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Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

Posted by dilly_dally (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 8, 09 at 10:52

Hi. I love iris and grow them for cuttings in my home. One of my dark purple iris cuttings seems to have dripped a purple liquid onto a figuring that was sitting next to it. I've tried the usual cleaning products from under my sink to no avail.

The figurine is from GUMP and is not glazed, but parts of it are painted with a matte paint. Both the unpainted and the painted parts are affected.

The damage looks like a purple liquid dripped on it and ran. There were also purple drips on the tops of the toilet tank also but those cleaned right up from the shiny glazed surface it had - no problem.

Is there anything that I can do? Something that is known to remove whatever it is that fell onto the figurine?

I thought that this may be a problem people in this forum had had so I did not ask in the cleaning forum.

Huge thanks for any responses I get.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

The figurine is from GUMP and is not glazed,
I am not at all familiar with what GUMP is, but had a dark iris drip some dark colored stuff onto the white formica (I think it is) kitchen counter. I think I used a little Comet, rubbing lightly until it came out. Sometimes counter stains like juice or rust will come up/out using some baking soda rubbed on them.

What is GUMP?


RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

You could also try vinegar, vinegar/baking soda slurry, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, denatured alcohol, mineral spirits, Goo Gone, BAM, or toothpaste scrubbed in with an old toothbrush. To minimize damage to your figurine, try rubbing iris petals into another, sacrificable porous ceramic surface like the underside of an old saucer, let it set in the sun, then try various methods on it till you find what works, then use that method on the figurine.

Sounds like an organic substance has gotten into the pores of a porous surface, so maybe an enzymatic cleaner will get in there and consume it if the vinegar or hydrogen peroxide does not work. If ceramic, you could also try boiling, soaking, even brief baking or microwaving, but be aware that sometimes heat may set a stain, or some of the matte paint may not be fast. Actually if it has permeated a matte paint, rather than a matte glaze, you may not be able to remove the stain without removing the paint.

On second thought

On second thought don't soak it. It may absorb water and crack the glaze.

I googled "cleaning gump figurines" and the first few results say to lay on a towel, and swab on baby shampoo or woolite with a soft shaving or makeup brush.

If this is valuable or antique you may have to take it to a restorer. Or, put it back in the garden and hope the iris dye sunfades.

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

Thanks guys.

"What is GUMP? "

I guess it is called GUMPS. It is linked below. It is a gift shop in San Francisco that is known all over for having unique designs and Asian inspired decor items.

This is an indoor figurine not a garden one. It is not a valuable heirloom or anything antique but it is something that I really liked. My whole bathroom was decorated about this one figurine. I DID try to put it in the sun to fade the stain. I know that pollen from daylilies that get on fabric will disappear that way. I also used Mr Clean. And rubbing alcohol. I was afraid of bleach or anything abrasive. I don't want to try acetone either but will if nothing else works and the thing is ruined.

To tell you the truth I bought it at Goodwill for a couple dollars. I saw it and it appealed to me and I kept going back to it. I am not a clutterbug and don't do a lot of knickknacks and tchotchkes preferring streamlined clean lined living space. This thing was different to me though. I found the GUMPS marking on it when I got home. I am guessing that it may be "valuable" but the real reason I want to save it is because I love it.

I am going to try a couple of the other things mentioned above. I do not want to ruin the finish on it. It is very porous. I appreciate all the ideas though.

Here is a link that might be useful: GUMPS

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

Gumps. My old favorite. I would try bleach. That stain has permeated the pores and surface cleaning won't do the trick.

I have some salad plates with undersides unglazed. Was it rust or something else? Comet wouldn't remove. Bleach worked.

I'm glad you posted this. People ask about iris as cut flowers and the 'dripping' some beardeds do seldom is mentioned.

Let us know if anything is sucessful.

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

I have had great luck with oxyclean type products when it comes to stains from nature's pigments.

I do not know if you tried any oxy products but works well for me!!


RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

I agree about the oxyclean products. Try to use something that would eat the organic molecules, like oxyclean, hydrogen peroxide, or enzymes, before trying bleach which could affect the paint.

Why not post a photo of your figurine, now that we have heard about it, bet people are curious!

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

"Let us know if anything is sucessful."

Ta-da! More sunlight did the trick!

I was really afraid of ruining the figurine with chemicals. I thought the unglazed white might "yellow" with cleaning chemicals, especially if I started trying too many on it or going stronger and stronger with acetone or other things, and I worried that the painted parts might fade if I did get the stain out.

As I said before, I tried putting it in sunlight for a couple days, but our weather here has been unusually cool and cloudy for early June and nothing happened with the stain.

We have had a heat wave (in the 90's) and I left it out for a couple more weeks, (until yesterday actually). It baked. It did get rained on so that may have helped too. Rain water is "clean" and does not contain all the minerals and chemicals that our tap water here does. I think that tap water can sometimes 'set' a stain. I noticed the stain slowly fading over a few days, and it is barley noticeable now.

My intent was to try to Oxy Clean but due to a family crisis I never got around to it and ended up leaving the figurine outside all this time. I guess procrastination sometimes has desirable outcomes. LOL.

I thought I would give an update and thank everybody for trying to help with cleaning recommendations. Hopefully some one with the same problem will find this thread and find it helpful.

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

That's excellent news!

RE: Iris damged my figurine. How to clean?

Thanks for the update.

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