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  • Writer's pictureThe Rural Legend

My Top 5 Cleaning Products for Thrift Store Decor

I am often asked what the best way to clean old, vintage items from the thrift store is. Depending upon the type of material, my answer changes, so here's a quick list of my 5 go-to products for cleaning your thrifted treasures!

I am always on the hunt for metal candlesticks, plates, and other items with a cool shape when I'm thrifting. Brass candlesticks are one piece of decor I simply can't resist bringing home with me! Bar Keeper's Friend easily removes grime and tarnish from brass without the harsh fumes that products like Brasso emit. I just run the object under water, sprinkle BKF over the surface and scrub with a soft sponge or toothbrush. Just make sure not to leave the product on too long. Always check the directions before using! AND WEAR GLOVES!

Make sure you are looking closely at those gray looking pieces at the thrift store! Some silver and silver plated items can be so badly tarnished it's hard to tell what beauty is waiting underneath! While I love a good patina, I like to have silver polish on hand to shine up silver treasures when I bring them home and allow them to naturally develop a slight patina to add to their beauty.

You can find absolutely gorgeous linens like tablecloths and curtains at thrift stores! Often times, vintage linens will have yellow spots from age or old stain, and I have found that soaking fabrics in a bathtub or sink filled with water and a scoop of dissolved oxy clean can do wonders!

key tips for how to clean old, stained fabric:

  1. Make sure you use cold water to prevent stains from setting in more.

  2. Let your items soak for several hours before checking on stains.

  3. If stains remain, drain the water, rinse your item well and repeat the process.

  4. If you can, allow your items to dry outside in the sunshine.

Before I begin to refinish any piece of old furniture, I always make sure to clean and degrease it with Krud Kutter. It can also be helpful to remove that sticky build up from kitchen items!

Baskets are another items I always make sure to look for while thrifting because you can use them in so many ways around your home! AND they're so expensive to buy new! I always soak old baskets in warm soapy water when I get home and then let them completely dry outside. But if you'd like to lighten the basket or remove that shiny finish that some have, try bleaching them! Click here to see my easy tutorial for how to bleach wicker!

For TONS of thrift store makeovers and inspiration, start here!

xoxo, L

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Nov 20, 2023

Thanks for all the helpful hints! What I really want to know is what is that lovely dark color on your wall?

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