Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cleaning Lights and Lamps

Dust lights and lamps with an old T-shirt for a quick clean.

Light shades made of fabric should be dry cleaned or cleaned with carpet cleaner or brushed with bran and vinegar. Once the carpet cleaner or bran and vinegar is dry, use the brush head on your vacuum cleaner to remove it. Make sure the brush is clean first or you'll create more mess. Glass light-shades should be cleaned in warm water. Clean brass and metal arms with a good quality brass polish - and make sure you don't get cleaning product in the electrical fittings. To cut down on bugs, spray the tops of the light shades wit surface insecticide. 

Cleaning Paintings

Acrylic paintings can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Water colours should be cleaned by a professional. To remove residue and dust from oil paintings, clean with stale urine, salt and potato. This technique is a guaranteed barbecue stopper! Collect 1 litre of female urine and leave it in the sun for a week to reduce it to 500 millilitres. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of grated raw potato. Stir and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Dampen a cloth in the mixture, wring it out and then wipe gently over the painting. Dampen a clean cloth in water and wipe the painting gently and pat it dry. You can also rub brown bread over the painting to clean it but it can induce mould if the atmosphere is damp, so don't use this technique if you're in a damp, dark spot. For any serious cleaning problems, see a restorer. Never use alcohol-based cleaners such as methylated spirits or turpentine on gilded frames. Most gilding is covered with a layer of shellac and alcohol-based cleaners will affect it. Instead, dust the frame with a hairdryer on the cool setting. This should be enough to clean it but if dirt remains, wipe a damp cloth over the frame and then dry it with a soft cloth. Protect paintings by spraying a cloth with a surface insecticide and wipe it over the back of the picture frames. Don't touch the painting, just the frames.