How to Clean Brass Buddhist Statues

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You have several options to clean a brass statue.
You have several options to clean a brass statue. (Image: Kotelnyk/iStock/Getty Images)

If you own a brass Buddha statue, you probably have it in a prominent place so you can see it every day. This means you're more likely to notice when it becomes faded with dirt or tarnish. It's simple to restore the luster to brass statues as long as you have one of three household products whose acidic qualities are suited for the task.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Mild dish soap
  • Soft sponge
  • Old, worn toothbrush or cotton swabs
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Ketchup, tomato sauce or tomato paste
  • Lemon or pure lemon juice
  • Table salt
  • Cream of tartar
  • White vinegar water
  • Flour
  • Olive oil

Place the brass statue on a counter, table or other sturdy surface that allows you to walk around it as you work. Wear gloves so if you have to rotate or tilt the statue on an angle to clean it, you can do so without direct contact.

Wash -- do not submerge -- the statue with warm, soapy water formed with mild dish soap. Use a soft sponge to clean the larger portions of the statue and soft, small tools such as an old, worn toothbrush or cotton swabs to reach the crevices. Rinse the statue with warm water. Wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth.

Spread a thin layer of ketchup, tomato sauce or tomato paste over the statue if it has a tougher layer of dirt or tarnish. Let the acidic food settle for about one hour, then wash the statue with warm, soapy water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

Cut a lemon and remove the seeds as an alternate cleaning method. Dip the lemon slice into salt and wipe it over the statue. Dab the slice into the salt to replenish it as needed. Alternatively, make a creamy paste with two parts cream of tartar and one part lemon juice. Rub the paste over the statue and let it settle there for about 30 minutes. Wash the statue with warm, soapy water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

Wipe the statue with vinegar, sprinkle it with salt and rub it in with a soft sponge. Alternatively, combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup white vinegar and enough flour until the mixture forms a creamy paste. Rub the mixture over the statue and let it settle there for one hour. Wash the statue with warm, soapy water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

Restore your brass statute to its previous glory and shine by rubbing it with a thin layer of olive oil. This ingredient carries the advantage of repelling tarnish.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the statue has a clear lacquer finish, wash the surface with warm--not hot--water and dry thoroughly. Do not use cleaning agents or apply any kind of polish.
  • Minimize hands-on contact with the statue because the natural oil in skin can promote tarnish.
  • Do not use sharp or abrasive cleaning tools.
  • Do not use ammonia or ammonia-based products. They can spawn tarnish.

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