If you are new to the world of Royal Doulton collectibles you may be wondering what measures you will need to take to make sure your ornaments stay in pristine condition. You may have come by a vintage piece at an auction, or even better a second-hand store although wish to bring it back to its original state and shine.
In this article, we will take a look at how to best care for and clean your Royal Doulton ornaments and dinnerware.
Cleaning Royal Doulton Crystal and Glassware
If you have crystal or glass Royal Doulton pieces, it is important to wash them by hand in warm (not hot) soapy water. Then you will need to rinse them in clean water and dry them carefully with a lint-free cloth. Using detergent is not recommended as this can dull the crystal or glass. Extreme temperature changes can crack crystal and glassware. Before pouring hot or cold drinks into Royal Doulton glassware, feel to make sure the glass is room temperature.
When speaking about storing crystal or glass Royal Doulton cups, never store them rim down. The rim is the most fragile part of the glass and placing it downwards can cause cracks.
Cleaning Royal Doulton China/Porcelain Ornaments
When speaking about which elements china or porcelain Royal Doulton ornaments be exposed to, it is recommended that you do not place your ornaments within the extreme cold or extreme heat, and by no means should you ever attempt to use the dishwasher to clean your ornament. If you find that your Royal Doulton ornament is dirty, perhaps it has sat on the same shelf for many years and dust has settled, you can use damp, soft cloth to remove debris. Place two thick towels beneath the area you will clean your ornament. This way, if by accident you lose grip, your precious piece will not shatter. Do not immerse the ornament in water, just simply pat the exterior with a cloth. Immersing an ornament may see water becoming trapped and in turn mold growing in the crevices internally and the ornament becoming damaged. You may like to use a small soft-bristled, artist’s paintbrush to clean in the small crevices of the ornament.
Once you have gently cleaned the ornament with a cloth, use another dry cloth to pat it, making sure to remove all water particles. Sit it in a safe location to air dry before you place it back in a display cabinet. Extreme temperature changes can cause cracks in vintage Royal Doulton ornaments so it is important to keep your piece in a location that does not drastically change in temperature.
To keep the ornament in like-new condition, storing it away from direct sunlight means that colors do not fade over the years. You will find that many vintage Royal Doulton ornaments that fetch high auction prices were stored away from direct light or within their original box. Of course, keeping your ornament within its original box does not provide you with a beautiful piece of art to glance at on a day to day basis, so in this case, purchasing a glass cabinet that you place away from direct light means your ornaments are safe and away from direct sunlight.
Cleaning and Caring for Royal Doulton Dinnerware
For Royal Doulton dinnerware pieces that you may have on hand, the good news is many can be popped into your dishwasher to be cleaned after use. The pieces that can withstand the dishwasher will be marked underneath clearly with ‘Dishwasher Safe’. If the plate, cup, or saucer you wish to clean does not state that it is dishwasher safe, you are best to wash it by hand. For vintage Royal Doulton dinnerware, washing by hand is the best practice.
Do not use abrasive cleaning materials to wash your Royal Doulton dinnerware. Royal Doulton dinnerware can handle up to 100 degrees Celcius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can indeed place them in a warming bay, although this is definitely not recommended for valuable vintage pieces. If the dinnerware you have on hand is crafted from bone china (many of the earlier dinnerware pieces were), then they cannot be heated, nor placed in the freezer.
When speaking about caring for and storing your Royal Doulton dinnerware, placing a napkin between plates when stacking them will decrease the risk of scratches. Only ever place your plates in stacks of 4 as too much weight will see cracks appear in the rims. Storing them within a cabinet will prevent dust and direct light from fading intricate designs. Never stack Royal Doulton cups as this has the potential to weaken the handle.
If you are cleaning Royal Doulton silverware, you will need to polish it with a silver cleaner formulated especially for cleaning silver. Scrubbing brushes will damage silver thus it is important to be gentle with Royal Doulton silverware.
Cleaning Stains off Royal Doulton Fine China
If you have stains, perhaps tea or coffee stains within your Royal Doulton fine china cups, it is recommended to use a diluted bleach solution. Bicard soda mixed with water is another solution that some collectors find to be the trick when attempting to lift those tough stains that have sat for a long period of time. While the stain may be hard to lift, it is never recommended to use full-strength bleach or abrasive cleaning products as this will more than likely damage the fine china piece.
Storing Your Royal Doulton
If you wish to display your Royal Doulton ornaments or dinnerware, you will need to be smart about how you do so in order to keep them in pristine condition. Too much exposure to sunlight will see a once vibrant colored ornament gradually fade over time and for this reason, place it out of direct sunlight. When storing your dinner set, you may opt to stack up to 4 plates with napkins between each and showcase your favorite design on a wooden plate holder (or similar). It is not recommended to hang mugs or cups on stands as these weaken the handles and when used may snap.
We’d love to hear how you care for and clean your vintage Royal Doulton pieces. Let us know any Royal Doulton cleaning or caring tips you have below.