Steam Cleaning Ceramics?

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 17th 2020, 4:04 pm

I bought a steam cleaner last year. 1,5 litre capacity, yellow thing £50. Binned all the attachments except for the fine nylon brush that concentrates the steam jet into a little 20mm circle. On full it shoots a jest about 600mm from the nozzle. It's really good at cleaning years of grease and dirt out of crevices you can't reach and stuck on grease. So strips grease off cookers, did wonders on a very expensive 20 year old kettle. The fronts of my white goods, tools, the kitchen floor = strips all grease and dirt although slowly ass it's a fine jet.

I know they use a steamer for jewellery to blast away grease and dirt.

So has anyone tied it on really greasy dirty ceramics - the advantage it it will blast a jet into tiny crevices ?

Similar to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQylRoBJBaM



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Post by philpot on May 17th 2020, 8:24 pm

What sort of pressure?
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on May 17th 2020, 11:00 pm

I've used one to clean years of tea staining from inside an old teapot from an auction box-lot, including inside the spout, and the accumulated kitchen grease of several decades from the outside to no ill effect. I have a long, tapered attachment that ends in a hole only a couple of millimetres wide which is perfect for getting into the spout and used the nylon brush for cleaning awkward grease-filled areas on the outside like where the handle and spout meet the body.
Really it's no different from using a toothbrush, but if you're concerned about possible damage I'd suggest setting the steam pressure as low as possible to start with. Just to be safe, maybe find a pot you don't care for as a test subject - there's always lots of nasty stuff in charity shops that would be perfect for the job.
Don't use steam on repaired items, though, as it could dissolve the glue. I believe that professional restorers of ceramics and wood often steam old glued repairs to do just that.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 17th 2020, 11:32 pm

Yes good point gg about the glue. I know they say araldite is not good as its non reversible but heat would probably loosen it. I'll try the inside of an old tea pot. Pp as I mention full power is a couple of feet.
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Post by ppcollectables on May 19th 2020, 9:21 am

Sounds a bit dangerous to me, too fierce for some pottery maybe. Mind you I've had a few vases that have been coated with a few decades of nicotine that could have done with a steam clean. Whatever you do don't steam clean your Compton pottery because they were usually finished in egg tempera which is water soluble.
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Post by dantheman on May 19th 2020, 12:41 pm

I saw a restorer on tv using steam to clean off the glue from an old repair so steam has its uses

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Post by ppcollectables on May 19th 2020, 1:16 pm

True, but it also confirms my worry that if it can break down fullyhardened glues what might it do to delicate decoration. It may depend on the type of glue but if 2 pack epoxys can be affected ( araldite ) then beware.
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 19th 2020, 1:38 pm

Steam Cleaning Ceramics? Dscn5810
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Post by dantheman on May 19th 2020, 2:56 pm

The salt glaze should handle a bit of steam

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 19th 2020, 6:12 pm

That's what I thought, and it can blast away the cobwebs from all the hard to reach - in-between bits
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Post by dantheman on May 19th 2020, 8:12 pm

please post before and after pics

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Post by denbydump on May 19th 2020, 8:21 pm

Before the skip, and in the skip!
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on May 19th 2020, 8:23 pm

What exactly is that salt-glazed structure? From the bit I can see it looks like a Victorian model of the setting for Romeo and Juliet's balcony scene.


ps. A bit cruel, dd. Funny, but cruel Big Laughter
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 19th 2020, 8:31 pm

It's a pub
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Post by denbydump on May 19th 2020, 8:32 pm

It's a lockdown pub, a complete fantasy!
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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 19th 2020, 8:36 pm

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Post by dantheman on May 19th 2020, 8:42 pm

a water flosser would do the job and without the heat

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Post by denbydump on May 19th 2020, 8:56 pm

??? Lincolnshire dialect again!
Just take it down Tesco's jet-wash!
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on May 19th 2020, 9:03 pm

I'd have thought a flosser would remove loose dust but heat would be needed for the accumulation of grease.

For something of that size (at least it looks big from the pic; any chance of showing the whole thing?), if steam wasn't an option I'd probably put it in the bath with hand-hot water and detergent and set to with a soft brush and use the shower head set to 'jet' for parts the brush couldn't reach.
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Post by Grumpy Grandad on May 19th 2020, 9:11 pm

Forget my request for more pics, Crawford St. I've just seen the link. Bloody amazing work.
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Post by dantheman on May 19th 2020, 10:11 pm

denbydump wrote:??? Lincolnshire dialect again!
Just take it down Tesco's jet-wash!

steady on DD, if I had a dialect it would certainly be a Yorkshire one

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Post by 22 Crawford St. on May 22nd 2020, 5:03 pm

Tried it on an SEIKO automatic diver. Blasted away the cobwebs on that one. They are designed to survive some thermal shock and seems to be keeping good time still. Cleaned all round the crystal where I can't get. If a delicate timepiece that beats 190 million ticks a year can survive then surely a bit of dried clay won't harm? Shrugs
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