Over time, bronze statues develop a green patina, kind of like a skin, over the surface of the metal. This patina actually protects the metal and is prized by most knowledgeable collectors. In addition, a patina can help determine the age of a statue, which can be useful when you are attempting to establish a value for the piece. However, many people prefer the bright look of bronze--or at least the slightly less weathered look of a thinner patina--and if you are among them then you may occasionally wish to remove the green patina from your bronze statues.
Things You'll Need
1 tbsp. salt
Wipe the bronze statue down with a dry rag once a week. Make sure to remove all dust and dirt from every crevice of the statue, and use firm pressure. This will prevent the formation of a thick patina, and restore luster to your statue without disrupting the natural aging process. If you like the look that a daily dry polishing provides, then this will be sufficient to remove part of the green patina and maintain the statue without further patina development.
Mix 1 tbsp. of salt and 3 1/2 qts. of water in a bucket. The salt should dissolve completely.
Wash the statue with the salt solution. Use a clean rag, and if the rag gets too much green residue built up on it, switch to a new rag. Use firm pressure and a circular, buffing motion to remove the green patina.
Rinse the statue thoroughly. Leaving any trace of salt residue can lead to bronze disease and serious, irreparable corrosion.
Wipe down the bronze statue with a clean, dry rag. Any remaining patina should come off, and this also will ensure that the statue is clean and dry. Now you can enjoy your newly brightened bronze statue.
To prevent the formation of new green patina and reduce the frequency of cleaning, you may wish to polish your bronze statue and then coat it with liquid wax to protect it from the elements and prevent a patina from reforming.