How to Remove Stains from Vintage Porcelain Pottery and Art Glass

If you are a collector of antiques or collectibles, you have probably wanted to know how to remove stains and get your pottery or glass pieces clean.
Roseville Pottery Landscape Pitcher ca 1916Roseville Pottery Landscape Pitcher ca 1916
We all know how to wash an old pitcher with water and detergent, but do you know how to remove RUST from old pottery? Do you know how to remove SEDIMENT or CALCIUM deposits from glassware? There are ways to salvage old pottery and dinnerware, as well as glassware.

Step 1

White Buildup around edge will come clean

FIND a piece of pottery or glass that has stains to be removed or needs cleaned. If you have an old piece of pottery or dinnerware that has stains or rust, or a piece of glass that has sediment or calcium deposit, it can be cleaned. Let's deal with the porcelain, pottery or dinnerware first.

Step 2

PURCHASE the products if you do not have them on hand. Rust can be removed with a product called Barkeeper's Friend or any product that has OXALIC ACID. If you do not have ZUD or a similar product in your kitchen cabinet, it should be available at your local drug store or grocery store. Whatever you use must contain the magic ingredient, oxalic acid. White vinegar and cooktop cleaner are also great products for cleaning antiques and collectibles or vintage dinnerware you use.

Step 3

SPRINKLE the oxalic acid on to the rust spot and add just enough water to make a paste. Rub it around on the rusty spot and leave it just long enough for it to work. When you wipe it off, you can SEE rust going away. This product also works for the metal marks caused from Corning Ware and similar cookware rubbing against metal in the dishwasher. These show up as gray skids on the white body of the Corning.

Step 4

Would you buy this for resale?  I did.

USE white vinegar to remove buildup from standing water. For GLASS, use white vinegar full strength and let it sit over night. The next morning, the calcium or buildup from leaving water sit in a glass vase is gone. If there is something in the bottom of a bud vase that you cannot get to, put RICE in the container with some liquid and swish it around. The rice works as a mild abrasive. Oxalic acid will remove rust from glass, too, although rust on glass is not as common as on dinnerware.

Step 5

This is the same jar cleaned with vinegar.

GIVE UP on sick glass. Sick glass cannot be remedied. This is glass that has discoloration from the dishwasher, and it is actually etched. Some other glass stains can be removed with a paste of COOKTOP CLEANER wiped around the inside. Most cooktop cleaners have alcohol and detergents, and for some reason this works with clear glass to remove stains.

With these products and a little time, you can remove stains, rust and residue from vintage porcelain, pottery and glass.

Things You Will Need

  • Old pottery and glass that you would like to salvage.
  • Rust on dinnerware and deposits on glass are common to vintage and older items, and you may find some very cheap and salvageable items.
  • Common products from your kitchen or nearest store. These include oxalic acid, vinegar, and cooktop cleaner.

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.