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How to Clean a Bronze Sculpture

Keeping your bronze sculpture clean is worth the minimal effort it takes.
leo image by RICO from Fotolia.com

Things You'll Need:

  • Nylon brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
  • Container for soapy water
  • Bleach-free dish soap
  • Clean cloth
  • Wax (such as beeswax or carnauba)


If your sculpture is an outdoor sculpture, it may have bird droppings. Soak with warm soapy water to soften the droppings before washing them away. Read and follow the manufacturers’ instructions carefully when using wax.

Bronze is an alloy, a combination of copper and tin. Bronze takes on a completely different tone as it ages and is exposed to the elements. This change is called patina. If you have a bronze sculpture that you want to keep clean, you may be wondering how to go about it. Cleaning these sculptures is a simple task that requires little more than some time out of your day.

Brush the sculpture with a nylon brush or toothbrush to eliminate any dirt that may be stuck to it.

Use the brush attachment of the vacuum cleaner to remove any residual loose dirt or dust particles.

Fill a container with warm water, and add enough bleach-free dish soap to make it sudsy.

Wash the sculpture with a clean cloth dipped in the soapy water. Use a toothbrush to get into hard-to-reach areas.

Rinse the sculpture with clean water. You can rinse an outdoor sculpture with a garden hose. You can rinse an indoor sculpture in the sink.

Dry the sculpture with a soft, clean, dry towel to remove any excess moisture.

Apply a coat of wax to the sculpture once it is dry. This is best done on a warm sunny day so the sculpture can sit outside and absorb the wax. Use a brand of wax that is made for bronze. Carnauba or beeswax are good choices.

Allow the sculpture to sit for at least an hour before buffing it with a soft clean cloth.

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