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Subject: Brass


From: Bettina Landgrebe <landgrebe<-at->
Date: Friday, March 13, 2009
Samantha de van Geer <sam.vandegeer [at] oxfordshire__gov__uk>

>I am wondering if anyone can advise me on the more appropriate
>conservation materials for cleaning Social History post-18th century
>brass. ...

We have been successful in cleaning brass and copper with Buehler
Gamma Micropolish II which is deagglomerated alumina. It comes
suspended in distilled water in various gradations or as a powder
which can be mixed with distilled water.

I wouldn't know anything speaking against using it on your
artifacts, though the methods you will use may vary from the ones we
use on our rather industrial metal objects.

You should always start with the smallest particle size possible and
then move up to larger particle size if a regular cleaning effect
cannot be achieved. Be sure to use clean, soft cotton cloth (t-shirt
fabric)or cotton swabs for each subsequent cleaning, in order not to
contaminate the cleaned or partially cleaned surface with tarnish
again. Rinse thoroughly with distilled water until no traces of
tarnish can be seen anymore on the cotton cloth or swabs. Dry the
object thoroughly after cleaning and rinsing. A low temperature hair
dryer may help with drying the object.

It is also possible to add a little bit of detergent to the mixture,
to boost the cleaning power.

Again, be sure to clean thoroughly with distilled water.

The web site for the company is:


Much success,

Bettina Landgrebe, conservator
The Chinati Foundation
PO Box 1135
Marfa TX 79843
Fax: 432-729-4597

                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:54
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-54-006
Received on Friday, 13 March, 2009

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