Although compacts are fairly durable they can deteriorate and suffer damage if transported or handled carelessly, so it is important to check and clean any new purchase before displaying or storing. Cleaning is mainly a matter of common sense a few tips and cautions may save time and trouble.
Do not wash compacts with glass mirrors, as water will leak in behind the mirror and damage the reflective coating. Do not be tempted to use abrasive metal cleaner on laquered surfaces, they will remove the protective film and the underlying metal will soon tarnish. However silver compacts can be cleaned by conventional methods.
Begin cleaning by removing old powder using a small dry toothbrush to remove any traces lodged in crevices,as the perfume in face powder can discolour the laquer used on the metal. You can also brush the sifter and puff gently then shake them vigourously or tap them against a hard surface to remove loosley adhering grains. Swandown puffs can be washed and carefully dried with a hairdryer on cool.but other puffs should only be washed as a last resort as they can easily disintergrate.Methylated spirits on a cotton bud should be used to remove adhesive labels. Wipe all hard surfaces with a soft cotton cloth onto which a small amount of good quality silicone polish has been sprayed and then buff with another soft clean cloth, this removes traces of acid left behind by handling and exposure to the atmosphere.
Small scratches can be reduced by gently polishing the affected area with silver polish on a soft cloth after you have first tested small area.
After cleaning display your new treasure, preferably behind glass this will reduce so that vapours in the atmospheredo not damage the surface, or store carefully in acid free tissue paper or a film fronted bag. Enjoy.