Whether you recently commissioned a bronze casting or you're caring for an old one, knowing how to clean them makes their aesthetic appeal last longer. Rather than turning to everyday cleaning fluids and slapdash techniques, it's time to focus on approaches that will complement your bronze.
Always remove dust gently before cleaning
Proceeding to clean your bronze castings before removing dust and debris could lead to small scratches on the surface. Initially, the scratches might not amount to much; over time, however, they'll amass and lead to a less-than-shiny appearance.
You can remove dust and debris by gently cleaning the castings with a microfibre cloth. Rinse the casting using lukewarm water and then allow it to air dry. If you're in a rush, using a separate microfibre cloth is also acceptable. Opting for microfibre over other types of material means you're more likely to catch small particles that make your cleaning efforts difficult.
Cleaning option one: use a baking soda and lemon paste
When cleaning any type of bronze it's important to avoid off-the-shelf products that could harm the item's appearance. Using homemade cleaning solutions that feature natural ingredients delivers excellent results without compromising the item's appearance.
Your first option is to create a paste using baking soda and lemon juice. After combining the two, wait for the mix to stop fizzing and apply an even layer across the casting. Rub the paste in with a clean cloth using small circles, then leave it to settle for 20 minutes. Rinse the item with warm water and allow it to dry naturally. This approach is excellent for removing greenish hues from your item, although you can use it for regular cleaning as well.
Cleaning option two: soapy water
A simpler approach to cleaning a new bronze casting is to use mild soap and water -- for example, baby shampoo or dish washing soap. Combine your soap of choice with warm water until you form a sudsy solution and use a clean cloth to gently rub some of it in small circles across the casting. Move from top to bottom in straight lines to ensure you don't miss areas.
After cleaning the item, rinse it with clear warm water and allow it to dry on its own. This approach is ideal for castings that are new and haven't had the chance to develop a greenish hue yet, making it ideal for everyday, non-intensive cleaning.
Finally, always steer away from traditional cleaning methods, which includes the use of heavy ammonia-based products.