How To Clean Bronze

Bronze is a beautiful decorative metal that everyone probably has some of in their home. When you first buy it, it’s shiny and bright. Over time you may start to notice it dulls and even turns a little green. Here’s how to clean bronze and bring it back to its former glory!

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What Is That Green Stuff?

If your bronze hasn’t been cleaned in quite some time, you may even notice there is a bit of a green tinge going on. This is called oxidation. Believe it or else, you’ve seen the effects of this on one of the United States’ most iconic symbols: The Statue of Liberty.

When bronze is exposed to moisture and oxygen, it develops that greenish layer over the top known as a patina. When Lady Liberty was first cast, she was a beautiful bronze figure. But over time, all that moisture from the New York Harbor helped give her that distinctive green glow we see today.

How To Clean Bronze With Lemon

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with just enough lemon juice to create a cleaning paste. When you initially mix the baking soda and lemon juice, the mixture will bubble up. Let this settle before you begin cleaning.

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Take a soft cloth and rub the paste onto your bronze piece. Continue to rub and polish the bronze until you feel it has reached the level of clean you are looking for. If it’s a particularly dirty piece, you can leave the paste on the bronze while you work on another item.

Once your bronze has been polished to your liking, rinse off the bronze in clean running water. After the paste has been completely rinsed off, dry and buff the bronze with a dry, soft cloth. Be sure all paste and water has been removed before storing or replacing to your decor.

How To Clean Bronze With Vinegar

You can also use a vinegar-based cleaning paste to clean your bronze. Mix equal parts flour and salt in a dish, then pour in just enough vinegar to make a paste.

Spread the paste over the bronze piece(s) and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. You will then wash the paste off under clean, running water and dry and rub clean with a soft cloth. Again, be sure that it is completely dry and clean of all vinegar paste before storing or using.

Chemical Cleaning Agents

If you prefer, you can also purchase a cleaning agent that is specifically designed to clean bronze. No matter which brand you choose, experts recommend using a very thin layer of cleaning wax on your bronze. And as with the natural cleaning agents, only use a soft rag or brush to polish.

How To Store Bronze

Your bronze should be stored in areas of your home with low humidity. You also want to avoid storing it in places where excessive heat may be an issue. For this reason, it’s important that you avoid storing your bronze in attics and basements.

You also want to make sure that wherever your bronze is stored or displayed is well ventilated.