You can't deny that old school kitchen appliances -- circa the 40s to 60s -- have a tad more character than the selections we have now. Often, here on Unplggd, we drool over modern stoves and refrigerators that are heavily influenced by the designs of yore, but you don't have to buy new to get that vintage feel. With some patience and a lot of Craigslist, flea market, and antique store sleuthing you can find an original 20th century piece that fits right in the 21st century. Unfortunately, just as often, that prized piece isn't in the best condition.
Claire Joyce and her husband Garth Johnson, who blog about their fixer upper on ReadyMade's Inside, Out blog, recently purchased a 1940s Wedgewood stove from a homeowner who was upgrading (or should we say downgrading?) their kitchen with modern appliances.
In the former owner's home our stove looked fairly clean, I could tell it would need a good scrubbing but I was not prepared for the incredible mess I would have to deal with when it was pulled from its longtime home. When we came to collect our Wedgewood stove it was covered on both sides with years of grease and grime. Every knob housed a greasy build-up, the chrome was dull and rusty, inside the oven was covered in, well, you get the picture. This thing had to be well cleaned before we could install it.
Bleh! Stove grease is gross enough, but there's something about cleaning up someone else's grease that's super gross. Maybe it's just us, but it's almost as nasty as cleaning someone else's toilet. Ok, not that bad, but still totally grodes.
Anyway, Claire and Garth didn't want to go the old toxic chemicals route so they began researching natural ways to cut through the grease and grime. Claire ended up using vinegar and a variety of sponges (from bristly to soft) to scrub the exterior and interior, while the knobs soaked in a bowl of the naturally acidic vinegar. She then used an old toothbrush to scrub the dials.
When she was done she noticed her beautiful stove looked a bit dull so she used baby oil, a great tool for shining chrome, and a soft cloth to polish the door handles and pulls, stove top, and any other parts that needed some extra sparkle.
We think it looks absolutely amazing. Two days of elbow grease surely paid off.
Do you have any natural cleaning remedies?
Images: Claire Joyce and Garth Johnson