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February 18, 2018
We love the treasures we’ve gathered over the years. They brighten our days, provide inspiration, and help to provide cheer in our homes and offices. Regardless of whether you collect figurines, plates, model cars or antiques, you want to keep them looking their best. Here are tips to help you protect and maintain your most precious collections.
Placing collectibles inside sealed displays can prevent dust and grime from accumulating. Protection doesn’t end there, however. Even inside a sealed cabinet your items may not be completely protected. Finished wood and other materials can still give off chemical fumes and have paint or other elements that flake off. This can cause dust to build up on the items in your display.
One way to minimise damage to your valuables while they are on display is to regulate the conditions inside the cabinet as especially sensitive objects, such as cigars, paper or biological samples, may require very specific ranges of humidity or limited chemical exposure. When storing delicate items, be sure to find out the ideal storage conditions, first.
Clean with Caution
Dust and debris can affect the appearance of your collection. It can also eventually cause damage to delicate surfaces. Modern materials like resin hold up better to long-term enjoyment but many older paints and materials do not. The trick is to regularly clean off any contaminants without harming the paint or varnish that protects them.
To remove loose dust, you can carefully use a can of compressed air to blow off any debris, making sure you keep it at a safe distance – you don’t want an excessively strong stream of air to cause damage. For pieces that only have a light layer of dust, a simple light dusting may be adequate. If more intensive cleaning is required, this first step is still important as it will remove any small particles that might otherwise scratch the surface when you come to wiping it down more vigorously.
Generally, the best option is to use a soft cleaning cloth to gently remove dirt. Avoid using paper towels for delicate items, as wood-based paper fibres can scratch delicate surfaces and dull finishes – cotton cloths or microfiber cleaning cloths are usually a safer choice. Also, make sure you don’t use cloths that have previously been used with other cleaning materials. Harmful residue of harsh cleaning liquids might still remain in the fabric and be transferred to your collectibles, where they could cause the paint or surface to degrade.
You can check these cleaning recommendations for different specific items and surfaces to make sure you are using the best materials and techniques.
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