How to clean bronze without removing patina. Bronze, as the name implies, is the color of fresh-baked bread. When in its natural state, it’s made from copper and tin, but some bronze alloys can also be found in other exotic types of metal.
Household fittings, statues, and awards are common examples of objects in which bronze has been used for thousands of years.
Over time, however, due to its high copper content, bronze acquires a rich dark brown patina that adds classic beauty to both practical items like bookcases or shelves as well as elegant decorative pieces such as lampstands and statuettes.
How to clean bronze without removing patina
Start by cleaning it with a dry cotton cloth. As gently as you can, use a soft brush to clean away any stubborn dirt.
There’s no need to break anything, so don’t go at it too hard. Once it’s all clean, polish the surface of your bronze object until it gleams.
To protect your beautiful bronze object and ensure it stays nice and shiny, apply a layer of wax.
Using wax to clean the bronze
Rub a dry cotton cloth over the bronze object. Always apply light pressure. Make sure you’re protecting your hands from grime buildup.
If necessary, use a soft brush to remove grime from the deeper crevices of the object. After that, apply clear paste wax to the surface of bronze by dipping a new 1-inch wide paintbrush into it and then sweeping it gently over the whole surface in an effort to form a thin layer of wax.
Let sit for roughly half an hour (depending on how long directed) or until completely dry, if applicable before buffing with a clean cotton cloth or soft cloth to remove the wax residue.
It may take several coats of wax in order for your piece to shine as beautifully as possible.
Apply Lemon Juice & Baking Soda
If you want to restore the luster of bronze items, you must first clean them with warm, soapy water. Make a thick, smooth paste by mixing baking soda and lemon juice on a plate.
To rub in the mixture, either uses your hands (with rubber gloves) or a soft cloth. Let the mixture sit for about 20-30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. Repeat once more if the green tint still remains.
Using Flour, salt, and vinegar
Make a paste out of equal parts of flour and salt. Add slowly some vinegar to the mixture until you get the right consistency for making a paste you can use for dry brushing (should be the consistency of toothpaste).
Now, apply this mixture to your bronze item using your hands. With a polishing cloth, rub over the entire surface with light circular motions and let it sit for about 20 – 30 minutes .
Rinse thoroughly under warm water to remove the white residue and dry with a clean towel. If you would like, you may repeat this process again to further enhance your item’s luster.
A few additional tips
Instead of polishing cloth, you can use old white cotton t-shirts. Cut the shirts into squares and use them instead. The paste is applied to the bronze, rubbed in with an old toothbrush, and then left to dry for one day.
Be aware that the greenish patina may be stubborn to remove. If the bronze item is small or has many bends or tight spots, try rubbing out any bumps or grooves with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid hurting the bronze surface.
Be sure to completely dry your bronze items after rinsing them. They only remove enough paste so their items don’t look dirty for weeks on end.
With these few tips, you can ensure your bronze fixtures last you for many years to come and that they sparkle like new.