An Education in Vintage China

My mom recently gave me some china that she’s had since before I was born. I remember staring at it when I was a little girl and being very fond of the print (Royal Cauldon x436, if you like details), so when she offered it to me I said absolutely yes! It’s not a complete set, but that’s okay. I have a tendency to collect this piece of this china and that piece of that china, usually in the teapot/ teacup categories. What my mom gave me was mostly plates and saucers, so it adds beautifully to a relatively diminutive area of my collection.

I finally pulled the pieces out of their box, and here’s where I’m unsure. Before giving them to me, my mom warned me that some of the pieces had developed browning. Some of them also have an unpleasant, somewhat waxy smell, and the standard washing with warm water and a mild detergent didn’t touch either the stain or the smell. Today I sat down to do some research on what (if anything) can be done to restore these. The browning doesn’t bother me so much, but the smell is distracting.

I found one article that suggested rubbing stained china with a little baking soda, which I tried in a small area with no result, although it did help a [very] little with the smell. Then I found this article, which leads me to believe that the browning is crazing with severe staining (all the pieces have crazing to varying degrees). The next step, therefore, is that I’m considering the water/ peroxide soak outlined in the article. Has anyone ever done this? Does anyone know if the smell is related to the staining? Is there something else that it could be instead of crazing stains?


5 thoughts on “An Education in Vintage China

  1. I don’t really know anything about this but I was going to suggest a solution that uses white vinegar if your baking soda/peroxide mixture doesn’t work. The baking soda is alkaline while the vinegar is acid, so if one doesn’t work, the other might? Just a thought…

    • I actually did try a little vinegar, but I didn’t notice much difference (if any…I might have been imagining things!). Definitely no change in smell. The peroxide solution will be my next attempt!

  2. I haven’t tried either but thought about vinegar as well. I have found it amazing at cleaning things around the house, but obviously with your china, I would take caution!

    I remember this set. 🙂 I think it was brought out for a birthday party tea or two. ❤ Nice to see you inherited them.

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