I’m Never Drinking Coca Cola Again…!

Well, that might be an over-statement, as it has its moments, and I ought to be celebrating it after last night.
This weekend I bought a mid-19thc Copeland Late Spode stoneware bottle vase in a junk shop in Edenbridge. Yes, just the one, not a pair. And, I know, it’s not my usual thing at all. It just called out to me to take it home, and it wasn’t expensive. But it was also stained – badly. The appealing (well, to me anyway) transfer-printed and hand-painted glossy floral pattern should have contrasted pleasingly against the matte pale blue jasperware-like body, but the effect was ruined by an uneven dull brown stain.
After getting home, I set to cleaning it. The seller’s thoughts of ‘a little ‘Fairy Liquid‘ didn’t work. Nor did soaking it for a day and a night, and I know it’s apparently dangerous to soak such pieces. Out came the ‘Bar Keeper’s Friend’, which said it was approved for use by Wedgwood on their ceramics. Although it looked as if it would be worryingly abrasive, it didn’t damage the small area of the base I tried it on, but it didn’t shift the stain either. Out came other a myriad of other cleaning products and solvents. Nothing worked, even in combination. The stain was there to stay.
With a sigh, I decided to mix the banker a post-work drink, and spotted a bottle of Coca Cola in the fridge. I remembered how it shifted some non-limey muck in a Dartington decanter I had bought a few years ago, and pondered what it might do to my stained vase. What had I got to lose? So, into a shallow pool of Coke went the vase.
Lo and behold, I got up this morning to find this, below! The stain is clearly on its way out, leaving the delicate blue body as fresh as it was around 150 years ago!
I know about the trick with a dirty penny or cent coin, but what does this stuff do to your insides if it does this to a seemingly unshiftable stain?! Only ‘fat coke’, ie; not Diet Coke, seems to work, and it has to be ‘The Real Thing’, not some cheap imitation. I haven’t tried it on anything else, there’s still some way to go, and it may even leave damage later when it’s dry. But it’s an interesting experiment. The vase was cheap to buy, and it really wasn’t any good before, so I’m off to Waitrose to buy six litres of Coke to drown the whole thing in!

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