Some stains can be removed from china and glassware, and some damage can be repaired, said Sara Vestal and Rory Richmond of Replacements Ltd.
Here are their tips:
• Fine black marks. These marks on china are caused by the contact between flatware and china. Remove them with a light-duty scrubbing sponge and Bon Ami cleansing powder.
• Small rust marks. Rust spots sometimes appear on china after it is left in a sink with flatware. Remove them as you would fine black marks.
• Tarnished metallic trim. If the tarnish is not so old that it has already eaten through the metal, you can clean it with a gentle metal cleaner such as Hagerty Silver Foam. Test the cleaner in a small area first.
• Tea stains. Mix dishwasher detergent with a small amount of hot water, apply to the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
• Nicotine stains. Make a paste of baking soda and water, and rub lightly onto the stain. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes before rinsing. Repeat if necessary.
Some types of damage, such as small chips in crystal or crazing or nicks in porcelain, can be repaired. So can ragged marks on flatware that’s slipped into the garbage disposal or loose pieces that rattle. Restoration work can also be done on tea services, such as repairing dents, replacing lids or repairing footed bowls that have lost their feet.
Even when repairs are possible, though, Vestal said replacement is often more cost effective. Repairs may be worth the expense only if the item has sentimental value.
Replacements Ltd. has a huge stock of replacement pieces, but local antiques stores may also carry what you’re looking for. Stagecoach Antiques in West Akron is known for its large stock of china, crystal and silverware.
Still want to investigate a repair? You can send your damaged item to Replacements Ltd. for a no-obligation estimate, Richmond said. If you decide not to proceed with the work, the company will return the item and pay for the return shipping, he said.
— Mary Beth Breckenridge