Antique wall phones develop a “patina” resulting from years of cleaning, polishing and exposure to air. The patina adds a soft luster to the wood and needs protection from harsh chemicals during the cleaning process. Hiring a professional to clean your antique phone costs money you might not have. You can do the job yourself without purchasing pricey cleaning solutions. Use the materials you might already have on hand and thoroughly clean your antique wood wall phone.
- 2 glass jars with screw lids
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with 1/3 cup of lemon juice and set aside. These two ingredients, when mixed together, will clean and polish wood.
Combine 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of water and set aside. This makes an all-purpose cleaning solution. Use this solution to clean metal and other man-made parts of your wall phone.
Locate the ringers, usually one or two bell-type devices, mounted on the front or top of the wall phone. Turn the ringer thumb screws to the left and unfasten them from the phone. Set them aside.
Fold a clean rag and make it into a pad small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Shake the jar of wood polish and pour a few drops on your pad. Start at the top of the phone and, going with the grain, wipe it into the wood. Continue down one side of the phone and up the other side. Add more polish as needed, and clean the front panel of the phone.
Buff the surface of the wood briskly with another rag. Begin at the top and continue buffing until you finish the entire case. Apply slight pressure as you buff to bring out the luster of the wood.
Shake the the jar of cleaning solution and pour a few drops on a rag. Thoroughly wipe the inside and outside surfaces of the ringers. Add more cleaning solution to your rag, as needed, and clean all other non-wood surfaces; dry thoroughly. Replace the ringers and tighten them into place with the thumb screws.
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