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Cleaning Mixed Metal Pieces

Hello everyone. Have a question regarding keeping mixed metal
pieces clean and presentable. I have found in this economy I have
been forced to make a line of low end pieces and have come up with
some pretty interesting designs using various metals, no soldering
and no stones. Sterling, gold bi-metal, copper, brass, anodized
aluminum and combinations thereof. The problem is keeping the
pieces clean and maintaining them between shows. After each show,
with the humidity I have to re-clean every piece! And the copper
especially gets really muddy looking. Can anyone suggest a product
I can used to dip them that will clean all the metals or at least
the copper and not hurt the other metals in the process? I have
tried Tarnish removing liquids and it cleans the silver and gold
but doesn’t effectively clean the copper or brass and I haven’t
tried dipping anything with Anodized Alum yet.

Suggestions very much appreciated.

Hope you are all surviving the long hot summer under your tents!!!


Hello Grace, I have very good luck cleaning tarnish off copper and
brass with the powdered cleaner found in grocery stores for use on
copper bottom cooking pans. The powder doesn’t abrade the surface,
but I usually buff with a polishing cloth afterward. After you get
the pieces polished, clear coat them with a fine quality lacquer.
I’ve tried several products, but only one is non- yellowing, durable,
and non-detectible. I do mean, you can’t tell it’s there if you
apply it according to directions!! In fact, I just ordered a couple
12 oz. aerosol cans of the product I use. Here is the info: Product
is called 2105 Clear Lacquer, made by G.J. Nikolas & Co. Inc.
Distributor from whom I just ordered: McMaster Carr, Phone (620)
833-0300 Part #76885T62 The cost was just less than US$10 for
each can (plus shipping). A can lasts a long time. I usually
double coat items. It protects patinas as well as polished shine.
Is appropriate for any tarnishable solid or plated metal… copper,
brass, silver, etc. I’d avoid coating anything that is flexible, as
the lacquer might flake off when the metal is bent. Now, don’t get
your knickers in a bunch, but I just clear coated my silver coffee
service and some sterling salt/pepper shakers. I’m tired of
polishing off the tarnish, but I want to display them. You CANNOT
tell they’ve been coated. BTW, I did not coat the interiors. Hope
this helps, Judy in Kansas where we finally broke the drought!
Wonderful sound to hear rain drops again.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936

I have just started using a Dri-polishing vibratory tumbler from
Ray-Tech industries with their dri-polish II compound about $130.00
for the unit and the compound is corn cob impregnated with ray
tech’s secret ingrediant. The tumbler & compound is safe for
stones also. I tumbled GF earrings with pearls, no problem.
cleans silver really well. Hope this helps. Mary