For those of you who are unsure, a commonly used copper and tin alloy is Bronze which is often used in decorative items and furniture. Interestingly, bronze is usually resistant to corrosion, however when water or air come into play, there may be an odd greenish build up covering all or parts of its surface. Antique bronze in particular is susceptible to this covering – which is a form of patina caused by oxidization.
As it is with patina, its down to personal taste, however if you are looking to clean your bronze antique up, then start of with some simple cleaning.
It is very important to inspect the surface of your antique bronze to see if there is a large amount of dust accumulated into the item’s exterior. If the dust is heavy, you must take an action immediately by removing and cleaning the bronze with a clean and soft cloth.
A vacuum cleaner with a soft attachment is also pretty good to rid the bronze item of surface dust. You can also use a toothbrush to remove the dirt and dust from the bronze’s crevices.
REMOVING GRIME WITH SOAP AND WATER
If there’s a presence of grime you can remove it by using water and plain soap. Avoid using hard water. As much as possible, use a distilled water to clean your bronze item, mineral spirits are also ideal way to clean your antique bronze, they can be found in the stores near you. It is recommended to get rid all of polish residue, which might appear dark green, white and grey. These residues often found in the cracks of the bronze.
HOW TO TREAT BRONZE CORROSION?
Corrosion might build-up in the bronze over time because of the tainted grime and oils. This corrosion can be eliminated by carefully using solvent. After the solvent evaporates, it is best to check for any dust residue. You may also use cloths that are moistened by mineral spirits to wash the grime which is a safer option for novices.
One important thing to remember is avoid using Vulpex for copper items.
In the occasion that the above mentioned methods do not work, you can also use 1 % solution of Vulpex mixed with mineral spirits. One important thing to remember is avoid using this Vulpex for copper items. In the occasion that the bronze has corroded, you may also need to remove the corrosion, however in this case if you aren’t sure of what you are doing, it may be time to work with a professional to restore your antique.
Another effective way to clean antique bronze is metal polish. Metal polish will not only make your item clean but shiny too if that is the effect you are aiming for. Metal polish can be found in the nearest hardware stores in your town, or for convenience take a look at Amazon.
However, make sure not to over polish your item because it may remove some of the important compounds in the antique bronze.