While a decorative bronze sundial can add a great deal to a garden or other outdoor area, you will not be able to take full advantage of yours if it is in a state of disrepair. Bronze is known for developing a layer of patina that can detract from its appearance.
Unfortunately, removing patina to restore bronze can be tricky. It is hard enough to do it effectively, and doing it without damaging the bronze is harder still. Luckily, there are techniques you can employ to clean a bronze sundial effectively without damaging it.
Step 1 - Set Up
You can brighten up your bronze sundial using ordinary household ingredients. To start off, put a small amount of baking soda in a bowl. Gradually squeeze in lemon juice.
The mixture will fizz, but you should simply wait for it to settle down naturally. When there is enough lemon juice in the baking soda that the mixture is a thick paste, stop adding more lemon juice.
Put on your gloves. They will protect your hands from the cleaning mixture and any sharp edges on your sundial. They will also protect the sundial from any sweat and oil that are on your hands.
Step 2 - Apply the Mixture
Now that you have mixed the lemon juice and baking soda together in the right amount, get out your soft cloth. Dip it into the bowl and get some of the baking soda and lemon juice mixture onto it. Use the soft cloth to apply the mixture to your sundial.
You will not need to scrub very hard. You will, however, need to make sure that you cover the entire surface in your cleaning mixture. When you are done applying the baking soda and lemon juice paste, let it sit.
Step 3 - Clean
Once you have allowed the mixture to sit on your decorative bronze sundial for some time, you will need to remove it. You can remove most of it by getting your soft cloth damp and wiping it away. However, the best way to remove the remainder is by rinsing it away with a decent amount of water.
In fact, if you have convenient access to a water source, this may be the best way to remove all of the mixture. As it is probably not convenient for you to move your entire sundial under a faucet, though, it is likely that you will have to wipe it clean.
Step 4 - Apply Wax
Your bronze sundial should look as good as new by this point but it will not stay that way forever. While you can clean it again, repeated cleanings will damage the surface of bronze, and because of this, it is best to employ preventative measures now that your sundial is looking its best.
There are a wide variety of commercial waxes available designed to protect bronze. Select one, then use your clean, soft cloth to apply it. Once you have done this, clean off your cloth and use it to buff the wax.