How to Clean and Care for Bronze

How to Clean Bronze

Try Original Blitz Cloth to Clean & Polish Bronze

Scroll down to skip the tips and go directly to cleaning instructions.
  1. General Information About Bronze
  2. Bronze Care Tips
  3. Salt, Vinegar & Flour Method
  4. Baking Soda & Lemon Juice Method

General Information about Bronze

Bronze is a popular metal for home or garden décor and can be a little tricky to clean.  Bronze is a hard, heavy alloy made of copper and tin.  To create a bronze statue or item, a wax image is created, encased in a mold which is heated to an extreme temperature. The wax is burned away at these hot temperatures, and the empty cavity is filled with bronze. The casting is cleaned and warm wax is applied. Since the bronze surface is porous, the wax eases into the surface and keeps air and moisture from penetrating and causing the copper inside the bronze to tarnish. When a bronze item is kept inside, it can take months or even years before you ever see signs of tarnish.  If your bronze is kept outside, the item can more quickly react with moisture (oxidation) and will turn a greenish color.  This is known as patina and is considered by some to be beautiful and add value to the piece. First, you must determine what type of tarnish you are dealing with as each stage has different cleaning tips or consequences.  Cleaning can sometimes affect the value of an item.  Consult with an expert if you feel unsure. 

 

TIPS:

•    Maintain the look of your bronze with regular dusting.  Do not polish too often as that can ruin your bronze décor. •    Use the Original Blitz Cloth for use on tarnish that appears too dark dark in color. Simply remove the cloth from the package and lightly rub the surface of the bronze until the color is restored. •    If the tarnish on the bronze is black you should consult an expert about how to proceed. The copper has reacted with oxygen and sulfur. If you decide this must be removed, determine how deep the metal is affected. The corrosion could be extreme, and pits may have developed. The tarnish can be removed with great difficulty, and the surface will then be shiny again, but scarred. If so, then judgment will be needed if the surface should be smoothed. All this will take a great deal of time, patience, and possibly special tools and ingredients. An expert should be consulted. •    If your tarnish is various shades of green and blue, stop!  This is what we referred to earlier as bronze patina and is a highly desirable look for bronze.  Patina can actually protect the surface of the metal. 

 

CLEANING:

Original Blitz Cloth

Original Blitz Cloth – remove from package and rub the surface of the bronze until the color is restored.  We use only 100% non-toxic ingredients.  This is a faster and effective alternative to homemade pastes.

Homemade Options: Salt, Vinegar & Flour Method

1.    Start with one cup of white vinegar 2.    Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the vinegar; allow to dissolve. 3.    Add 1 teaspoons of flour to create a paste. 4.    Apply the paste to the bronze using a lint free and non-abrasive cloth. 5.    Polish by rubbing in a circular motion. 6.    Allow to sit for 20 minutes 7.    Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. 8.    If tarnish is not yet completely gone, repeat the process.

Baking Soda & Lemon Juice Method:

1.    In a bowl start with 2 tablespoons of baking soda 2.    Slowly pour lemon juice into the bowl of baking soda until a paste forms.  (Add as needed).  Bubbling is normal! 3.    Apply the paste to the surface of the bronze with a lint free and non-abrasive cloth. 4.    Polish by rubbing in a circular motion. 5.    Allow to sit for 20 minutes 6.    Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth. 7.    If tarnish is not yet completely gone, repeat the process.

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