Bronze grave markers and bronze embellishments on memorial monuments are beautiful ways to remember the important people in our lives who have died. Bronze is timeless, elegant, long lasting and durable, but over time will give in to effects of weathering and other damage by harsh elements. Dulled and discolored bronze can ruin the appearance of headstones, plaques and grave markers, which is why regular cleaning and maintenance is important.
If you are caring for a loved one’s bronze memorial, then the following guide is for you. Below we’ll look at the best ways to clean bronze in Walterboro, SC.
Cleaning bronze on headstones and urns
Some of the most common factors that affect the appearance and condition of bronze grave markers are elemental exposure, material age and human error. To ensure bronze lasts a long time—whether an inside urn or an outside grave marker or plaque—it needs to be protected from damage through proper care and preventative maintenance.
Natural ways to clean and polish bronze
In time, all bronze pieces will lose their shine. And the longer bronze is exposed to air and moisture, the duller and more oxidized (greenish) they become. While the darkened finish look adds character to the metal, chances are, you will want your loved one’s headstone plaque or urn to be clean and shiny. Below are the steps to clean and polish bronze using one of two natural ingredients: lemon or vinegar.
First, be sure to use juice from fresh lemons or pre-bottled 100 percent lemon juice. The additives in some store-bought lemon juice can harm the metal:
- Step 1: Gather the items you need to clean bronze—lemon juice, baking soda, a dish, a spoon and a few soft cloths. Get ready to deploy some elbow grease.
- Step 2: Add one tablespoon baking soda into the small dish, then pour some lemon juice over it. Wait for it to stop bubbling. Mix into a paste.
- Step 3: Use a soft cloth to rub the paste onto the bronze piece. Rub until the metal is clean to your liking.
- Step 4: Wash the paste mixture off the bronze under running water or blot off using a moist cloth. Dry and buff with a clean, soft cloth.
When cleaning bronze using vinegar, make sure it’s a standard white vinegar, which is safe for cleaning purposes, unlike apple cider or other vinegars:
- Step 1: In a small dish, mix together equal parts flour and salt, then add just enough vinegar to make a not-too-watery paste.
- Step 2: Using a clean cloth, apply the paste onto the bronze and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Step 3: Wash the paste off under running water. Dry thoroughly and buff the bronze piece with a dry, soft cloth.
Even when you know how to clean bronze in Walterboro, SC, it’s normal to prefer the cleaning services of a professional when it’s your loved one’s headstone or grave marker. Don’t hesitate to call Steedley Monument Works with questions or concerns. Let us know how we can help with your loved one’s memorial monument!