Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thrift Store Finds & Cleaning Tip

So yesterday I decided to stop in a local Salvation Army thrift store in my area. This store is really nice. They always have amazing stuff. This visit my eyes land on these really cool cobra candle holders. I got them for a little over $8. I figured they would be good for both protection work and enemy work. I also found two candle holders that are ideal for the 9 inch jumbo candles. 

Speaking of jumbo candles....I love them. I think that they are underused in hoodoo. I think that many practitioners are so obsessed with 7 day glass candles that they overlook these powerful candles. Jumbo candles are just like the 6 inch household or offertory candles except they are taller and wider. They are the perfect size to allow a great deal of space to carve names and petitions. Additionally, they can be marked and divided with pins. In fact, jumbo candles are the first 7 day candles, being divided into section with inserted pins. One section would be burned each day for 7 days total. Then the candle is allowed to extinguish itself. Jumbo candles are perfect for burning on the lid of jars in jar work, as well. If you would like to burn them on their own they can be secured to the flat glass candle holders with just a bit of melted wax. Otherwise, a special jumbo candle holder can be used. These jumbo candle holders tend to have a metal spike in the center by which you push the bottom of the candle onto. This secures the candle and prevents it from fallling. 

As you can tell from the first picture, the cobra candle holders were very tarnished. I cleaned one of the candle holders to show a difference between the tarnished one (left) and cleaned one (right).

Tarnishing, a.k.a. patina, is good for vintage items of worth. I have some cherub candle holders from the 1800s that have a heavy patina. I would never clean them to remove the patina because doing so would decrease the value. Vintage pieces of value should not have the patina removed because it serves as proof age. However, if you have a newer item that you would like to remove the tarnishing from then you have a couple of choices. The first is to buy a commercial brass cleaner, such as Brasso. These cleaners are generally mild and do a good job. Your second choice is to use what you have at home. You can easily make your own brass cleaner using just two basic ingredients. 

Removing Tarnish From Brass Using Household Ingredients 

Items Needed:

-Soap and Water, Towel
-Lemon or Vinegar
-Bowl (optional, can also do this work over the sink)
-Gloves (optional)


Clean the item with soap and water to remove any surface dirt or grease. Dry off piece with a towel. Once dry, wet the item with vinegar or cut a lemon and drizzle on lemon juice. Then sprinkle the item with salt. Rub the salt around on the item. You should immediately see a change in the piece. The tarnish will disappear and the piece will become shinier. Rinse the piece off with water and then dry them with the towel. 

Warning: Do not do this for an extended amount of time or submerge the piece in the vinegar. If you do this for an extended amount of time then pink spots may appear on the piece. These pink spots are copper. As soon as you notice that the tarnish has disappeared and the piece is now bright then quickly rinse off the salt and dry the piece. 

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