Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Can this Bowl be Saved?

Greetings fellow Pyrex lovers!

Instead of poetically telling you about my weekend at The Packwood Flea Market with the outrageous Pyrex prices I thought I would bring you along as I try to restore some resemblance of turquoise and cleanliness to this bowl:

Here's how I came upon this sorry, sad bowl. I was at Goodwill scrounging the shelves and I first saw a 2.5 quart yellow bowl sitting beside a 4 quart green bowl. They both looked pretty bad. I already have a yellow 2.5 quart and the green one looked so nasty that I kept on walking checking the other shelves in my normal fashion. Before I leave a store I always double back and check the shelves one more time in case I missed something. When I went by the bowls a second time the thought hit me, "They don't make a 4 qt. bowl in that color of green. It must be turquoise!" I have never found solid turquoise in the wild in any form so I took it as a challenge to, say it with me, save that bowl!

First, I simply washed the bowl like I would any dish. That did not make much of a difference with this bad boy. I believe that not only was the bowl 50+ years old but so was the grease. Vintage grease! If this grease could speak, the stories it would tell. It also looked like it had survived a rather serious silverware encounter. I pictured it packed in a box of random kitchenware for years. How could anyone treat such a pretty bowl this way? It just wanted to love you! To serve you! Where are the Pyrex Protection Services when you need them?

Next, I soaked. That also did not help much. It was time for the Magic Eraser. I had already deduced that we weren't going to be getting a lot of shine back from this one. The abuse just took the shine right out of him. Since the finish was gone, the Magic Eraser only took bits more of the color off. So, I only got the very coated greasy parts and then moved on to the Bar Keeper's Friend for the utensil marks. Those came off fairly easily. I soaked the bowl again and, as a last resort, worked my fingernails to nubs scraping the grease off with them. There is some that will never be gone but I got a lot of it off. Of course, I talked with my bowl along the way, reminding him that he still has fabulous color and next Easter will be his time.


Here is the finished product coated with some oil so we can see how it was in it's glory:



Now, as long as my husband does not pick this bowl up, perform an Inspector Clouseau routine, and shatter it to pieces, I finally have a turquoise bowl that I can say I found in the wild.

P.S. If anyone has any advice on cleaning or grease removal, please comment! How do you tell if there ever was any shine left if it is under all that grease?







24 comments:

  1. Looks like you did a great job! I'm impressed! :)

    --Erin {erinink.etsy.com}

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  2. looks amazing! it's such a feeling of satisfaction to see those befores and afters, eh? :)

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  3. That's amazing. I don't think I woud have given much hope to that cute bowl. I'm glad you restored it. Looks great!

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  4. Have you tried Goo Gone? It sometimes works for removing crud that's built up over the years. And it smells like it's got orange oil in it, which is great at removing grease. I think they also make an all-surfaces orange oil that might work.

    The bowl looks amazing. I admire your dedication and your refusal to give up on it.

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    1. If it had originally been brown or something I probably would have passed but I love the turquoise and I couldn't leave it in good conscience.

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  5. I have used Easy-Off with great success on my vintage Le Creuset. I wonder if it would work as well on Pyrex?

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  6. Thanks for that tip, Ana! I have some Le Creuset that really needs a good going over.

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  7. You did great! I have a similar piece (well it's not quite as bad, but close) that I have yet to tackel.
    What oil did you use? Just something for the picture, that you washed off afterwards? I wish there was an actual oil or something we could use for this purpose, when a piece has lost all it's shine. Something just to buff into it a little.
    I don't think there is though.
    Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. Here's another idea for grease removal. Use that Super Orange/Citrus Blast/Awesome Orange kind of stuff (has different names). Comes in squirt bottle for cleaning grease! I use it on greasy bicycle parts, as I work on vintage bicycles! You can let it soak.

    On bicycle parts, I use a soft toothbrush, but whatever you used is probably fine. It rinses away with water, but a simple washing with dish soap will make it ready for use.

    Another tip: Since I sometimes pick up pieces at junk antique stores, I also use Iron Out on the interior of my bowls & milk glass to remove iron (ie: rust) and other stains. I've never used it on the painted portions, tho'.

    BTW, great blog. I too have just started collecting, but have had several individual pieces that I've bought at thrift/flea stores that I've used for years. Have just started looking into what they are and will begin looking for the rest of my 'sets'.

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    1. The Awesome Orange cleaner will strip paint and any decorative parts quick...use with care and only on the white parts

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  9. wow you really restored the bowl, its so beautiful now! Lucky find.

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  10. I just found this blog, and am reading through the archives. I loved this entry, made me laugh at loud. "Pyrex Protection Services" is just hilarious!

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  11. EasyOff in the yellow can. Great results with minimal effort.

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  12. I have used a soft scrub or a product designed to clean my corian counter tops, it does a great job and didn't scratch, someone else had mention a sort of soft scrub type or bon ami, I haven 't tried that, but I also do soak them in a bleach solution first and maybe that helps....

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  13. Lemon essential oil. I am sure it would remove this baked on grease. I use it on everything sticky/gooey and it works like a charm. Drop a couple drops on an area, work it in a tiny bit and let it sit a few and wipe off with a paper towel. You might have to do it a couple times per area but I betcha it will remove this crud without destroying any finish that remains.

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  14. I haven't tackled one that's anywhere near that bad but I find a good soak in hot water and bleach is a great first step. Then work on anything that remains with something that won't scratch or take off the color. Nice job!

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  15. I have used OxiClean and warm water as a soaking solution to clean discolored, extremely dirty antique glass pieces...very effective and completely safe, so far, even on fragile elegant glassware.

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  16. I have used OxiClean and warm water as a soaking solution to clean discolored, extremely dirty antique glass pieces...very effective and completely safe, so far, even on fragile elegant glassware.

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  17. What about TSP - trisodium phosphate? I find that removes all the grease from the range hood etc. J

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  18. Well, I have a similar story .... found a lonesome 4 qt No. 404 Pyrex aqua-turquoise bowl "in the wild" today at a local estate sale ... the bowl was less greasy, but more scratched up than yours. Brought it home, soaked it in a combo of dish detergent, laundry detergent and hot water. Then, I took a soft toothbrush to it to remove the grease which came off easily. Next up the Magic Eraser. Rubbed off and buffed out most of the scratches and scuff marks with the Magic Eraser. Will give it another once over with the Magic Eraser tomorrow and then oil it. It looks great, btw! Thanks for the recommendation re: the Magic Eraser. What oil would you recommend using to shine it up?

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  19. Thanks for sharing. Enjoying your blog.
    I sometimes use denture tablets. Just fill the sink up and drop a few tablets in it. It will soak a lot off without damaging the color or shine. Inexpensive and easy.

    I sell Vintage Pyrex. Take a moment to visit my site.
    Sharon
    http://www.vintagepyrexforyou.com/pyrex-turquoise-butterprint-bowl-set/

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  20. any idea how to bring faded pyrex colored bowls that someone has put in the dishwasher? (not me)!

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  21. Wow impressive I have hope for a few of mine. Once the oil wears off is there sheen to it?

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  22. Wow impressive I have hope for a few of mine. Once the oil wears off is there sheen to it?

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