How to Clean Antique Clocks

The proper method for cleaning any antique clock depends on the clock's age, but there are general rules to follow.


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You Will Need

  • Washing tray
  • Cleaning fluid
  • Watchmakers' tools
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Pegwood
  • Lint-free rag
  • Pith
  • Bellows
  • Antique clock repair shop (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Put parts in cleaning fluid

    Disassemble the clock movement and place all the compatible parts in a tray filled with cleaning fluid. Remove the spring from the barrel before placing the barrel in the cleaning fluid.

  2. Check with a professional antique clock repair shop about suitable cleaning compounds and cleaning methods for your clock.

  3. Step 2

    Remove parts from cleaning fluid

    Remove the parts from the cleaning fluid and brush them with a soft brush.

  4. Step 3

    Clean specific parts

    Clean the nooks and crannies with sharpened pegwood, and clean the pinion leaves with the brush and rag. Wipe the teeth of the wheels with pith.

  5. Step 4

    Wipe mainspring

    Clean the mainspring and fine pivots.

  6. Step 5

    Clean the plate

    Remove the clock plate from the solution, dry it, and blow the plate with bellows. Clean out all the holes and the oil sinks for retaining oil at the pivot ends with pegwood.

  7. Mechanical clocks are believed to have been invented in Europe in the 13th century.