How To Clean And Maintain Your Bronze Statues And Sculptures

The beautiful bronze statue in your house may be your favorite decoration, but how do you make sure that it still looks new?

Like anything else in your house, it can get dirty and collect dust.

But the good news is that you don’t have to go through too much work to clean your bronze, and it’s pretty easy to clean it yourself. Bronze is one thing that doesn’t need too much maintenance, and it can last for years. 

Over time, this metal can oxidize and turn a green color. Read more to learn about how to clean bronze statues and sculptures in your home.

Bronze boy statue with Dog and Reading the Book on Bench

Choose a Good Location

The first step to preserving your bronze is making sure that you display it in the right location.

Humidity and bad heat can damage it, so don’t keep it in a basement or an attic. Instead, display it in a central location in your house. Any room that has AC should be fine. 

If you choose the right location, this will make sure that you don’t have to clean it as often.

Dust the Bronze

To start with, your bronze may just need a simple dusting. Everything in your house gets dusty after a while, and bronze is something you can just dust regularly, like once or twice a month.

You can dust it with things you probably have around the house, such as a cloth, Swiffer, toothbrush, or a soft nozzle attachment for your vacuum. 

Clean with the Right Tools

Once you have dusted your statue, if it still looks dirty, you may need to put in a little bit more effort.

If you do this though, make sure that you use the right tools to clean your bronze so that you don’t damage it. 

Don’t use polishes or chemicals that will scratch the surface or your bronze because that will leave marks and scrapes on it. Make sure that you don’t use hard brushes or one with rough bristles. 

The best material that you can use to clean your bronze statues and sculptures is actually just water and soap. Many people claim that a little bit of soap, such as dishwashing soap, is good for cleaning bronze. Don’t use any soaps that are scented, though, because they may end up damaging your art.

If you don’t trust your tap water, you can boil it to remove any damaging chemicals. 

Mix the soap and water so that there are just a few bubbles. You just want enough to take off the dirt that is stuck on your statue. 

Get a rag and dip it in the mixture and then just wipe down your sculpture. This should be enough to remove some of the grime.

Depending on how big the statue is, it may take you a while, especially if there are a lot of crevices. If there are places where you can’t reach, using a toothbrush may be helpful. 

Bronze boy statue reading book on bench with sculptures on back

Wax Your Statues

One of the most important steps when learning how to clean bronze is learning how to wax it.

When some bronze art pieces are made, the last step in the process is to protect the bronze with a layer of wax. The bronze is actually mixed with the wax — which is meant to help make the metal resistant to oxidizing and turning green. 

The wax coating will last about a year depending on how often you clean it.

Choose a Wax

You have to be picky about which wax you use to clean your statue, but there are several recommended ones:

  • Mohawk Blue Label Paste Wax
  • Renaissance Wax
  • Johnson & Johnson Clear Paste Wax
  • Trewax Clear Paste

These waxes don’t contain cleaning agents that could turn your bronze yellow after several uses. Don’t use a wax that you’d use on your car.

No matter which one you buy, the best ones are clear, plain waxes. They normally don’t cost that much. The ones above are around $5 to $15 per can. 

How to Clean with Wax

Once you get these wax, you just need to put a thin coating of it on the statue or sculpture. You can use a rag or a toothbrush for this as well. Like cleaning it, this task may take a while, but it will be worth it in the end. 

After you apply the first coat, let it dry for however long the brand recommends before you start to polish it. If you want it to shine a little bit more, you can apply another coat if you want to. You can apply as many coats of wax as you want without harming the statue or sculpture. 

If you weren’t able to keep your bronze statue away from the heat and the humidity, then you may need to apply wax more often. In case you keep your statue or sculpture outside, you’ll probably want to apply at least two coats of wax. 

How Often to Wax

Where you keep your statue will determine how often you should wax it, which is why we said at the beginning that location is important.

If you keep your bronze inside, you may only have to do this once a year. If you live in a state like Florida, though, you may have to do it twice a year because of how humid it is.

If you keep your bronze outdoors, clean it twice a year. If you live in Florida and keep your bronze outside, you may want to clean it up to four times a year.

sleeping bronze statue with other statue reading book

Learn More about How to Clean Bronze Statues

Learning how to clean bronze statues and sculptures doesn’t have to be difficult. If you know what you’re doing, your bronze pieces will last for years to come.

Maybe you don’t have any bronze art in your home yet, but you’re wondering how much maintenance is required. After reading this, you may decide that you want to buy some bronze to decorate your living space. 

You can start looking for the perfect bronze piece here