Here are some general tips for cleaning various types of antiques from Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il 60201
Dust most antique furniture surfaces with dry, clean, lint free cloths that are washed frequently. Delicate areas can be cleaned with a soft sable brush. If extra cleaning is required on wood furniture, the National Committee to Save America's Cultural Collections suggest a solution of 50 parts distilled water to 1 part Murphy Oil Soap. Dip a clean soft cloth in the solution and wring it out so that it is damp rather then wet. Gently wipe the surface of the furniture. Use a cloth dampened with plain water to rinse, then dry with a clean soft cloth. Never let moist cleaning cloths sit on furniture.
Use a cean, soft brush to dust dirt from metal objects, using a clean soft brush. To remove fingerprints or oily or greasy deposits from gold,bronze, copper, or brass, dip the brush in a little ethyl alcohol and brush gently.Don't attempt to polish antique metal objects.Not only can this erase historical significant marks but also you're rubbing away part of the metal itself. Every time you polish metal, you have less metal. It becomes thinner.
The only cleaning you should do yourself on an old painting is light dusting with a sable brush. This must also be done with extreme care. Before you dust with the brush, check the painting carefully for loose pieces of frame or lifting paint that may be dislodged by the brush. Any other cleaning should be done by a professional art conservator.Avoid touching the front or back of the painting. Oils from your fingers can damage the paint or varnish on the painting itself, while finger pressure on the back may cause cracks in the painting. Never lift a painting or other antique unless you've thought out exactly where you're going to put it down.
Textiles should be inspected and vacuumed regularly. This will remove dust and help protect against insect damage. Always work on a padded surface. Don't eat, drink or smoke when cleaning textiles. You increase the chances of a damaging stain, crumbs that will attract insects, or smoke residue. Dial-A-Maid Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il 60201 has been helping people to maintain and preserve their antiques for over 40 years.