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Thread: Cleaning Medals

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Default Cleaning Medals

    Hey guys,
    as some of you might know, I have a couple of WW2 medals from my Great-Uncles and Great-Grandfather. Sadly my parents and Grandparents haven't treated them with a lot of respect, and they're extremely dirty and far from shiny...

    Does anyone of you know a good way to clean those (bronze & silver) medals? I tried a special cloth meant for cleaning metals (such as silverware, etc), but it didn't really have a lot of effect for the bronze medals.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Cleaning Medals

    Quote Originally Posted by Schuultz View Post
    Hey guys,
    as some of you might know, I have a couple of WW2 medals from my Great-Uncles and Great-Grandfather. Sadly my parents and Grandparents haven't treated them with a lot of respect, and they're extremely dirty and far from shiny...

    Does anyone of you know a good way to clean those (bronze & silver) medals? I tried a special cloth meant for cleaning metals (such as silverware, etc), but it didn't really have a lot of effect for the bronze medals.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
    The army thoughtfully gave us our first issue with tarnished brass on our belts and webbing so that our first task was to clean it up. A lot of blokes swore by leaving it in Coca Cola overnight. I'm not sure that it has to be Coke as I expect that the active agent is carbonic acid, which is present to varying degrees in all carbonated soft drinks.

    I have vague memories of cleaning pennies (?bronze ? copper ?amalgam) in Coke or something similar as a kid and they came up bright.

    Rather than risk your medals, Google how to clean bronze coins as I'm sure that crew know all the tricks.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Halifax & Heidelberg
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    Default Re: Cleaning Medals

    Yeah, I really don't want to risk too much with those medals...

    Which is why I wanted to ask here instead of looking it up on some random site Google gave me. I trust the users here more than Google
    The fundamental problem of Democracy is that the majority of voters are idiots fueled by uninformed rage - and the Politicians do everything to cater to them.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cleaning Medals

    .........maybe you can ask a pro IRL?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    1,763

    Default Re: Cleaning Medals

    Quote Originally Posted by Schuultz
    Hey guys,
    as some of you might know, I have a couple of WW2 medals from my Great-Uncles and Great-Grandfather. Sadly my parents and Grandparents haven't treated them with a lot of respect, and they're extremely dirty and far from shiny...

    Does anyone of you know a good way to clean those (bronze & silver) medals? I tried a special cloth meant for cleaning metals (such as silverware, etc), but it didn't really have a lot of effect for the bronze medals.

    Anybody have any suggestions?
    - The correct cleaning method is entirely dependent on which gongs you have.
    - Be careful of products such as Brasso and Silvo, (or your local equivalent,) as they contain abrasives and some gongs don't take kindly to them.
    - If there is any paint or enamel in the medal design you need to ensure that your chosen method doesn't discolour or lift it.

    Your best bet is to approach a shop that trades in these medals for advice, and also post your question on one or more of the many sites for and by medal collectors.
    The last thing you want to do is try something only to find you've buggered the gongs.


    If it helps I've found that for many post-war British attendance badges or campaign medals Goddard's products, eg the lint, the Long Term Silver Polish and the Silver Polish Cloth are all extremely good.
    Cut some card to cover the ribbon when cleaning them unless you are going to get them remounted.

    In the days before the current unpleasantness with the proliferation of tours and the subsequent medals I know of quite a few lads who had theirs professionally dipped at a jewellers so all they require to bring them op again is a quick wipe over with a Sylvette - NOT the one you use for bulling !
    Remember if you want the gongs dipped they must be dismounted first.
    "Don't call me stupid !" - Otto 'Galtieri' West.
    __________________
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