Natural Tricks to Clean Antiques - Lemon, Vinegar, Toothpaste

Dear Ruby Lane Friends,

When I first started my shop August of 2011, I had found a lot of old things belonging to my ancestors hidden around the house: under old books, clothing, papers and really just about everywhere. So, I decided to do a a thorough search ---- and hunt through the past of my ancestors. I found so many things: brass, copper, silver, crystals, and more. They appeared as if out of nowhere ! My ancestors were showing their soul, crying out to be seen, and their story to be told.  But, everything needed to be cleaned!

I thought, "Oh-la la, what can I do to get rid of all this dirt and grim?" I could go to the store and buy a lot of chemical cleaners, but this is not my way? I prefer to use common 'cleaner;s' most of us can find in our kitchens. It is one way we can all go 'green'.


Here are a couple of tricks that I learned from my Mother and friends I would like to share with you for cleaning antiques. Although, I have not had any issues using the following cleaning methods, I always advise others to do a test on a small, inconspicuous area on the piece prior to cleaning entire piece, and to wear protective gloves.

Use white vinegar or lemon juice (or both of them) to clean: brass, copper and crystal. Wash or dip the object (depending on the amount of dirt or discoloration) in vinegar (and/or lemon juice) and rinse it with water.

For silver or siverplate use toothpaste and a soft bristle brush and gently scrub the piece for approximately 10 minutes and rinse with clear water.

I hope these easy tips work as well for you as they did for me.


Sophie Juramy - France

Elder’s shop on Rubylane

Unique, Rare, Outstanding, Antiques and Vintage French and European items


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