Oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures such as faucets have grown in popularity in the recent past. However, this type of finish tends to wear off after some time giving the fixtures a different look. While some people love the new look, others search for ways on how to restore oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures.
There is no doubt that oil-rubbed bronze fixtures give a sleek and luxurious finish to your bathroom due to the antique look.
However, continued use and exposure to moisture and body oils cause the finish to change over time and the fixtures lose their lustrous appeal.
Thus, oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures need special care to maintain their finish, which is what we shall talk about in this article.
How to restore oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures
If your oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures have started to fade and wear off, you can restore the finish in a number of ways.
1. Clean oil rubbed bronze fixtures like faucets and drain
Clean oil rubbed bronze fixtures will last longer than neglected ones.
Neglecting to properly clean the fixtures leads to water spots, grime, and soap scum build-up.
Thus, you can prevent the fixtures from fading by not leaving hard water, dust, and loose dirt to accumulate on your bathroom fixtures.
Always wipe off the tub and sink faucets with a soft cloth after each use.
Use gentle detergents and water to clean the surfaces. Avoid abrasive cleaning materials and harsh detergents since they might scratch the surfaces and ruin the refined bronze finish.
Bar Keepers Friend, for instance, is a common household cleaning product that can tackle hard water stains, soap scum, mineral deposits, and even rust on bathroom surfaces.
However, Bar Keepers friend is not recommended on oil-rubbed bronze fixtures since it is mildly abrasive and hence, may damage the finish.
2. Use oil rubbed bronze touch up paint
Another way to restore your bathroom fixtures is by painting them using oil rubbed bronze touch up paint.
The touch-up paint helps to hide the scratches and other imperfections on the fixtures so as to get back that sleek and dark bronze finish.
You can paint the small affected areas or the whole fixture.
There are different bathroom fixture touch-up paints in the market. So make sure you choose that which is recommended for oil rubbed bronze finishes on faucets and other fixtures such as Krylon Brilliant Metallic paint.
This paint helps to restore the oil-rubbed bronze color on your fixtures and gives them a luxurious finish.
See also: Best finish for bathroom faucets
3. Get scratches out using oil rubbed bronze wax
As aforementioned, the bronze finish on fixtures tends to get scratches over time. This should not worry you because you can remove the scratches without breaking the bank.
All you need is a soft cloth and furniture wax such as Flitz Faucet Wax Plus which is ideal for oil-rubbed bronze, gold-plated, lacquer, and nickel finishes.
Using the soft cloth, apply the wax to the scratches in a circular motion. Repeat this until the scratches are not visible.
Let the wax settle for about three minutes before wiping it and then use a clean soft cloth to wipe off the excess wax.
It is important to ensure that all the wax is cleaned off to avoid film residues on your fixtures.
In order to restore the original shine of the fixtures, dump a piece of cotton in mineral oil and swipe it over your fixtures.
To keep the scratches completely away, apply the furniture wax on your fixtures at least once every three months. Wax also helps to protect the fixtures from hard water stains and enables them to maintain their shine for a longer time.
4. Use vinegar to remove mineral deposits and hard water stains
Many homesteads have hard water. Thus, despite all the cleaning efforts, oil rubbed bronze fixtures will accumulate hard water spots and minerals.
When trying to remove these spots, do not use any harsh chemicals like bleach or lime since they will damage the finish.
If the spots won’t come off on wiping with water only, try vinegar. But, vinegar is highly acidic and can damage oil rubbed bronze if not diluted.
So to clean your bronze fixtures, dilute the vinegar with half part water and apply it on the fixtures carefully with a soft cloth.
You can also use a spray bottle and spray the affected areas on the fixtures.
Leave it to sit for about 10 minutes and then rinse and wipe the fixtures to dry.
Please note that this method should only be used on difficult stains such as those caused by hard water mineral deposits.
See also: Best freestanding tub filler/faucet
FAQ about how to restore oil rubbed bronze finish
What to do when oil rubbed bronze fixtures are turning green
As you are already aware, bronze is a metal alloy that comprises mainly copper.
So when the copper in the fixtures is exposed to elements like water and oxygen, a chemical reaction occurs resulting in a green patina called copper oxide.
This chemical reaction is highly expected as it is a way to protect the inner part of the bronze fixture.
The main problem is that the green patina affects the appeal of the fixtures so you need to clean it.
One of the easiest ways to get rid of the green oxidation is to mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a few spoons of lemon juice to form a toothpaste thick solution.
Apply it on the affected spots with a clean soft cloth over the oil rubbed bronze finish turning green and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse off with warm water and repeat the process until the green patina is gone.
How to darken oil rubbed bronze finish fixtures
In order to darken oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, you will need a metal darkener such as Brass Darkening Solution.
However, for this solution to work, you must first ensure that the underlying metal in your fixtures is solid brass, bronze, or copper.
Moreover, the fixtures should not have a clear coating. But if they do, use acetone or stripper to first remove the coating and use steel wool to completely get rid of the coating. Wipe once again with acetone and let it air dry.
To apply the darkening solution, soak the fixture parts in the solution until it darkens, and then rinse it off with water. You can further adjust darkens by rubbing with dry steel wool until you achieve the color you want.
See also: Best oil rubbed bronze spray paint
How to remove oxidation/patina from bronze
The oxidation of copper in bronze fixtures results in a green patina as earlier mentioned.
To remove this oxidation, use a mixture of baking soda about two spoons with lemon juice. Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture on the fixture and then rinse off with clean water.
Repeat this until all the oxidation is removed and your fixtures look as good as new.
Oil rubbed bronze is a delicate finish and it requires a lot of care to maintain.
Once the finish starts to wear off, you need to learn how to restore oil rubbed bronze bathroom fixtures so as to maintain their appeal.
Most homes have hard water and this can lead to the accumulation of crust at the base of the fixtures as well as hard water stains.
Make soft cleaning material and water your cleaning partner. In case of tough stains, use vinegar and water solution.
Also, apply mineral oil and furniture wax on the surfaces monthly to protect the surfaces