Bronze is a kind of metal that refers to a range of copper alloys with tin as the main constituent. It is used for a number of items, such as home decor and musical instruments. Exposure to air and moisture causes bronze to oxidize, forming a greenish layer over the metal.
This kind of metal loses its luster over time. They need to be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain it. Even antique bronze items need maintenance so that they will look elegant.
Make sure to dust bronze items regularly with a soft cloth. You can use a brush attached to the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner to suck the dust. For hard to reach crevices, use a toothbrush. Grime can be removed with plain soap and water. However, make sure never to use hard water for the cleaning.
- container big enough for the bronze item;
- a stove for boiling;
- soap or salt, vinegar and flour (you can also use commercial cleaners and polish); and
- chamois leather.
Boiling Water Method
Place the bronze item in the container with boiling water. Remove it from the container and rub with flannel cloth in soapsuds. Stains and marks can be rubbed off gently.
Chamois leather is the best material for drying it. Make sure it is completely dry to prevent rust.
The Salt, Vinegar, and Flour Method
Make a paste from one teaspoon salt and one cup of vinegar mixed with water. Apply this paste evenly to the bronze item. Leave the paste on for an hour. Rinse off with warm water. Polish it dry with chamois cloth.
There are also commercially available polishing solutions. Take care not to make your bronze too shiny if it is an antique as this may be a distraction from the quality of the piece.