The Junk Parlor

My Favorite Cleaning Supplies for Antiques

When you are a reseller you get a lot of experience cleaning up inventory. Here I’m sharing my favorite cleaning supplies for antiques.

When you resell antiques, vintage, primitives, any kind of cool junk, then you get a lot of experience cleaning those pieces. As a reseller you often times get to “pick” in some pretty amazing places, but also some pretty disgusting places! You know, basements with a layer of mildew, an attic with a maze of cobwebs and petrified spiders, or a barn exposed to the elements AND the animals.

Those are some of my favorite places to pick because the antique pieces haven’t seen the light of day in years. Who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt! I’m sure you’ve heard that most resellers favorite part of the job is discovering hidden treasures! What comes with finding those lost treasures is often not so glamorous. Dust and dirt you can write your name in and a lot of feces!! So cleaning pieces to some degree is a MUST before putting them in the store or on the website.

In this post I will be demonstrating how some of my favorite cleaning supplies for antiques work! So, be sure to watch each video and I’d love to have you follow me on Instagram @thejunkparlor

Tap for my Favorite Cleaning Supplies for Antiques list!

Mineral Spirits

I’m sure you can think of an antique shop, maybe a thrift store, maybe a booth at the flea market where the dealer writes ON items in PERMANENT marker!! And everyone who is shopping is thinking what the heck! While it makes no sense to the rest of it, people STILL do it! Sometimes the placement of the permanent marker influences wether I buy a piece. IF I can’t get the marker off, is it going to be visible in my display? If it is, then I really have to debate it. Because I have purchased things before that no matter what “tips and tricks” I try, I cannot get the marker off, or at least not all of the way. Sometimes I just walk away from pieces with permanent marker on them. And other times, I walk right by the booths that use marker to price items.

Of course sometimes I bring pieces home and hope for the best! Often times I will use Mineral Spirits, like you see in the above video. When I shared this video on Instagram, I got a lot of responses with viewers sharing what has worked for them!

Removing Permanent Marker

Here is a list of other cleaners you can try to remove those frustrating permanent marker price tags!

  • Hair Spray
  • Nail polish remover
  • Goo Gone
  • Sand paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Magic Eraser
  • Old stinky perfume

Be sure to leave your go to for removing permanent marker in the comments!


Yum, yum, yum! I’m a weirdo and love the smell of WD-40! Whose with me?

Regardless of if you like the smell of WD-40, it is a great cleaner. Especially on farm junk, covered in layers of grease and dirt! Who knew! Seriously, this gets the dirt and grime off and I also use it just to wipe down any metal or galvanized piece. If it’s possible to rehydrate metal, that’s kind of what it seems to do! It cleans and gives it a fresh appearance!

Depending on how many layers of grease, it can take some elbow “grease.” Using a paint scrapper, like THIS, can be the fastest method to scrape off years of grease build up. You can also try softer grade steel wool doused in WD-40, but normally I just use a rag. (I have a huge stash of old socks, towels, t-shirts, etc. and I just throw the rag in the trash afterwards.)

Once you have all of the gunk off then take a clean rag and wipe down the piece again.

Oven Cleaner

Stripping furniture using Easy Off is all of the rage! Personally, I tried it once on a dresser, and that will be the only time I use it on furniture as a stripper! However!! I did use it on a dirty, sticky stoneware crock and it worked beautifully!! I will keep it on hand from now on just to use it on stoneware!

How many of you have had a “clean” crock that was tacky to the touch. I’m guessing a lot of us because I’ve touched multiple tacky crocks out shopping and had one my mom gave me as well. It sat in my house and looked cute, but I knew never to touch it because I would get grossed out with the tackiness.

The crock I clean in the video is obviously very dirty. I followed the Easy Off oven cleaner instructions that were on the bottle and cleaned the crock as the directions stated for cleaning the oven. One and done. Easy peasy. Trust me you need to try it.

Previously I had tried Goo Gone, Dawn dish soap, Clorox Bleach, I can’t even remember what all I’ve tried and nothing could handle the tackiness that probably came from years of holding food. But the oven cleaner worked like a charm!

Watch Me On YouTube

Want to learn more about sealing pieces or adding a “clear coat?” Visit HERE.

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

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Hi, I’m Brooke. Welcome to The Junk Parlor.

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