This article was published on October 8th, 2015
A thrifty find is an amazing way to add a piece with character and history to your space that new items just can’t bring. The process on making a decision if it’s the right find is of equal importance and that it is a piece that you can make your own. All thrifty finds have had a previous life. They may have been through a great deal before the point in time when you found and acquired it. Cleaning your new found thrifty find is how you truly make it yours. It’s now hard when you know how to clean a thrifty find.
Do your design homework. Every piece, whether antique or vintage, should have knowledge gathered on it to add to the story and how to take care of it. There are two different categories to classify before you begin the process. Cleaning antiques and cleaning vintage treasures.
Antiques refers to items from a past era, such as your grandmother’s childhood, turn of the century, etc., where certain levels of craftsmanship were incomparable to today’s standards. Antiques need special care to be maintained and cleaned to feel fresh in your own space. Taking antique couches, tables, and other large, focal pieces to a professional to be cleaned is best. It will give you a peace of mind doing the research and going to a reputable professional that knows what they are doing so they will take the upmost care. Granted, there are ways to naturally lift stains using household remedies, but a professional is strongly recommended. For smaller pieces, always assume they are delicate and vulnerable. Based on the item you can search online and see which gentle cleaners can be used to safely clean without damaging the beauty and patina. These pieces don’t necessarily have to be cleaned by professionals, but use your best judgment.
Vintage treasures are pieces that are somewhat newer than antiques, although there is some crossover with the two names. Vintage pieces are not as old as antiques and most don’t need the same attention given to antiques but they still need care. It is crucial to disinfect the entire item and to remove as many stains as possible, to make it sanitary and feel fresh. Most vintage pieces can be cleaned at home with a little elbow grease but there should still be research done on the type of material or surface to be cleaned; the last thing you want to do is damage it.
If you determine that you’re going to take on cleaning your thrifty find at home, use these insider tips to help you take on the project, using the tricks of the interior design trade, to make thrifty finds feel newer and refreshed.
Make it 99.9% germ free: When choosing a disinfectant be sure to check the label and determine if it can be used on hard, soft or both types of surfaces. Lysol is a top pick and can be used on both. Use caution of the type of cleaner though because some can be abrasive for certain items.
Stains be gone: Evaluate the type and severity of the stain. Some may require multiple treatments or tougher formulas. Woolite is great way to get rid of tough and light stains from fabrics. It lifts stains and truly give a piece new life.
Freshen up: After the prior two steps freshening is important. Febreeze is wonderful for fabric pieces without a scent because it gets rid of lingering odors from cleaners and leaves it pure clean. Polish, household cleaners, and rejuvenators for woods and harder surfaces are perfect for that finishing touch to make it yours.
Now that you have made a piece you’ve found new again, tune in next week for the next part of the thrifty finds series; customizing your thrifty find and make it a showstopper in your space.