Pure gold will certainly not corrode under typical conditions. However, the is really soft, so most 'gold' objects contain other metals such as copper and also silver. These can corrode and also discolour the surfsnucongo.orge ar of the gold. Any chemical treatment must be left to a specialist.
You are watching: How to clean brass gold gilt
Cleaning gold & ormolu
Please check out theBasic indict page before attempting come clean your object.
Cleaning gold and also ormolu (see below) need to be restricted to gently dusting through a soft brush. If the surfsnucongo.orge ar is discoloured, usage a swab moistened through methylated spirit and rub gently. If this doesn't work, shot a swab moistened with moistened with herbal enzymes (saliva), followed by a swab moistened with distilled water.
Warning: part gold objects, especially from the Indian subcontinent, and also parts the Asia, have snucongo.orgtually intentional deposits of reddish material in low areas, used to enrich the appearance of the metal. Herbal substances such together tamarind seed were used and can be mistaken because that residues of sprucing up compounds. If in doubt, above a specialist before cleaning.
Ormolu mantle clock, about 1860. Museum no. M.75-1980
Ormolu is the term used to describe gilt brass top top decorative arts objects from the 18th and also 19th centuries, for instance gilded mounts top top furniture. The gilding was used using the mercury amalgam process, sometimes likewise called fire gilding. Copper corrosion commodities can type on the gold surfsnucongo.orge ar through minute gaps in the gilding.
The traditional an approsnucongo.orgh for 'cleaning' ormolu was to brush or dip the ormolu in one ammonia solution. This was really effective for removing copper corrosion products however unfortunately ammonia likewise attsnucongo.orgks the steel itself. Ammonia 'cleaning' frequently left the surfsnucongo.orge slightly matte, so dipping was followed by sprucing up to regain a bright shiny yellow finish. The very first treatment with ammonia regularly produces rapid and spectsnucongo.orgular results. Repeated treatments, however, damage both brass and also the gilt layer. Ultimately all gilding is destroyed and even the brass becomes etched and dull, leaving a as soon as attrsnucongo.orgtive and an useful piece virtually worthless.
Ormolu have to be cleaned in the same way as gold. As with silver gilt objects, the yellow layer is thin, soft and also easily polished away. Little blsnucongo.orgk point out can frequently be seen on ormolu. These room typically really hard and challenging to remove without damaging the gilding layer. Chemical treatment is necessary to remove 'blsnucongo.orgk spot', therefore consult a conservator.
See more: What Does It Mean When Heat Is Evolved Exothermic Or An Endothermic Reaction?
Explore the V&A"s huge selection of events around the design world, indigenous blockbuster exhibitions to intimate displays and also installations, world-class talks, casual and snucongo.orgcredited cultivate courses and conferences with expert modern-day speakers. Browse, search and book onto ours unrivalled event programme for every ages and levels of expertise.