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How To Clean A French Porcelain Limoges Box

How To Clean A French Porcelain Limoges Box
By Vida Cunningham February 15, 2018 7 comments

If you own one or more Limoges boxes, you want to display them in areas where they can be viewed, enjoyed and admired.

If you're the proud owner of French porcelain Limoges boxes, you want to showcase them in areas where they can be viewed and admired year-round. While many collectors choose to display their Limoges boxes in enclosed glass cabinets, it's nice to feature them on coffee tables, fireplace mantels, open shelves, and other areas of the home. The trick is knowing how to keep your Limoges boxes free from dust so they always look as pristine as the day you bought them.

The following tips will help you maintain the delicate, hand-painted surfaces and ornate gilding of your Limoges boxes.

Authentic French Limoges Boxes |

As time goes by, dust and other residue settles on and into the crevices of any Limoges box. In order to keep your treasured Limoges boxes in their optimum condition, these tips will help keep them clean, shiny and attractive for years to come.

Limoges boxes are made of fine porcelain, the same material as Limoges tableware. Of course, all tableware is made in such a manner to be washed – and so can Limoges boxes. However, as Limoges boxes have delicate hand-painted surfaces, and some have ornate gilding, much more care needs to be exercised when cleaning a Limoges box.

Light Dusting

Dusting your Limoges boxes regularly with a soft cloth (or tissue) will keep them clean. Plain water is normally enough to wipe any fingerprint marks or light dust. A soft cloth or tissue works best for Limoges boxes with flat surfaces. I do not recommend immersing the Limoges box into water as the brass fittings can become tarnished and/or develop a patina in spots. If the metalwork gets wet, just make sure to wipe and dry it thoroughly.

How To Clean A Limoges Box |

Cleaning Ornate Limoges Boxes

Many Limoges boxes have more ornate shapes with small parts or indentations. Cotton swabs do a good job of getting into hard-to-reach corners and crevices. A soft toothbrush dipped in water can be used to gently remove residue build up on the Limoges box. Avoid touching the gold areas of the Limoges with the toothbrush as it may scratch or remove the gold and thus damage your precious Limoges box.

How to Clean a Limoges Box |

Cleaning Built-Up Residue

If plain water does not remove the residue on your Limoges box, you can sparingly use a light spray of a common household cleaner on the cotton swab or toothbrush and gently brush off the area on the Limoges, then wipe with a wet napkin so no cleaning liquid remains on the porcelain. Again, as mentioned above, avoid rubbing the gold areas of the Limoges, as this may scratch or remove the gold - a not desirable outcome!

Authentic French Limoges Boxes from

Limoges boxes are fantastic collectibles. They not only increase in value but are a great pleasure to behold. The small size of Limoges boxes makes them easy to display and to expand one's collection. It is always so much fun to find a new Limoges box to enhance your collection or to start a new theme.

To view an extensive and ever-growing selection of beautiful French Limoges boxes, including many exclusive styles, please visit, one of the largest direct importers of French Limoges boxes in the US.

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Did you find this post informative? We would love to hear your comments.

Posted in: How To & Tips
Doreen Wong March 29, 2016 at 6:20 AM
Thanks for the cleaning advise! I have to maintain my porcelain boxes while I do my spring cleaning routine, and I was searching for the best way to do that. Glad to find your page! Greetings
LimogesCollector March 29, 2016 at 8:21 AM
Thanks, Doreen. Yes, our treasured Limoges boxes are always displayed best when they are bright and shiny. It's easy to keep them clean for a lifetime of enjoyment.
Joanna Langley April 14, 2016 at 8:32 AM
I keep my Limoges box collection in an enclosed lighted cabinet. It is a great way to display them and keep them dust-free at the same time. They will need much less maintenance but, from time to time, it is good to dust them off. Your cleaning tips are very helpful.
LimogesCollector April 14, 2016 at 8:39 AM
I agree. A glass cabinet, especially a lighted one, is a great place to display Limoges boxes. These beautiful art pieces should be placed where we can see and enjoy them (and to show them off to our visitors). This is also a great way to keep them dust and residue free the longest.
Janice Sullivan November 6, 2016 at 11:27 AM
Very informative!! Limoges Boxes are a True Life Enhancer.
Material possesions have become an anathema to many.
I understand this.
However, the size and intricate beauty coupled with the clever and flawless designs make that moot to me.
I'm truly an "addict" regarding the collecting of these unique boxes.
I have only begun collecting these last few months....I own 50 pieces and counting.
My husband thinks I'm crazy...I suppose, in this matter, I am. I'm crazy for Limoges Boxes & there are so many more I'd love to have....unfortunately, they are pricey for someone like me...fixed income and all.
Then, there is the matter of space....I'm running out!!
Claire Harper April 3, 2017 at 2:30 AM
Hi.:) I just started collecting Limoges Trinket boxes, and I notice that some of the Trinket boxes that I have to buy in the secondary market, because they are retired and no longer available, have dark and dull metal parts, like the hinge, the clasp and the metal rim of the boxes. Is there any way to shine them up, so they look like new again?:) Thank you.:)
Vida Cunningham April 6, 2017 at 6:54 AM
Hi Claire,

Yes, sometimes some of the Limoges boxes can have tarnished metalwork. But this all depends - some metalwork is treated with acid when the Limoges box is made so that it has an antique finish. You would not want to alter that. There is really no easy way to polish the metalwork as it may damage the hand-painting of the Limoges box. You can use a very fine sand paper to only rub the metal and not the porcelain.