Tips for Cleaning Etched Brass Plaques

Perpetual Plaque Black BrassIf your company displays perpetual plaques made up of etched plates, or you have awards in your office or home, keeping them clean is a challenge. Nameplates and other etched brass plaques are durable and will stand the test of time, but you want to enjoy them. You’ll also want to make sure they are presentable when others view them. Here are just a few tips for keeping engraved or etched brass plaques and nameplates clean.

What was used to construct the etched plaques?

The first thing you need to do is to find out if the plates are brass. Various metals need different methods of cleaning. Some metals are easily scratched, so you will want to be careful about the types of cleaners used. Before cleaning brass etched plaques, make sure they are real brass. Authentic brass will not attract a magnet. Once you know the type of metal used, brass or otherwise, select a cleaner used specifically on that type of metal.

Don’t Use Cleaners with Harsh Chemicals

Black Plate on Solid Satin Brass Tray AwardBe careful what types of cleaners you use. Some cleaners will say they are safe to use on metals, but they are not. There are a few other methods to use to clean etched brass plaques and nameplates that do not use harsh chemicals. However, many feel it is more effective and faster to use an official cleanser.

Wear Gloves When Cleaning Etched Brass Plaques

It’s a good idea to wear gloves when cleaning etched brass, but not just for your hand’s sake. While it will help protect them from dirt and grime, it also protects the metal. Metals are often damaged by the natural oils in your skin. When metals come into contact with the oils from your skin, they can start to corrode slowly. Even if you clean the plaques and nameplates regularly, you should wear gloves to prevent the body’s oils from corroding the metals.

 Cleaning Etched Brass Plaques and Plates

After you are sure the cleaning products are not abrasive and won’t cause scratches, then you are ready to clean them properly. To remove all the surface dust, use a dry, soft rag to wipe down the surfaces of the plaque or plate. Next, mix a little bit of mild dishwashing liquid in a half gallon of warm water. The dishwashing liquid removes any greasy dirt that may be built up. Dishwashing soap is also mild enough to not damage the plates or plaques. Now use another dry, soft rag to dry the plaque off.

Restoring the Polish on an Etched Plaque

If you would like the polish restored on etched brass plaques you’ll need metal polish and a soft rag. Sometimes, dirt gets into the grooves and cracks. If a soft rag doesn’t do the trick, try using a baby’s toothbrush. The soft bristles are gentle enough to clean the grooves without scratching the plates. Use the polish as directed to clean the metal portions. Then use a soft rag to buff it until it looks shiny and new.