How Do I Clean and Care for Vintage Ornaments?

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Q: Several years ago my grandma gave me her beautiful old Christmas ornaments, which date to the 1940s and her pre-immigration days. With the kids being a bit older, we were (finally!) able to put them out on display. A bad experience a few years ago (which involved the Christmas tree toppling over THREE times!) taught us a few lessons.Today, before tucking the ornaments back into their box, I tried to dust them with a damp cloth. To my horror, the hand-painted designs started to wash off.

Soon after, I discovered that dry cloths scratch the pain and affect the glitter. How can I clean and care for these ornaments?

Sent by Helen

Editor: Have any tips and advice for Helen? Please let us know in the comments below - thanks!

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.