How Do I Care For Lenox Porcelain Figurines?

How do I care for Lenox porcelain figurines? Soft care should be used when cleaning porcelain figurines. The official Lenox website advises using "mild soap and warm water" to clean the pieces and patting...

The official Lenox website advises using "mild soap and warm water" to clean the pieces and patting them "gently dry with a soft cloth."

Timothy J. Carder, vice president of design at Lenox, Inc. in Lawrenceville, New Jersey has more specific advice, "What I would recommend is to use a very soft brush, a soft paint brush or something like that to take the dust away or rinse them under warm water."

He emphasizes that the care should definitely be tailored to the type of collectible you're preserving.

"Some of the figurines are fairly robust where others have incredible details like tiny little things, that kind of thing."

For daily or weekly maintenance, the first place is to start is by providing a good storage space. Displaying your pieces in a dish cabinet, curio cabinet or any structure where they are protected behind glass is recommended. The more cover they have, the harder it is for dust to accumulate on them.

Next, dust your collection often. Carder says, "Blow dust away or brush it away with a large paint brush." Make sure whatever you use is extremely gentle and lightweight, whether it be made up of feathers or soft cloth. The benefit of using a brush is that dust and small particles can easily be removed from small creases and lines, where traditional towels or cloths may not be able to reach.

If your pieces happen to be showcased in an open-area space, they're more likely to accumulate dirt or be prone to spills. If such a thing should occur, and you're required to use soap and water to clean the piece, take caution about how you're removing the build up.

Carder notes, "It depends on the level of detail but I wouldn't scrub too hard."

Using common household cleaning supplies such as toothbrushes and scouring pads are a bad idea for porcelain figurines, even if you're trying to remove a difficult stain. To do so, use the same guideline you would for dusting and stick to gentle materials as you clean them. Carder suggests, "...submerging them in water for a second if needed." However, try not to soak them for any length of time. Also, if possible, try only to scrub the area with the dirt.

In certain cases, it may even be all right to use a traditional cleaning solution as long as it doesn't contain bleach or ammonia additives, which can ultimately ruin the finish on the figurines. Be sure to read the label of your cleaning agent carefully to see if it's appropriate for porcelain and follow all instructions on the package if it is indeed approved.

Just be sure that you're hand washing your items and drip-drying them on paper or cloth towels if water or soap is necessary. Under no circumstances should figurines be placed in the dishwasher. Some believe that because china tableware made from porcelain is often completely safe for the dishwasher that figurines are okay too, but that's not the case,they are much more delicate.

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