I have a jewelry Christmas Tree that was made by my husband's grandmother. It was never put behind glass so the jewelry is very dirty. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could clean it?
By Jane from Sarasota, FL
Simply use an old tooth brush and toothpaste. Since this is not expensive, you don't have to worry about abrading the the finish. If you don't want to get the background wet, just take out the pieces if you can or cover them with fabric to keep the surface dry.
I wish you'd posted a pic. I've never seen one. Anyway, I sometimes use my cappuccino maker, the steam arm, really does a great job, or I guess any steam thingy would work. When friends come over we get out the machine & have a ring cleaning get together:-)
I would suggest some type of compressed air jet to remove as much of the surface dust and accumulated grime as possible. After that, depending on the type or types of jewelry used to make the tree, I would use either household ammonia (non-sudsing) or perhaps alcohol. If any of the pieces are made of plastic or bakelite material, do not use anything with acetone like that found in nail-polish remover. Other than that, use Q-tips and mild soap and warm water to gently clean each piece as thoroughly as possible. Then I wouldn't stop until it was in a protected case of some kind. Not long ago, I saw a large sculptural design made completely of old jewelry on Antique Road Show that was worth thousands of dollars. The lady who had inherited it had no idea at all of its value.
I wish you the best of luck with your project. If you have more questions, I suggest you take it to a jeweler that you trust to learn more about the pieces used to make the tree.
I have an antique crystal chandelier one of my sons gave me. I bought some spray chandelier cleaner (Sparkle Plenty), this drips off the chandelier and leaves it sparkling clean. You can buy this at a lighting store. I suggest you hold your jewelry tree upside down and spray with this cleaner, no brushing or scrubbing. You may have to touch the tips where the droplets have dropped from with a soft cloth but it will leave it looking like new or as new as antique can get. :)
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