When caring for your inner cedar basketry pieces, do not use any harsh chemicals, only a duster or small cloth to wipe away the dust. Presenting them in extreme elements or direct sunlight will shorten life. Do not submerge in water only damp cloth over to help with the dust.
Most Northwest Coastal carving is made from the red or yellow cedar tree. Please don’t display in direct elements such as sunlight. This fades and discolors the piece. The cedar tree is great for carving but also susceptible to cracks. The pieces can get dusty and for best results use a slightly dampened cloth or soft duster, also for the pieces with deep lines a cuts aerosol cans that blow air work great, usually used for cleaning computer keyboards. Carvings made form cotton wood are durable and the wood dose not crack.
A drum is referred to as the heart beat of the Nation. Looking after your drum and taking care of your drum will ensure it to have a long and beautiful life. Many drums are made from elk, moose and deer, with a wood frame. Your drum will not like being stored in a hot place or extreme temperatures, storing your drum in a cool place well ensure long life. If it goes from one extreme temperature to another it may crack. Oils prolong the life of the drum but are not always needed. Remember less moisture = higher pitch, cold drum = sounds flat.
Feathers can also be cleaned. Ones purchased from the cultural centre have been cleaned; feathers you find in the wild could contain bacteria or disease. The best thing you could do to clean feathers you find would be to wash with lukewarm water and mild detergent. With purchased feathers that get stuck together or start looking not so nice then hold it over steam to smooth it out. If you have them showcased together in a fan, you can shake them up so the dust will come off and bring life back in to your piece.
For your jewelry care and cleaning follow these instructions. First of all store jewelry in a dry and clean place, jewelry cases are recommended and if only one box is used individually wrap jewelry in soft tissue paper, don’t mix all your jewelry together or it may get scraped by other pieces. Be careful when washing hands, not leave it by the sink to slip down. Don’t wear your jewelry while using bleach and chemical cleansers or while in the pool or hot tub. Ultrasonic cleansers are available to quickly clean jewelry at home. Always be advised if your jewelry has stones attached other care may need to take place.
For Gold Jewelry care, follow these instructions. Remove all gold before entering the shower or cleaning. Chamois cloths are inexpensive and help keep the luster and shine, in some cases ultrasonic cleaning machines can be purchased, but ask specifically about your item. Tarnish can be removed with a jewelry cleanser. Mixing water and a few drops of ammonia together and carefully using a soft tooth brush clean away the area, then rinse with lukewarm water and dry. You can remove grease from gold by dipping it into plain rubbing alcohol.
For Silver Jewelry care, follow these instructions. Mild soap and water can be used to clean your silver and jewelry cleaner can also be purchased. Only use a fine felt or polishing cloth to whip your silver, paper towel and other house hold items may cause scratches, air and light while stored can cause tarnish.
Pottery pieces can get dusty and for best results use a slightly dampened cloth or soft duster. For pieces with deep lines a cuts aerosol cans that blow air work great, usually used for cleaning computer keyboards.
Traditionally most woven wool bags, blankets and scarves were not washed, but cleansed. Some Coast Salish weavings are machine washable on hand wash setting with Woolite. Be sure to find out when purchasing any woven items what the recommended procedure for cleaning is. For Cowichan sweater care use lukewarm water and wool soap or small amount of detergent can be used. Not too much should be used, or the lanolin will be washed out and your piece will no longer be waterproof. Quick and fast squeeze the water threw the dirty part of the knit. Rinse in water two or three times, squeeze out water. After the water is squeezed out then roll in towels to get rid of as much water as you can. Then stretch into shape, and lay on rack to dry.