How to Clean an Antique Wood Inlaid Tray
Your grandma’s heirloom antique wood inlaid tray demands special care, cleaning and handling techniques. All woods contain pores which open and expand with age, attracting dirt, oils and grime. But inlaid wood trays contain different types of ornamental forests, inset and pasted to create an artistic scene or design. Hot water can damage the glue in a antique inlaid tray and also cause it to come apart when used in massive amounts. An old fashioned, but secure, way of cleaning your antique tray begins with using lemon oil along with a vintage cotton gym sock. But years of built-up dirt and wax may require stronger cleaning methods.
Lemon Oil Method
Vacuum the entire surface of the antique inlaid tray with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Use the paintbrush to function into corners and crevices to loosen hard-to-remove dirt.
Squeeze a generous number of lemon oil across the tray’s surface in the plastic bottle.
Pull the old cutter onto your hand like a glove. By using a sock this way, it is possible to better feel the surface of the wood when cleaning with lemon oil.
Rub the lemon oil forth and back to the tray, working chiefly in the management of the grain. Keep rubbing until the tray becomes clean. As you perform, carefully analyze the tray’s surface to remove any remaining dirt.
Keep on cleaning as needed. Feel free to add more lemon oil as you work to remove years of built-up dirt and grime.
Repeat the preceding steps as needed for stubborn dirt.
Rub the surface of the cleaned tray having a soft cotton cloth to shine it. Add a little bit of lemon oil into a clean cloth and rub the surface of the tray, working with the grain for the last coat.
Turpentine and Linseed Oil Method
Eliminate excess loose dirt by massaging with a clean cloth or with the brush attachment on your vacuum.
Measure 1/4 cup gum turpentine and 3/4 boiled linseed oil to a small jar. Secure the jar using the lid tightly.
Shake the jar to blend the ingredients together completely.
Add 1/4 into 1/2 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Pour a little the turpentine-linseed oil mix on the water. The turpentine and linseed oil mix should stay on top of the water.
Tear off a small bit of 0000 steel wool and dip it in the turpentine, linseed oil and water mix.
Rub the surface of the antique inlaid wood tray operating in management of the wood’s grain with the steel wool and cleaning mix.
Keep on rubbing in management of the grain — back and forth — till the tray becomes clean. Wipe off any excess cleaning solution with a clean cotton rag.
Polish the tray with a clean cloth. Add some lemon oil into the rag to put in a sheen to the antique wood tray.
Clean the tray of any loose dirt. Run a damp, clean rag across the tray, or vacuum it with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum to get rid of extra dirt.
Add from 1/8 into 1/4 cup of mineral spirits into a measuring cup, depending on the magnitude of the tray. Use the smaller quantity for smaller trays.
Turn the mineral spirits directly onto the tray.
Apply the steel wool into the solvent and gently rub it across the surface of the tray at the management of the grain.
Do not press too hard or you’ll be able to scrape the tray’s surface.
Work in management of the grain to remove old wax and dirt. As the mineral spirits dry — after about 45 minutes — you may notice that a gray film forms across the surface of the tray. This film is composed of years old wax and accumulated dirt.
Dampen a clean rag in cool water. Wring it out completely to remove excess water. Wipe up the old wax and dirt with the rag. Wash the rag and repeat as needed until the old wax and dirt are eliminated.
Repeat steps 1 through 6 until no old wax and dirt stay.
Polish the tray with a clean, soft cloth.