Seven Easy Ways to Clean your Fragile Collections

Cleaning breakable items doesn’t have to be a chore if you take a few precautions ahead of time.

  1. Dusting can be disastrous to breakables. Instead of removing all the collectibles from the shelves every week, use a can of compressed air (from the office supply) to gently blow the dirt away.

  2. Dress in a short-sleeved shirt when you are cleaning or rearranging your collections. Long sleeves can catch on items and knock them off the shelf.

  3. To clean glass or porcelain items when compressed air isn’t enough to dislodge the dust, try using a clean paint or makeup brush to gently brush the dirt away. Always hold your collectible in your hand so you don’t inadvertently push it off the shelf.

  4. If you must wash your glass or porcelain items to get them clean, lay a couple of towels in the sink first to protect the items from a bump or drop. Fill the sink with mild, soapy water and dip the items into the water. Use a small, soft brush to loosen any dirt then rinse and let air dry. Don’t soak your collectibles as it may cause damage to the paint.

  5. Ceramics and chalk ware, which is made of plaster-of-Paris, should be wiped off with a barely damp towel and dried. Don’t put them in a sink of water as they may be permanently ruined.

  6. To keep the inside of bottles and vases from filling up with dust, put a clear glass marble or a round piece of clear acrylic (the top from a deli container cut into the size you need works great) on the top of the bottle.

  7. Cleaning your collection often will ensure that grime won't build up on them.

The best way to keep your collections pristine is to store your collection behind glass, in a curio cabinet or similar in order to keep the collection away from dirt.

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