Frequently! How did you guess we’d say that? 

We aren’t saying that just because that’s what we do, but because it’s best practise. Cleaning bronze statues is the established way to prevent degradation of your sculptures. 

It’s the first stage in an essential process that should be carried out as part of a preventive conservation regime. In simple terms, this just means as a way to prevent the kind of decline that bronzes are prone to in outdoor, and often indoor, environments. 

All bronze statues should have a maintenance clean periodically. This is carried out by hand and not only involves the removal of dirt, grease, grime and guano but is followed up by the application of a protective coating.  This is more than just cleaning but is absolutely essential for the long term care of a bronze sculpture.

If dirt and pollutants which inevitably settle on a bronze are not frequently removed, they will compromise the protective coating and prevent it working effectively. The result will be that corrosion forms.

A maintenance clean does not mean cleaning the statue so that it looks precisely as it did when it was first created. The word maintenance clean means that you are cleaning the bronze in order to maintain the protective coating. 


Apart from maintenance cleaning, sometimes it is necessary to fully remove an existing protective coating. This can also be termed cleaning, but does not typically happen during a maintenance clean. This is more common during restoration work when a protective coating has failed or a coating has been added, at some point in the statue’s history, to disguise the true condition of a bronze’s surface. 

Methods such as cleaning with super-heated water or solvent cleaning are used in this type of cleaning. 

Another valable technique is spot-cleaning. That is a dry cleaning system where detritus, dirt, cobwebs and guano are brushed away gently between maintenance cleans so that the statue is presented as cared for between its more thorough cleans. It also prevents the breakdown of the protective coating in localised areas. 


Cleaning bronze statues does not mean removing the patina on a statue’s surface – contrary to what some may lead you to believe on YouTube. It never involves polishing them up so that they are gleaming (with some brasso and elbow grease). It should be about preserving the bronze’s surface, not removing it. 

Cleaning bronze statues should never involve applying acids or alkalis to the surface of a bronze – even if it is natural (no lemons or vinegar!) 

Keeping a bronze statue clean is not only about presenting the statue as cared for, it is about lowering the rate of breakdown of the bronze’s protective coating.  That means that cleaning bronze statues regularly helps to keep the protection viable for longer. 

If You Are Interested In Learning More About, How To Care For Bronze, Take A Look At Our Courses