It's been several years since we've bothered to go to garage sales, and although it sounds crazy, we come across our second hand goods in a far more efficient manner — auctions. This past (rainy) Saturday was spent inside an auction hall, throwing down with the elderly crowd and buying up inexpensive furnishings for our home. The only problem is... they always needed a bit of freshening up!
1. Baking Soda: This pantry staple can be used in a slurry with water to buff off years of dirt, or it can be used just as it is when sprinkled onto upholstered and fabric items. Just be sure not to use in direct sunlight or else it can cause fading.
2. Lemons & Salt: Many auctions are loaded with brass and copper finds, though usually they're showing more wear and tarnish than not. Try cutting a lemon in half and sprinkling with salt. Not all you have to do is buff it onto your finds... trying your best not to juice lemon all over your floor!
3. The Sun: Although it seems far too basic, the sun can do wonders for many finds. Sometimes after cleaning off the dirt and filth from an item, it still smells... well... old. Let it take an afternoon sun bath and catch a few rays. It should help eliminate remaining odors. If the product can handle it, try spritzing on a little white vinegar before hand for extra oompf!
4. Mineral Oil & Olive Oil: Many wood items found at auction need some sprucing up. They might be showing the wear from their prior years of use, but making a quick solution of Mineral oil and Olive oil is just what they need.
5. Vodka: This household staple has many uses, some of our favorite ones include cleaning with it instead of drinking. Apply vodka to a clean soft cloth and dirt, grime and gunk will quickly be removed from chrome, glass, porcelain and crystal.
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)