Monday, April 7, 2014

the miracle of Oven Cleaner

If you enjoy buying vintage items from thrift stores or yard sales you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to bring back the original beauty of those less-than-perfect, well-loved treasures that you may find.

I recently learned of the usefulness of Oven Cleaner when attempting to clean up some Pyrex. Case in point - this Pyrex Amish Butterprint dish that I found at a junk store for $1.00.

If you don't know a whole lot about Pyrex you may think that this pattern is black on white. It is that grease stained. Knowing my Pyrex patterns, I knew when I saw this item that it was originally turquoise on white. Because it was only priced at $1.00 I figured I would buy it and try to restore it.

I brought the item home and thoroughly sprayed it with a heavy coating of Oven Cleaner. If you are trying this be sure to do it outside as the fumes are very strong. If you can, let the item sit for several hours or even over night. After sitting, take a rag and rub the greasy area to remove the built on grime. The Oven Cleaner should loosen the grease so that it will wipe off.  It may take a little "elbow grease" to get it completely clean. For this particular item I had to do two separate treatments of Oven Cleaner to remove all of the black. When removing grime from painted-on-designs like this, be careful as the paint may remove from the glass if rubbed too hard.

Here it is after cleaning.

Oven Cleaner works well on Pyrex and other vintage glassware that may have a greasy film. It is great on the painted designs that may have changed color because of grease. The pan on the bottom was stained with brown streaks on the inside of the pan. The oven cleaner brought it back to a nice condition.

I hope that this tip has helped all of the Pyrex (and Fire King & GlasBake & Federal, etc.) collectors out there to restore those thrift store treasures.


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

a special address label

Have you ever wondered where a vintage item that you own came from? Sometimes I do wonder. I am especially curious about vintage kitchen ware. If I find the item at a thrift store I think about who may have owned the item before me, how they used it and what their kitchen looked like. What kind of foods did they prepare in there? Was this casserole dish or bowl used at family dinners and holiday meals? I wonder...did they receive the item as a wedding present or buy it from Murphy's or Woolworth? Did they love the item so much that they ended up keeping it all of these many years until they died? Did their relatives not appreciate it and donate it to the charity store?

That is why I was thrilled to find this address label taped to the side of a piece of Glasbake that I bought from a second-hand store last month.

Mrs. Mary Wilkins owned this pan. She must have loved it enough that she decided to tape her name and address to it so that it would be sure to be returned from the neighbor whom she baked a cake for or the church pot luck, which was lucky enough to have one of her special dishes.

I'm sure Mary would be pleased to know that her pan has found a good home.

A great home to be exact.

A home where vintage kitchenware is loved - so much so that it is even put on display for all to appreciate its beauty.

A home that enjoys baking and cooking for the ones that it loves - especially when done in a piece of colorful vintage bakeware.

I love your pan Mary. I will enjoy it for years to come. It has already been put into service making a chocolate cake. I've even decided to keep your address label to remember where the pan came from. Maybe I'll even stick one of my own labels on the pan like you did to carry on your tradition of baking for others and giving of yourself - all the while expecting the pan to be returned empty, waiting be filled up again the next time.

With love,
Mrs. KayteeJane
Oakmont, Pennsylvania

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