Dyrham’s 300 year old floors got a good dose of tlc this week, thanks to the new improved ‘Liquid floor wax’. This is a great treatment as it cleans feeds and helps protect the surface. A ‘Wash and Go’ for historic flooring… (Other cleaning products are available.) Fairly simple to use, you decant a small amount into a container, so you don’t have a 2 ½ litre bottle knocking around. It usually has a milky consistency and is easily absorbed into the wood with a little gentle help from a soft cloth and elbow grease. The temperature in the house is, shall we say, ‘a tad on the low side’ so the wax has more of a lumpy custard consistency at the moment, but this doesn’t affect its use. Also it’s a good job to do to warm up. When the wax has dried, (½ hr to a few hours or overnight if preferred.) the fun can start. On hands and knees, reclining, led down or whatever suits, with a little ‘raking light’ a shine will appear as the wax is buffed. The ‘Fakir-Nilco’ buffing machine is just the right size to make light work of larger areas and still be effective on stairs too!
It was silver cleaning time at the house this week, and the chance to use another conservation cleaning product. ‘Silver-dip’ is a pink liquid and is best used sparingly. Dipping and squeezing out some cotton wool you can set about cleaning your silverware. It has, how shall I put it, a ‘distinct’ aroma. (sulphur springs to mind) Typically, I chose a tricky piece to start with, as it had a fairly delicate structure and difficult sections to get to but I was amongst professionals so guidance was available. The dip foams up slightly, and it’s best not to leave it on too long as you need to wash it off with water via another cotton swab. Dipped and squeezed naturally. The last element to the clean is a buff with a dry cloth and hey-presto, gleaming silverware!