How To Clean Incolay Stone
Many jewelry boxes are intricately designed using an incolay stone carving or bas relief. These are elegant and grand pieces that catch the eye of most people are normally sculpted through the use of combined minerals. Now, while the design or miniature sculpture can be exquisite to look at and can lay a sense of class and antiquity to a jewelry box, it is not exempted from the regular attacks of the undesirable elements such as dirt, dust, and the like. This being said, here are some tips on how to keep the incolay stone sculpture on your jewelry box clean and well maintained.
Blow it away. The proper way to remove the dust and dirt on the incolay stone is to do it with burst of air. Never wipe the dust and dirt away with your hand or fabric. This will only make matters worse. If you use your hand or fingers, the oils of your skin will latch on to the carving that is considered worse than the occasional dust or dirt. Using a cloth to wipe it is not advisable as well since this will really not remove the unwanted particles off of the sculpture. In some cases, it may add to it. Instead, use a blow dryer to blow some air through the sculpture that should loosen up and even remove these undesirable particles. You may use a can of compressed air as well. In fact, it should even be better than a blow dryer.
Use an old toothbrush. Find an old, clean, and unused toothbrush that you can use to scrub the carving with. You will want to gently use the toothbrush to loosen any stubborn dirt off of the carving. If possible, use a soft bristled toothbrush. The way to do the brushing is by starting in the middle working your way outward. As an alternative, you can use a small paintbrush with a thickness of 1 inch as well.
Use a homegrown cleanser. After doing the initial brush of the carving, soak the same toothbrush in the homegrown cleaning solution you will prepare. The solution will consist of half a tablespoon of liquid detergent and a cup of warm water. Mix until the solution becomes soapy. Apply the solution using the toothbrush in a scrubbing circular fashion. Work in short increments until you are able to scrub the whole sculpture. As you finish each area, use another toothbrush soaked in clean warm water to rinse the soap off.
Dry the sculpture. As soon as you completely rinse the solution off, get a nice dry and clean towel and dry the carving off by patting it down with it. This will not be enough though, so your blow dryer should come into the picture as well. This should evaporate the remaining water on the carving.
Some people may think that soaking the entire stone in the solution or in warm water should be easier. Well, this is actually not recommended since too much water on the carving can result in water stains that you really dont want. Make sure to follow these steps to the T.