Although it was somewhat discolored (not the worst I have seen), I thought it was a great bargain. It was also the perfect price for attempting Pam Stamey’s simple three step process for whitening ironstone. (July/August 2001 edition Country Home magazine)
What I Did:
#1 - Soak ironstone in clear water for 24 hours.
#2 – While wearing heavy-duty rubber gloves, fill a tub with 40-percent clear peroxide. (I purchased mine at Sally Beauty Supply for $5 a bottle.) Place ironstone in the peroxide, making sure the entire piece is submerged. Pam recommends letting the ironstone soak for 5 to 7 days.
#3 – Preheat an electric oven to 250 degrees. (Do not use a gas oven.) Put ironstone in the oven for about 20 minutes. Pam bakes her pieces on glass plates. I used a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.
The brown color should rise to the surface (which it did on my platter). Remove from oven. Let cool. Wash in hot soapy water.
You can see from the pictures below this process really works. Most of the large brown spots have disappeared and the platter is much whiter.
What I learned:
Since this is such an easy process, I won’t be passing up ironstone that is significantly discolored any more.
Although my results were not as dramatic as the Country Home picture shown above - my platter still had a few brown marks - it was definitely a lot whiter and brighter.
I am looking forward to trying Pam’s method for repairing chipped and cracked ironstone - as soon as I find an appropriate piece of china.
The saleswoman at the beauty supply store told me the peroxide would remain good for a year after it was opened. She also told me it could be saved and reused. Does anyone know if this is true? I saved the peroxide I bought but want to make sure it is safe to use again.
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