Dusty, Tacky Knickknacks

The main challenge with knickknacks is the wide variety of keepsakes people have on display. Hard-surface items with a protective coating — fired ceramics, lacquer on wood or metals, polyurethane or polyacrylic on wood — can be dusted and cleaned with a damp cloth as needed. Glazed pottery, glass and ceramics can also be washed in the dishwasher on one of the short wash-and-rinse cycles. Avoid using abrasive pads or cleansers that can scratch glass, remove lacquer, and damage painted designs.

Unprotected pottery, ivory, bone, or other porous items should only be dusted with a dry cloth — moisture or water will stain them.

Likewise, keep water and other liquids away from dolls and other cloth objects. To dust cloth items, you can put them in a clothes dryer and tumble them on the no-heat cycle for five to 10 minutes. The dust will fall off and become trapped in the dryer lint filter.

As an alternative, store knick-knacks and collectibles in enclosed glass cases. They’ll look like new for months and even years without collecting the dust found on items displayed on open shelves.


Jeff Bredenberg, editor, Clean It Fast, Clean It Right: The Ultimate Guide to Making Everything You Own Sparkle & Shine

Don Aslett, The Cleaning Encyclopedia: Your A to Z Illustrated Guide to Cleaning Like the Pros

© 2006 HousekeepingChannel.com

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