If your glass or crystal award has gathered a bit of dust, you won’t need any special polishes or even water to remove loose dirt, dander, pet hair and dust. Just wipe away dust and debris with a duster or soft microfiber cloth and it will be as good as new. How much dust is typically in the air where you live will determine how often it will be necessary to dust off your glass trophies and other awards.
If it’s been awhile since your crystal or glass trophy has been dusted or cleaned, or if you notice a spill or water spot on your trophy, then it’s going to take a bit more than a simple dusting. However, it’s not complicated. In fact, all it should take is your microfiber cloth and some regular window cleaner. Spray the cleaner on your cloth or towel and wipe away the dirt, spill or water spots as well as all the cleaner until your award is clean and streak free.
If you’re just dusting your bronze or brass trophies, the process is exactly the same as it would be for dusting your other trophies, a duster or a soft micro-fiber cloth. In fact, if you display your awards in a case, or on the mantle, or on a bookshelf, then it’s likely that you’re dusting all your trophies at the same time. No matter what your trophies are made of, it’s going to be safe to wipe any dust off with a microfiber cloth.
Both bronze and brass can tarnish over time. Bronze tends to turn a coppery brown color when it tarnishes whereas brass gets a greenish hue to it over time as it tarnishes. There are cleaners on the market for cleaning bronze and brass which are both copper alloys. We don’t recommend using them because they can actually damage your bronze and brass trophies and other items.
Use a soft cloth in the soapy water to gently clean your awards, then rinse your cloth or take a separate cloth and clean off any soap residue with clear water. After your trophies and awards have dried, some people like to apply a protective coating of wax, however, choosing the right type of wax is tricky. We recommend you contact us if you’re worried about trying to apply anything like wax to prevent your bronze trophy from tarnishing. Also, never use car wax on your trophies because it will dry white.
Again dusting your silver and silver plated trophies will be the same as for any other type of trophy or award. Silver tarnishes easily and quickly if you live in a moist climate. Regardless, one time a month polish your silver trophies and awards with a silver cloth in 1 direction only. Do not polish in circles or back and forth. Like bronze and brass trophies, if you display your silver and silver plated awards in a trophy case or pack them away for storage, silica sachets will help absorb moisture in the air and reduce tarnishing.
It’s unlikely your trophy is solid gold. Pure gold doesn’t tarnish, but gold-plated trophies can. Follow the same procedure for cleaning bronze and brass and use mild soapy water and a soft cloth to gently clean your gold-plated trophies and awards, followed by a rinse with a clean, soft cloth dipped in clear water.
Zinc trophies tend to be color-plated. As a result, you want to be careful about what you use to clean them because you can risk removing the plating. Do not use vinegar or lemon juice to clean your color-plated trophies. Some people say baking soda paste or toothpaste is ok. If you want to play it safe, then use mild soapy water and follow the same process you would use for bronze, brass, or gold-plated awards and trophies.
If your trophy or award has wood elements such as a wood base or is a plaque or donor tree with wood elements, then you do not want to immerse the trophy or award in water and when cleaning non-wood elements, protect the wooden parts from getting wet. To clean or polish the wood, you can use mile wood furniture polish by spraying the polish onto a soft, microfiber cloth or rag.
Most other types of trophies can be cleaned with mild soap and water or just water and a soft cloth. If your child or grandchild has plastic trophies they want to clean while you polish your bronze, glass, or silver and gold-plated trophies, it’s perfectly safe for them to get their trophies wet.
If your trophy or award has a lot of detailed or intricate parts, or it has several nooks and crannies, then a soft-bristled toothbrush can be used to clean those hard to reach places. Be very careful not to scrub so you don’t accidentally scratch your trophies and awards.
We’re getting towards the end of our post on how to care for your trophies and awards, but we can’t end before we share our advice for storing and packing your trophies. Of course, we think you should display your awards. However, there are times when you need to pack your awards to move, or when you don’t have enough space to display all your trophies. Never wrap your trophies in newspaper, but instead use tissue paper and seal each trophy in a plastic bag made of polyethylene.
Now that you know how to care for just about any trophy and award, you’ll be able to keep your new trophy protected, dust free and shiny for years and years to come. Remember, most trophies can be cleaned with just a soft, micro-fiber cloth and some mild soapy water. In most cases, it’s best not to use commercial polishes and no matter what type of trophy or award you’re cleaning, never scrub. Enjoy your new award.