue and an­other layer of dec­o­ra­tions. Con­tinue un­til the box is full but not crammed. La­bel the box – try to store sim­i­lar types of dec­o­ra­tions to­gether.

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