How to Clean a Mantle Clock

Written by amy kingston
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How to Clean a Mantle Clock
Antique spring driven mantel clocks need regular maintenance. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Mantel clocks are collectable timepieces that appeared in the early 1800s. Antique mantel clocks are collectable items that are often quite valuable. Proper care and maintenance ensures that your clock provides accurate timekeeping for many years. The clocks are not capable of withstanding shock and will shatter easily. Careful cleaning can prevent accidental damage and help maintain the beauty of your mantel clock.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Feather duster
  • Vacuum cleaner attachment with a soft brush
  • Glass cleaner
  • Clean cloth
  • Paper towel or soft cloth

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  1. 1

    Remove dust build-up with a feather duster on a weekly basis. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment with a soft brush to remove dust in crevices one or two times per year.

  2. 2

    Dust the area around the clock with a feather duster or vacuum cleaner attachment with a soft brush. Do not move the clock to dust the surrounding surfaces.

  3. 3

    Spray glass cleaner on a clean cloth. Wipe glass panels and the dial glass with the cloth. Dry the glass with a paper towel or a soft cloth that does not produce lint.

Tips and warnings

  • Have the clock serviced every four to five years to maintain the clock movements.
  • Move the minute hand clockwise to set the clock. Moving the minute hand counterclockwise can damage the clock mechanisms. If the clock chimes, stop moving the hand when the chimes begin. Wait for the chiming to complete before you advance the hand.
  • Lay a carpenter's level across your mantle. Ensure that it is perfectly level and the clock is resting on all four feet. A clock that is not level will lose its beat and eventually stop.
  • Do not expose the clock to humid, dry or salty air.

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