Copper, zinc and tin include the bulk of authentic bronze flatware, causing a dusky gold finish that’s occasionally enriched with a chemical or lacquer. Improper cleaning or a lack of cleaning can scratch the delicate surface and alter the appearance of the metal. Regular dusting, light polishing with a fabric to enhance shine, and washing with a mild dish detergent is generally sufficient when caring for bronze. Lacquered bronze, including fresh flatware, rarely requires polishing; however, unlacquered bronze, including several antiques, will develop a green patina that you are going to have to remove.
Caring for Display Items
Although you wo not have to wash lasagna debris off ornamental bronze flatware, allowing dirt and dust to build up does just as much harm as leaving behind specks of marinara. Wipe down bronze utensils with a soft flannel cloth to remove dust, and regularly dust the screen area, preferably once a week. Take a little extra time every month when dusting and utilize a flannel cloth to gently polish the metal. Don’t use a lot of elbow grease or see to the flatware like silver; only buff gently in circular motions as though you were applying lotion to your baby’s skin. If the dirt accumulation is extensive due to lack of dusting, place the utensils in around 12 cups of warm water mixed with 1 tbsp of salt. Don’t allow the flatware soak; rather, utilize the saltwater alongside a soft sponge to wash each piece. The salt dislodges dirt and gently buffs away sticky dirt. Rinse each piece thoroughly once you are completed, and dry them gently with a lint-free fabric.
Cleaning Functional Flatware
Wash flatware used for dishes after every use with mild, phosphate-free dish soap, warm water and a soft sponge or rag. Always hand-wash bronze flatware; the heat from the dishwasher and abrasiveness of this water and detergents will ruin the pure color of this metallic and mar the surface. Stay away from water stains by rinsing the flatware and drying with a soft fabric. When desired, gently buff the metal with a flannel cloth before storing to polish the surface.
Decorative and functional non-lacquered bronze flatware require polishing on occasion, but regular dusting and proper cleaning minimizes how frequently it wants a fantastic buffing. When polishing becomes necessary, due to an extra darkening of the bronze or the development of a green patina, a mixture of whiting and distilled water works as a cheap yet powerful DIY polish. Create a thin paste with the two components; scoop some up with a flannel cloth and buff the glue into the bronze till it shines. Wash the wax off thoroughly; dry the utensil having a fabric and finish up by dry polishing with a clean flannel fabric. If the patina is particularly excessive, then you might want to resort to your store-bought bronze wax; even in case you are cleaning flatware which you eat with, make sure anything you buy is food safe. Tip: In case polishing doesn’t eliminate the patina, the bronze is likely lacquered.
Keep in Mind
Bronze has a high percent of copper, which is very soft. Avoid abrasive polishes and cloths, as they can scratch the surface. If lacquered bronze develops a green patina, take the flatware to your professional for polishing. Don’t attempt to strip the lacquer by yourself. Extra exposure to moisture damages the metal; for this reason, store bronze flatware at a climate-controlled area and avoid soaking the flatware in water, also when brushing. Store the pieces safely by wrapping them in a soft flannel fabric.