How to Clean Antique Nippon Porcelain

We get a lot of questions on how to clean Nippon without harming it, so we’re sharing with you how we clean Nippon before listing it on eBay.  We hope this guide will help.

First off, nobody wants to break a beloved piece of Nippon while cleaning it.  🙂  We suggest lining your kitchen sink with thick towels, or purchasing a small Rubbermaid (plastic) type tub that will fit inside your sink (we prefer this method).  If you have a double sink, line the sink you will be rinsing the Nippon in with a thick towel.  You can never be too careful!  We also lay a thick towel out on each side of the sink area for drying, ect.

Fill the plastic tub/or sink where you will be washing with warm (not hot) water and add basic dish washing liquid.  Place your Nippon in the warm water, and wash it gently with a soft cloth – we love to use baby cloths or anything with a minimum pile so it doesn’t get caught on moriage, beading, ect.  If it’s super dirty, let it soak for a few minutes before you begin to clean.  Only clean one piece in the tub at a time!  Several pieces could bump against each other and cause damage.

If the piece has any cracks, chips, or other damage, be extra careful around these areas.  Remove from the soapy water and rinse with warm water – be careful using cold water since it could cause any existing cracks to worsen due to the temperature change.  Sit on a thick towel on the counter (or other surface) away from pets, children, ect to air dry.

If you are cleaning a heavy moriage piece that has excessive dirt, use a children’s super soft toothbrush very lightly for deep grime, or a Q-Tip for lesser dirt with the same warm, soapy mixture to remove.  Van Patten states that she uses Formula 409 on heavily soiled pieces, but I just can’t bring myself to do that – it contains so many harsh chemicals that could possibly cause damage to the paint or gold gilt over time.   Use extra light pressure when washing gold trimmed areas, as they are the first to wear.

We hope this helps you keep your Nippon clean & beautiful.  Have any helpful tips?  Feel free to leave them in the comments below!


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