These suggestions on how to clean dirty nickel-plated finishes were offered to collectors by members of the Antique Telephone Collectors Association, and we are passing them along to you:  We hope you find this information to be helpful.



Try soaking parts overnight in a water & vinegar solution (about 4 to 1). The dirt and tarnish just wipes right off.


I use Easy Off oven cleaner with the YELLOW cap - Never had a problem with it.


WD40 and 0000 steel wool works fairly well if there is a little green showing. Test first.



Pure household Ammonia, about 59 Cents a bottle.  Not the diluted, smell like pine, perfume etc.  The real thing. 

You need to immerse the part directly into the undiluted solution.  Don't let it sit more then 5 minutes, as it can also strip old, flakey nickel.  Do this outside the home/shop; otherwise you might pass out from the fumes.


I use ammonia & water 50/50 %, soak for about 1/2 hr, take out of solution, brush with toothbrush (soft brush) or 0000 steel wool , & dry. repeat if necessary to achieve cleanliness desired, then restore/polish with "Simichrome" polish. Its the best I've found. Its approximately $6.00 in some of the larger antique malls. I even use the ammonia solution 100% without damage to the nickel. It doesn't restore bad plating, nothing does, but will clean plate that is still in good condition underneath the crud..



This stuff (Simichrome) works miracles. It does an amazing job on nickel and chrome. It also does well with Bakelite. I sell this stuff and a lot of buyers are motorcyclists (lots of chrome there) and antique dealers that specialize in Bakelite jewelry. They use it to test to see if an object is really Bakelite. This stuff will polish Bakelite, but not other materials.


I use a solution of household ammonia and mix with about 25% water. Let soak about 30 minutes then brush off with toothbrush under running water. May take a couple of soakings to get off all dirt & grime. I do this with brass and bromze metal. It will cause iron or steel to rust, and will take off paint, so be careful.




We hope you have found this information to be of help in your telephone

restoration work. If you have any suggestions, we will be happy to post them.


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