How to Clean a Chinese Cloisonne

Written by lanh ma
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How to Clean a Chinese Cloisonne
Chinese cloisonné often adorns vases. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Cloisonné is an effect created by welding metal wires to a surface and then filling the spaces between the wires with enamel. The result is an intricate, colourful surface that is used to adorn vases, small boxes, and jewellery. Chinese cloisonné is delicate and must be cleaned with care to prevent the enamel from becoming scratched or damaged.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Silver-cleaning cloth

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  1. 1

    Inspect the Chinese cloisonné. If you notice chips or damage to the wire around the enamel, do not clean it yourself, but take it to a professional jewellery maker or antique restorer to have the piece repaired.

  2. 2

    Dampen a silver-cleaning cloth, or any other lint-free cloth, very slightly with water.

  3. 3

    Wipe the cloisonné with the damp cloth to remove dust and grime.

  4. 4

    Dry the cloisonné thoroughly with another silver-cleaning cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Store the cloisonné item in a felt-lined bag or box away from other pieces to prevent it from becoming chipped or damaged.
  • Never use any sort of cleaning agent on the cloisonné item.
  • Never put your cloisonné item in an ultrasonic cleaner.

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