How to Clean Bronze Flatware


Pamela asked: I want to begin to use bronzeware. I haven’t used it in years because I could taste the cleaner I used to clean the flatware. Now I want to try again. I do have a chest to keep the bronzeware in. Unfortunately, I have kept the serving pieces out of it, and now they are a mess. Help. I also have a lovely tray I used to put candles on. Wax drippings have damaged it and I wondered if it’s worth trying to repair it. I’m not sure if it is brass or bronze.

Bronze flatware offers a beautiful addition to any dining room décor, whether it’s for a family dinner or a formal celebration. Cleaning bronze flatware is quite simple to do, though it may take some time.

You Will Need:

  • Bronze polish (ex: Maas Metal Polish)
  • Soft clean cloths
  • Polishing gloves (optional)
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Water

Steps to Clean Bronze Flatware:

  1. Prepare your work area by laying a soft cloth down to cover the area and putting on polishing gloves to protect your hands if desired.
  2. Begin by applying the polish following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Typically, this involves applying a thin layer of the polish to the surface and allowing it to set for a few minutes.
  4. Next, wipe the polish away with a clean, soft cloth.
  5. Repeat this application process until the piece is clean and shining. For areas with severe stains or tarnish, it may require several applications.
  6. It will be necessary to wash the flatware with mild dish detergent and water prior to use.
  7. After washing, dry each piece immediately with a clean, soft cloth.
  8. Store flatware in a chest or wrapped in a dry cloth to prevent any tarnish from redeveloping.

Additional Tips and Ideas

  • It is important never to leave bronze flatware soaking in water or left sitting with dirt on it as it will quickly lead to stains that are difficult to remove. Wash and dry all flatware promptly after use.
  • If the tarnish cannot be removed, it means there is a lacquer coating on the metal. This must be removed so that the polish can reach the metal and remove the tarnish. Contact the manufacturer for guidelines about removing the lacquer coating.
  • Some companies offer a service where they will remove the coating and polish the flatware for you. Contact the manufacturer to see if this applies your particular set.
  • To remove stains left from candles, first remove the wax by hardening it with a piece of ice and then gently scraping it off with a metal scraper. Next, clean the tray with a mixture of water and dish detergent. After it has been cleaned and all of the wax removed, polish as usual following the steps above.
  • For additional advice on cleaning bronze pieces, visit our page on How to Clean Bronze.
  • If you are concerned with damaging your flatware or are unsure of what products to use, do not hesitate to contact a professional who is experienced with cleaning bronze pieces. Bronze flatware is a wonderful investment that is worth protecting.

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