Doing some bronze cleaning
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  1. #1
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    Doing some bronze cleaning

    So I recently bought my first bronze watch.
    I love the look of Maddog buckles and also the H20 buckles and I went looking.
    I was fortunate to find a member who was selling the exact two buckles I was looking for.
    When they arrived, there was a thick (?) patina on both of them. (I knew that when I bought them.)
    While I am so not OCD, I thought that it would look strange, the virgin bronze head and patina'd buckles so I decided to return the buckles to their original finish.
    After consulting with Professor Google, I found that there were a few ways to clean bronze.
    There was the soaking cola but I remember watching a video where someone left a nail in cola for a time and at the end, the cola dissolved the nail completely away. I realize that is a fairly extreme case but no.
    There was the toothpaste method but I know that toothpaste contains abrasives to clean teeth. The abrasives are tiny but still, no.
    The last method I looked into was baking soda and lemon juice. If it doesn't work, at least my hands will smell nice.
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    Here are the buckles before any treatment.
    They are a very dull color, almost brown with no green.
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    Here is my baking soda and lemon.

    And away we go.

    According to Professor Google, one should put two or three teaspoons of baking soda in a bowl and add the juice of a half lemon, enough to create a paste. Then rub the paste all over the buckle and let it sit for thirty minutes.
    When adding the lemon to the baking soda, it is normal for it to bubble up but if you wait a minute, it will settle.
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    I decided to change things a little but making my paste in a tiny tupperware and basically burying the buckles in the paste and letting it sit.

    I have to say that the combination was less like paste and more like sherbet but here they are.
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    Leaving them to "simmer" for thirty minutes, you can see the results.
    There is a clean strip but overall, the patina is still there so I re-buried them and left them to sit for another hour.
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    After an hour and a half, there seemed to be no noticeable difference so I gave up and washed them off.
    The final step was to wipe them off with a clean, lint-free cloth.
    Hmm... this is not the result I was looking for.
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    So, I tried one more thing - I remember reading somewhere that most polishing clothes can be used so I tried a silver polishing cloth I had.
    I tried polishing one side and you can see the difference. It's like the clean strip expanded.
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    It takes quite a bit of elbow grease but here is the end result.
    This is what I was looking for.
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    At this point, the buckles have become fingerprint magnets but that is something I'm willing to live with.

    Anyways, this was my experience and as always, YMMV.

    Thanks for reading.
    Karkarov and DanielThum like this.

  2. #2
    Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Great job
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  3. #3
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Regular, non-gel toothbrush is commonly recommended to clean silver jewelry. You don't have to worry about the abrasives removing material or causing wear; I use it on some silver rings occasionally, and can't see any.
    tokyobadman likes this.
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  5. #4
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Very nice. Great supporting pictures as well.
    tokyobadman likes this.
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  6. #5
    Member BrentYYC's Avatar
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    You could have saved yourself a lot of effort by using the right tool for the job. Applying a bit of Brasso with a soft cloth or toothbrush, letting it dry, then wiping it off with a clean soft cloth will do the job perfectly, with no abrasion, in about 2 minutes. It's what I use to quickly and easily remove patina from bronze or brass watches, when I want to start the aging process fresh.

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    Last edited by BrentYYC; August 16th, 2016 at 20:16.
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  7. #6
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentYYC View Post
    You could have saved yourself a lot of effort by using the right tool for the job. Applying a bit of Brasso with a soft cloth or toothbrush, letting it dry, then wiping it off with a clean soft cloth will do the job perfectly, with no abrasion, in about 2 minutes. It's what I use to quickly and easily remove patina from bronze or brass watches, when I want to start the aging process fresh.

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    +1

  8. #7
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Used to use Ketchup to remove tarnish (heavy patina) from the bronze on my boat. Go to Mac D's and get the metered amount to clean you bronze buckles. Next time you use your Revere wear pan to make a Tomato sauce see what happens when you spill a little on the copper bottom.
    tokyobadman likes this.

  9. #8
    Member ndw6's Avatar
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Nice job, glad they arrived.
    I used to use clear spay laquer on bronze when I did metal work. This could make it last longer.
    car wax is good as well.
    tokyobadman likes this.
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  10. #9
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Nice post. Have you try cape cod?

  11. #10
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    Re: Doing some bronze cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by BrentYYC View Post

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    Looks good but sadly, unavailable locally.
    Also, I just wanted to try the whole natural kitchen thing and see how it worked

    Do you have any pics of the before/after when using Brasso?
    Last edited by tokyobadman; August 24th, 2016 at 09:17. Reason: Added question
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