Reply To: Conservation of brass/bronze bookends


Degreasing with a low toxicity solvent such as acetone will help remove both grease and some salts from the fingerprints. Cotton wool can be abrasive and scratchy so use cotton wool swabs gently, in small circular movements, to wipe the surface clean with the solvent. A clean microfiber cloth may also help remove grease.

In the UK we might clean light corrosion off with a paste called Prelim which does not disturb patina, if used with care.

After cleaning, make sure the items are only handled by people wearing polythene or nitrile gloves in future. Store them in a dry environment if possible.
Hope this helps.