4 quick tips for cleaning knick knacks

Dust more, wash less. Or dust less, wash more. Take your pick. If you clean away dust from your glass collection or knick-knacks often, it won't have a chance to turn to sticky grime that will require a more intrusive cleaning job.

4 quick tips for cleaning knick knacks

1. To dust a whole rack of knick-knacks

  • Use a hair dryer or feather duster (real or microfibre) every couple of days — if you're in the habit of using those sorts of tools for dusting.
  • Alternatively, wipe them, one at a time, with a clean microfibre cloth once a week. Either way, you'll probably rarely need to wash them.

2. To wash your knick-knacks

  • Mix a few drops of dishwashing liquid in warm water in a plastic bowl and immerse the knick-knacks, as long as they're made of china, glass, plastic or metal.
  • Use a clean, thick cotton sock, over your hand, as a cleaning mitt. That will get into most crevices.
  • Use an old toothbrush on places that your hand can't reach.
  • Rinse the items well with fresh water and dry with a clean cloth.
  • For an even speedier wash, run your knick-knacks through the dishwasher on the gentlest setting, but only do this for things that you know are robust enough to stand it. If in doubt — don't.

3. To clean cloth items

  • Try the vacuum cleaner first, using the brush or crevice attachment.
  • If that isn't enough, put the articles in a paper bag, add 30 ml (a couple of tbs) of baking soda, shake and then shake some more.
  • Remove the items from the bag and brush or gently vacuum off the bicarbonate of soda.

4. Caution

Don't even think of using soap and water — and especially not the dishwasher — to clean hand painted or antique knick-knacks.

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