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Cleaning old metal

Posted by nyboy (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 30, 11 at 10:49

Hi I am learning a lot from this site. What are the best ways to clean bronze, brass, copper and silver without taking off the patina? Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cleaning old metal

Bronze gets a patina and often bronze is chemically patinated... never polish, just wash with a soft cloth and a gentle dish soap like Palmolive.
Iw ant my copper and brass clean and shiny....some do not....again dish soap and soft cloth....I polish with brasso or Bar Keepers friend.
silver gets tarnished which never enhances either the look or the value. Best to gently polish with a good silver polish like Wrights or international. BUT silver does get a patina....a small network of fine scratches that gives old silver it's soft appearances. Don't ever use a wheel buffer or allow anyone to "professionally polish your silver....or that will be removed.
AND above all do not ever use a dip on silver!
Linda C


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RE: Cleaning old metal

If they are true antiques I wouldnt touch them with anything,I dont clean any of mine,I found an old coin like thingy when we restored our 1700 farmhouse,precivil era,I used a cleaner wiped print right off.People pay for patina.


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RE: Cleaning old metal

People do NOT pay extra for tarnished silver. In fact they pay less because tarnish may hide places where the silver plate has worn away.
And they don't pay for tarnish on brass or copper.....learn the difference between patina and tarnish and dirt.
If you cleaned the print from a coin it wasn't a metal coin.


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RE: Cleaning old metal

I said coin like didnt say it was a coin...I always read an antique is worth more with the patina,dont clean them ,I dont.I would never want to buy say a piece of copper someone tried to clean,I like the patina and yes I know difference between,dirt & patina thank you..
ooh we have an antiques police in here.Every forum you get on did you notice theres a police on each one???Thought ever1 was welcome on these sights.


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RE: Cleaning old metal

Of course everyone is welcome. The original poster asked how to clean metals. I told him/her. Antiques are not worth more full of dirt and tarnish. Patina and tarnish are not the same thing.
I have linked to a site below that shows a listing of brass candlesticks from many shops, all of them polished.
A brillo pad removes patina, brass polish does not.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: polished brass


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RE: Cleaning old metal

how would I clean the metal on an old butter churn so I may use it?


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