Porcelain at Derby Museum
Porcelain china and porcelain figurines are beautiful and delicate decorative items but they do need care and protection from harsh sunlight and the potential of being chipped, cracked or broken. The best storage area for china or similar porcelain figurines is often referred to as a china cabinet. This is usually a cabinet with interior shelves and glass panes so you can display your fine collectibles. Some of these china cabinets are made with wooden details that provide small wood rails or guards that will prevent the slippage of the porcelain figurine or dinnerware. With porcelain collectibles, you should make an effort to keep these figurines or china out of direct sunlight. The exposure to direct sunlight over an extended period of time can fade the coloring or design details of the figurine or dinner plates.
As for a porcelain figurine, keep it dusted with a soft bristled (preferably natural hair) paintbrush which can remove the dust and grit from crevices in the figurine that you would not be able to reach with another tool. Another good trick is to use a can of compressed air to blow away the dust and grit. Avoid over handling the porcelain figurine so that you can reduce the risk of chipping or breaking it.
If the figurine has any spot or stain, try to use a soft cloth that has been submerged into a mild detergent and warm water, and dab at the stain or spot rather than using a scrubbing motion. If you are trying to clean the stain within a teacup or saucer, I have heard that the product Efferdent (the product used to clean false teeth) will do a good job of lifting any stains within the teacup or saucer without any scrubbing action. And it's not surprising, since industrial porcelain is used by dentists to make false teeth. Make sure you follow the package directions for the exact amounts you should use.
As mentioned earlier, it's usually a good idea to keep your porcelain collectibles or china stored behind glass, this way you won't have to dust them as often and handling them less will reduce the potential of chips or breaks on the actual figurine.
Try to avoid submerging your porcelain figurine in water. However, if you have a stain that can only be removed by placing the figurine in water, make sure that you don't submerge it for more than a few seconds. This works well for porcelain that has a high gloss finish, but you must be even more cautious with porcelain that has a matte finish such as bisque porcelain. A common example of bisque porcelain figurines, are the Precious Moments figurines made by Enesco.
Of course if you are washing porcelain china, it is a different matter, you will have to submerge the china dinnerware in soapy water. And hand washing is especially advisable if your porcelain china dinnerware has any delicate painted gold or silver details. In order to preserve the lovely finish, avoid harsh detergents and scratchy scrubbers for your porcelain china dishware. Be sure that you place rubber mats in the sink or soft towels nearby to prevent any jolting movement or sudden drop of a teacup or plate and thus potential chips or knicks to your china.
Keeping these tips in mind, should give you years of enjoying fine porcelain china dinnerware or your beautiful and decorative porcelain figurines. These will be treasured porcelain items that you can pass down as a family heirloom to be loved and used by future generations.