Bronze tub faucets have recently come back into style as a traditional element in a modern home. Unlike brushed nickel, though, bronze will oxidize and tarnish easily. This will happen rapidly in the damp environment of the bathroom. Some aging can add character and style to the bronze piece. In fact, a touch of green on bronze is considered attractive. To preserve the life of your bronze bathroom fixtures, take extra care to polish them correctly.
Step#1: Check for Coating or Lacquer
When bronze is used in a bathroom, it may be coated. Your bronze tub faucet may have come with instructions for cleaning this. The coating or lacquer will get scratched or damaged if you use regular cleaning methods. Typically, it is recommended you simply wipe the area with a damp cloth. If you do not know whether your tub faucet is coated, take a closer look. Coated bronze will be resistant to normal antiquing or weathering. It will not turn green when exposed to oxygen. Instead, it will get normal water spots or soap scum. Clean this type of fixture carefully so you do not damage the special sealant.
Step #2: Locate the Appropriate Cleaner
You may be able to find a bronze faucet cleaner at your local hardware store. If you cannot find a product, try mixing your own. There are two common homemade remedies: lemon juice and baking soda or vinegar, flour and salt. Determine which you would prefer to use. The lemon juice mixture tends to smell better. Mix just enough liquid and solids to make a paste. You will want to test the paste on a small portion of your bronze tub faucet to assure no damage will occur.
Step #3: Clean the Faucet
Give yourself enough time to do this correctly. The cleaning of bronze can be time and energy-intensive. Even if you are not using chemicals, it is a good idea to ensure the room is ventilated. This will prevent naturally occurring fumes from the reactions of household products from irritating you. To clean with the baking soda solution, rub the bronze with a soft cloth. If you are using vinegar, simply rub the paste on and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.
Step #4: Wash the Residue
When you are finished, wash the bronze tub faucet with warm water. Use a soft cloth to gently hand buff the area. Your bronze should be shiny and clean when you are done. To preserve this appearance, wipe the bronze regularly with a soft cloth. This will help remove residue from oxidation before it sets.