A Guide to Cleaning Lladro Porcelain

Pip Harris Pip Harris

This guide has been written to offer some help and suggestions for cleaning Lladro porcelain, adding to the advice given in my other guides on collecting Lladro.

I have written this guide because I am somewhat alarmed by some of the cleaning advice given elsewhere. For example, I have read about cleaning using detergent and water – my view is that there are better and less dangerous ways of cleaning your porcelain.

I would certainly be concerned about the risks of cleaning in a sink or bowl; plus the ingress of water through the firing hole.

Firstly, to avoid any possibility of damage don’t even bother to clean a piece unless it is really dirty or has some form of marks on it. Don’t clean just for the sake of it – you might live to regret it if you damaged your item.

I recently bought a long retired item on eBay that was perfect, an absolute treasure to add to my collection. However, when it arrived and was unpacked it looked as though it had been displayed open in a saw mill or workshop for 25 years – it was absolutely filthy. Now this item is perfectly clean and residing in a display case. It will never get that dirty again!

Another item recently obtained was just a bit grimy and had a few dirty and sticky marks. This item is pictured below.

Above you will see a photo of the recently cleaned item. I have also shown some of my cleaning materials. This is the process I tend to use.

  1. Don’t wear any rings when handling Lladro pieces, particularly rings with stones in them.
  2. Keep children and pets well away.
  3. Use a solid table in a well-lit position. I use the dining room table which has a table protector on it.
  4. Place the item on some good quality kitchen roll. We use Kirkland kitchen roll from Costco, it is large and thick.
  5. I spray the item lightly with “Safeclen” either in aerosol or pumper. “Safeclen” is an AF brand designed for computer screens etc. An alternative I have used is spectacle cleaner. This type of cleaner is not too harsh and is less likely to leave streaks. Heavy stains may need a couple of applications. Never use too much; don’t soak the item, it is better to need to repeat the application than use too much.
  6. Now use AF PC Buds to clean the surfaces particularly in the crevices. The PC Buds are shown in the photo; they have a small, thin foam pad which is ideal for getting in to narrow places. These PC Buds are designed for cleaning computer keyboards. In the example shown, I managed to get the PC Bud under the toy lorry and between the boys folded arms without force.
  7. I also use single ended cotton buds, on a stick (as shown). These are ideal for cleaning flowers. I have found “Q Tips” a bit too fluffy. Take great care!
  8. A lint free cloth (as used for spectacle cleaning) can then be used to gently wipe the item over, removing any residue of the cleaner.

Using these materials, I have managed to clean marks left by labels etc. without resorting to solvents. These materials can be sourced on the internet; I bought mine from an office supplies company on Amazon.

As for on-going cleaning. We store most of our pieces in display cabinets so the pieces don’t need cleaning, as such. However, the glass shelves in the cabinets do get dusty, so as you remove the pieces just gently wipe with a lint free duster (not a yellow duster, use an E-Cloth). Then clean the shelves with glass cleaner and replace your items back on display.

Never use a feather duster!