3 Steps to Eradicate Verdigris Stains
– Step 1: Characteristics of verdigris
– Step 2: Classic methods to remove verdigris
– Step 3: Radical solution to remove verdigris: the electrochemical bath
Verdigris is the result of the oxidation of copper and any copper alloy such as bronze or brass. It is essential to use the correct methods to remove a verdigris stain.
Our tips in this post will help you remove that ugly stain!
1. Characteristics of verdigris
Verdigris forms on a copper object in contact with moisture:
– its coloring can be recognized by its blue-green hue
– it can be harmful to humans and their environment: it can cause burns and release toxins;
– in case of contact with the skin, it is important to wash the affected area immediately with soapy water and then rinse thoroughly with clear water.
2. Conventional methods of removing verdigris
There are simple ways to remove verdigris from objects. Generally, it is enough to apply a cloth soaked in a liquid solution, rinse and let dry to obtain a perfect result.
Among these stain removal solutions, we distinguish
– ammonia mixed with water:
o use one glass of ammonia for 9 glasses of water;
o dilute it in a basin to avoid the pungent smell;
o Choose a well-ventilated area away from any flame or spark source;
o Wear gloves and eye protection;
– methylated spirits:
o once the object is dusted, rinse with water mixed with rubbing alcohol (4/5 water, 1/5 alcohol);
o Rinse again with pure water and wipe with a chamois;
– coarse salt dissolved in boiling vinegar:
o use 500 grams of coarse salt and half a glass of boiling white vinegar;
o scrub the object with a brush and rinse thoroughly;
– a mixture of lemon juice and salt:
o scrub your thing with half a lemon soaked in salt;
o Rinse with clean water;
– raw sorrel:
o take a handful of sorrel leaves;
o rub directly on the object;
– soda crystals:
o dissolve 40 g of crystals in 1 liter of boiling water with a pinch of coarse salt;
o immerse the object in a container containing this solution;
o leave it until the verdigris disappears.
3. Radical solution to remove verdigris: the electrochemical bath
If the previous solutions do not work to remove the verdigris stain, the object must be put in an electrochemical bath as follows.
Pre-cleaning of the object
Before starting an electrochemical bath, you must
– wash the object carefully with soap and a sponge;
– rinse off all traces of soap under a cold water tap;
– wipe the object completely dry to remove moisture.
Preparation of the electrochemical bath
There are specific steps to follow to make a successful electrochemical bath:
– in a plastic basin, place a thick layer of aluminum foil;
– prepare the following solution:
o 1 cup of baking soda;
o 2 liters of boiling water;
– without dissolving the solution, pour it into the basin.
Purification of the verdigrised object
To finish cleaning the verdigris, you must
– plunge the copper object into the basin. It can protrude a few centimeters;
– fix it to the aluminum foil with a string;
– soak the object until all verdigris stains disappear
– Soap the copper again;
– Polish with a polishing cloth.
Caution: wear gloves to avoid burning yourself and only use one object at a time.