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Bronze has been around for quite a while. From intricate chandeliers to candle stands, many home decorators love bronze for its muted elegance. The malleability of the alloy makes it stronger and lighter than most of its counterparts present in the market.
With prolonged exposure to air, however, bronze can dull over time. By repeated contact with oxygen, bronze undergoes oxidation to form a green layer called patina. While it gives the artifact a distinguished look on its own, some may prefer bronze in its original glory.
From how to keep your bronze good as new to how to rub off existing stains, this article becomes your one-stop guide for everything bronze related.
To keep your bronze shining, maintenance is key. For the new pieces in your inventory, starting early on their upkeep will ensure that they keep glowing through the years. On a daily basis, dusting is more than enough for most pieces.
On bronze items that come into constant contact with people (such as doorknobs) or dirt (such as candelabras) a wipe down with lukewarm water-soaked cloth would be enough. However, take care to make sure that each piece is thoroughly dried after.
For Wearable Bronze Pieces
When it comes to jewelry, bronze is the one metal no complexion can go wrong with. You need to extra careful while handling these pieces as they tend to wear down faster due to constant contact with body oils.
To prevent unnecessary exposure to chemicals, apply your makeup, sunscreen, and perfume before putting on any jewelry. At the end of the day, carefully clean all the pieces individually with a cloth soaked in water and dry them thoroughly.
Make sure that these pieces are kept away from setting sprays and the like, as the chemicals present in them can make bronze look tarnished over time.
For more precious items, after use bronze should be kept in airtight packets. By cutting off contact with oxygen, you can save your jewelry from developing a patina over long periods of time.
Going out for a swim? Your bronze is probably much safer out of the water. The chlorine present in the pool can degrade bronze quickly.
Methods to clean bronze
While there are a lot of commercial cleaners present in the market, you can make your own polish using kitchen ingredients. Cleaning bronze is no expensive affair, although depending upon the extent of patina formed it can become a long one. Take these all-natural pastes and get your scrubbing gloves on.
1. Vinegar, salt and flour
Mix equal parts vinegar and flour in a bowl. Add in a bit of salt and stir all of them together until it forms a goopy paste.
Coat your bronze articles in the aid mixture and let it sit for a while. Of the structure is full of intricate designs, you can sue a soft-bristled brush to get in at all corners. Let the past sit for a couple of hours and proceed to rinse.
Dry the article thoroughly with a soft cloth to avoid water staining. To make them shine even more prominent, dab on a little bit of olive oil at the end.
2. Lemon juice
Put some baking soda in a bowl. Slowly add lemon juice to the bowl until you end up with a paste that is relatively thick. Do not be alarmed if the mixture starts fizzing, or see some bubbles pop every now and then. Protect your hands with some gloves and then work on the paste on the item.
Slowly rub the mixture in circular motions without being too harsh as to cause scratches. Leave the article covered in the paste for about half an hour before rinsing and drying.
3. White vinegar and water
For a hands-off approach, submerge your bronze items in an equal parts white vinegar and water bath overnight. The next morning, simply rinse with warm water and dry.
A readymade cleaner available everywhere, cover your bronze in a layer of ketchup. Ketchup has a variety of ingredients that help to strip off the patina from the metal. After keeping the ketchup mask on for a couple of hours, rinse and dry the metal to reveal its glow.
How often should you clean bronze?
For bronze, a little upkeep daily will go a long way. Make sure to do the daily dusting and wiping wherever required and the appearance of patina will be drastically reduced. Only polish bronze when needed, as continued polishing can destroy the surface by creating scratches over the metal.
Always make sure to carry out tests over small patches before completely dedicating your complete piece to a particular cleaning method. Some methods work better than others, depending upon the alloy itself.
With these methods, you can get the bronze present in your house sparkling again. With some elbow grease and lots of patience, you can covert dull and drab metal pieces into something that looks like something fresh from the catalog.