How to Effectively Clean and Polish Etched Plaques

Etched PlaquesEtched plaques can be found anywhere – in offices, homes, and in old buildings. The plaque that you see might be a commemorative piece, an award, or a decorative piece. These plates usually have intricate and crisp details, which is achieved via a unique marking method. These details make it very appealing and impressive to look at. With such impressive markings however comes a unique dilemma and that is in how to keep such plaques clean and properly polished.

How can you keep these etched plaques looking as good as when you first installed these? How can you keep it clean and in good shape for it to last for as long as it should? What you need is an effective way of cleaning these. You will also need to think about protecting these against dirt, grime, rust or corrosion to keep them from deteriorating.

Your cleaning method will be dependent on the metal your etched plaque is made of. Etched plaques can come in many different materials. Commonly, these are made of aluminium, and stainless steel, but brass, as well as bronze, is also used in plaque making. All of these metals are tarnish and rust proof, but despite these qualities, your plaques will still require careful cleaning as to not cause any permanent damage to its surface. Here are some useful tips that may help:

  • Cleaning with a soft cloth dipped in light dishwashing detergent and warm water is usually adequate.
  • You should not use any abrasive materials or cleansers as these may damage and remove the texture of the metal finish.
  • In case the dirt is difficult to remove, you may scrub the surface carefully with a slice of lemon for aluminium plaques, and add ammonia to the detergent liquid for stainless steel plaques.
  • Etched plaques have grooves and niches that can collect dirt and grime. Brushing and scrubbing will not remove the accumulated dirt inside these grooves, and scrubbing can easily damage the metal. What you need is something that can help you gouge out the dirt found inside the etchings, but will not scratch or damage the metal in any way. A Q-tip or cuticle stick soaked in a light dishwashing detergent is small enough to get the residue and grime inside the crevices. Added tip - wrap the end of the cuticle stick with some cotton to ensure that it won’t scratch the surface.

Also an essential item needed to effectively clean your etched plaque is the right metal polish and protective coating for the kind of metal these are made of. Once dry after cleaning, apply the appropriate metal polish to the plaque’s surface. It will protect the surface from damaging elements and deterioration. It will also help keep dirt from adhering to the surface, thereby reducing the amount of dirt you will need to clean off next time.

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