The good news is bronze doesn’t need too much care or maintenance. Regular cleanings will keep your piece in good shape.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your bronze piece is remove the dust regularly. Dust buildup can cause the wax coating to wear off quicker than normal. You can use a soft cloth or brush to wipe off the loose dust. You can also use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove the dust.
Don’t use abrasive cloths or brushes to remove the dust, they may scratch the surface or remove the protective wax coating.
If your bronze piece has a grimy film that normal dusting won’t remove, you may need to complete a more intense cleaning process. To clean off the film, use a simple soap and water mix.
Choose a soap that is mild and free of scents (especially lemon scent). Certain scented soaps can have other abrasive additives in them that can be harmful to the bronze. Only use a few drops of soap to loosen up the grime. Always test a small, discrete area of the sculpture with the soap and water mix before wiping down the whole sculpture. Once the whole piece is wiped down with the soap, rinse out the rag with clean water and wipe it down again with plain water. Use a soft toothbrush to clean out intricate details.
After a thorough cleaning, a new coat of wax should be applied. Wax protects the surface from oxidation and gives the piece a luster look. Before applying the wax, make sure the piece is completely dry. If you apply the wax while the bronze is still wet, the moisture will be trapped between the bronze and the wax.
Plain clear paste wax is recommended for the best results. Apply the wax with a clean, soft rag. Make sure to only apply a light coat and allow it to dry completely before buffing it out with a new clean cloth. For outdoor sculptures, we recommend applying a second coat of wax.
As a general rule, keep the cleaning process simple. Avoid abrasive polishes, brushes, chemicals and oils as they can damage, scratch or even remove the natural patina of the sculpture. Stick to soft cloths and mild soap and water to clean your sculpture.
If you would like more information about caring for your bronze sculpture, please contact us.