02 June 2022

How to clean copper objects?


Copper, like brass and bronze, are metals that tend to tarnish and oxidise over time. Moreover, it is not easy to clean them without risking damage.

In this article you will find some tips on how to clean and maintain your copper, bronze and brass objects so that they shine again.


Clean your copper, bronze and brass items properly 

Cleaning improves the appearance of copper objects by removing dirt and dust, for example. Polishing removes tarnish by removing a light layer of metal from the surface. Repeated polishing can lead to the loss of engraved details on the object.

You can apply a protective wax, for example, which can reduce the frequency of cleaning and polishing.


How to clean brass objects? 

You can simply use soapy water to clean and shine brass. Soak the soap in a basin of hot water, wait for the water to cool slightly, then use a soft cloth to rub your object. This will give it a shiny appearance. Be sure to rinse the object well to remove the excess soap and dry it well.

Also, surprisingly, Coca-Cola has an antioxidant effect on brass materials. Simply dip your objects in a basin filled with soda and rub gently with a cloth or soft brush to avoid damaging the surface. Remember to rinse well and dry.

However, while these cleaning tips may seem effective, the best tip for cleaning brass items is to use professional cleaning products.


Shine brass objects with a soft cloth 

To shine brass, we recommend that you use a chamois or soft cloth and pour a few drops of white vinegar over it and then gently polish the surface. This technique will remove the oxidation and make the metal look better.

As with traditional cleaning, it is recommended to use professional cleaning chamois.


How to clean a copper object?

Copper can be subject to verdigris, a copper corrosion product. This is the oxidation of copper (and its various alloys) in contact with moisture. A blue-green layer forms on the surface.

Copper objects can be cleaned with baking soda. This will clean your object without even having to rub it. Soak your object in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda, then finish by soaping it. Finish by rinsing with water and carefully drying your statuette, candlestick or other bronze object.

This advice may be useful if you do not have a suitable product. If possible, use a professional cleaner designed for cleaning copper. 


How can I make a bronze object shine? 

The maintenance of gilt bronze is delicate and requires precautions. Over time, this metal becomes dull and can also turn greyish-green. 

To clean gilded or patinated bronze, you can simply use soapy water and a soft cloth. Choose household black soap or Marseille soap if you have it. 

To effectively maintain your antique bronze, you can opt for ammonia. Dilute a few drops of ammonia in warm water and leave your object to soak in this bath for about twenty minutes. Rinse well and dry. 


Professional cleaning solutions for copper, bronze and brass 


Cleaning cloth for copper, brass and bronze 

Discover our Copper, Brass & Bronze Duster, which allow you to clean and maintain your copper, brass and bronze objects by simply polishing them with the cloth.

The cotton cloth impregnated with an exclusive formula provides an anti-tarnishing effect on your objects. Thanks to the natural oils and clay, it polishes, renovates and smoothes the surface, while providing a pearl effect.


Cleaning lotion for copper, brass and bronze 

For in-depth maintenance and protection against oxidation for several weeks, choose Hagerty's Copper, Brass & Bronze Polish.

Cleaning is easy, gives almost instant results and does not cause any micro-scratches or marks on metals. Make your tarnished vases, sculptures, pots, instruments and other copper, brass and bronze objects shine again.


If you have any questions or doubts, please contact us at the following e-mail address: hagerty@hagerty.world.

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