Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vintage Suitcase Makeover

 I'm never sure if I should wash an item or leave it in its original state.  Glassware is never a doubt, warm soapy water and it sparkles.  I love washing glassware and dishes.

Recently, I purchased a vintage suitcase.  I fell in love with the style of it, it's not really square but flares at the bottom and the inside fascinated me.  Although it was higher priced than I usually spend, I had a coupon, so I'll take a chance on this one.  I did notice scuff marks on it, tiny nicks and someone priced it with about 6 price tags.  But I thought the two toned piping and the darker matching handle was really neat and I loved the insides, so it was decided I'd purchase it.

When I got it home and inspected it further, I realized the handle is NOT a darker brown, just super filthy dirty from hands.  It was so bad, I decided I could not sell it this way.  So I cleaned it.  While cleaning it, I realized the piping is really dirty, too.  Now, what's the best way to go about cleaning this?
I went with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  It worked like a gem!  If you are not familiar with these things, they are like a sponge but as you use them, they disappear until you need a new one!  Pretty cool.  And I do suggest if you use them, to test them in a spot that won't be seen to make sure it's okay to use.

Not only did it clean the handle and piping, but it removed the scuff marks!   I am just thrilled with how it worked out.  I'm not going to show you just how bad the sponge looked by the time I was finished!  Pretty gross!


All cleaned up and ready to go!

I have learned a lesson regarding plastics.  I had a hard plastic container that I couldn't get the price tag off of it, I tried one of those products like Goop Off or Oops and it took the price tag off but left a horrible cloudy spot and I ended up throwing the whole thing away.  Since I love acrylics and Lucite items, I had to find something that worked.  Guess what?  The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser works on that, too! 

What about you?  Do you clean things up before you sell them or leave them as you find them?

**The duck**


Peppercorns said...

WOW! What a difference! The suitcase came out beautiful!

I've never used the Magic Eraser, but my DIL swears by them. I always have to think carefully about whether to clean a vintage item or not, it's not always an easy choice. Like you, depends on the item and how dirty it is.

Love the suitcase and you did a wonderful cleaning job.

jj said...

I would never have thought of magic eraser, what a great idea!
It is always a dilemma on what to clean and what to leave alone.
We found that polishing silver always does much better at sales, but some things are left better untouched.

nice job duck....(see I got it right

VintageEmbellishment said...

I love vintage suitcases, my big weakness is the old leather Hartman's....

I have found that the foaming scrubbing bubbles works well on items that you can get wet, like our red plastic marquee letters...

I use the magic eraser for cleaning in the home all the time, now I can use it on our vintage items too, thanks!

I clean up our items that we sell but I don't sand, paint, or alter them.....

Great job ducky...

Doodle said...

Wow, gonna have to buy some Magic Erasers! I have never used them before. And I don't clean things very often unless I know for sure it will improve and not destroy.

I'm learning so much around here! Thanks.

goodgosh said...

By George, I forgot I have one in my cleaning supplies at home! After seeing the wonders it did on that suitcase I'll have to get it and bring here to work.
I admit to being completely lazy when it comes to cleaning items I list. I do enough cleaning in life. I do a quick rinse, dust or occasional scrub, but otherwise leave it in all it's found glory. :)

Sheree said...

Wow! I have been wanting to try one of the Magic Erasers on my counter top to remove the stains but I would have never thought to use it on leather! What a difference it made. The suitcase looks new!
We had a set ln that style when I was little but it was a light tan. We threw it out because it got so dirty. Wish we still had it!

hannah, heart city said...

i love love love vintage suitcases! have 4 at the moment, and the boyfriend has halted the purchasing of more, for the time being, since they do make a perfect night table stack.