Cleaning Peacock Feathers
Whether they are used for home decoration, arts and crafts, or fashion accessories, peacock feathers make a bold statement. Over time, dust and grime can accumulate on the feathers, which can make them look dull and drab. Cleaning peacock feathers is relatively simple, if a bit time-consuming.
If your feathers are new, and not delicate with age, you can use various wet methods to clean the feathers. Start by wetting a soft cloth with cool water. Wring the cloth to get rid of the excess moisture, and gently rub the feather using long strokes. Allow the feathers to air dry, or dry very carefully with a hairdryer. If your feathers are freshly plucked, you will want to gently submerge them in warm soapy water and allow to soak for 30 minutes, and then rinse in cool water. Using your fingers (make sure your hands are clean), smooth the ribs of the feathers back into place.
If your feathers are delicate due to age or size, you may feel more comfortable employing a dry method of cleaning. You can start by rubbing the feathers with a chamois or a dryer sheet in order to loosen dust or grime. You may also find that using a hair dryer on the cool setting is excellent for dislodging dirt and grime. If the feathers ever got wet, and have now developed mildew, cleaning them using a dry method can be difficult. You will want to gently break apart the mold or mildew stains on the surface using gentle pressure applied with a cotton swab, microfiber cleaning cloth, dry sponge, chamois or dryer sheet. If the ribs of the feathers have begun to separate, try to guide them back in place using your hands or a piece of Velcro. If the stains are stubborn, you may have to carefully use one of the wet cleaning methods listed above.
Storage and Maintenance
In order to prevent the deterioration of the feathers, you will need to dust them on a regular basis. If possible, store peacock feathers in their own airtight storage box, in a climate-controlled room. They should be stored with mothballs or camphor to discourage pests.
Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.