How to Clean Pottery Collectibles

By eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor

Don't hesitate to buy that aged, but beautiful piece of pottery, or to display that cherished, old collectible that you've had stored away for years. Even pottery with several years' accumulation of dust and grime can be safely cleaned. There are several methods for restoring your pottery collectibles to their original beauty

Check for chips or hairline cracks before you attempt to clean the pottery. Damaged items should never be immersed in water, and must be handled with extreme care to prevent making the damage worse.

Carefully dust the pottery with a soft paint brush and use a hairdryer to blow dust from any indented areas.

Soak glazed pottery for a minimum of 24 hours in a mixture of 2 cups of ammonia per 2 gallons of hot water. Rinse until the water is clear. Dry the collectible on a thick pad made of newspapers covered with a towel.

Use a 40 percent hydrogen peroxide mixture to remove stubborn stains, soaking the item in the hydrogen peroxide for as long as several days.

Remove mineral deposits such as lime, calcium and rust by soaking the pottery in full-strength white vinegar. Items with heavy mineral deposits may require soaking for several days. Rub the problem areas daily to loosen the deposits and add fresh vinegar regularly.

Try an alternate method of removing stubborn stains by dissolving a denture cleaner tablet in distilled water. Soak the item in the mixture for a few hours.