The first step in cleaning your bronze sculpture should be removing any dust from the surface using a soft clean cloth. You can make another useful tool for removing dust by taking a medium to soft bristled paint brush and wrapping the metal ferrule which holds the bristles with several layers of duct tape or electrical tape. this will prevent the metal of the paint brush from scratching the surface of the bronze statue. A toothbrush also makes a good cleaning tool for bronze statues.
If further cleaning is needed, apply distilled water (to avoid water spots) to a soft cloth and gently wipe the surface to clean. It is best to have a dry cloth available to dry the cleaned area after wiping it clean.
If the bronze has a wood base, use care not to get water on the wood base which could damage it.
Do not use detergents or other cleaning agents unless absolutely necessary and then use with caution by testing the product in a small area.
I strongly recommend consulting with a good patina artist or foundry if you are uncertain.
If your bronze sculpture has special coatings or unusual varied patinas, take care to not alter the surface or remove coloring that could damage the future value of the bronze sculpture. Do not use abrasive polishes, brushes or chemicals which could scratch the surface of the metal.
It is important to display your bronze sculpture in a location that will best preserve it. Bronze sculptures should be displayed in well ventilated areas away from excessive heat and humidity.
Rather than using waxes or polishes that may contain cleaning agents, foundries recommend Johnson’s Paste Wax, or Renaissance wax which is inert and will not yellow over time. A thin, even coat of wax should be applied to the clean bronze sculpture using a soft bristle paint brush (once again, wrapping the metal part of the brush with tape will protect the surface of the bronze sculpture from damage. The wax should be allowed to set up for several hours, then the bronze sculpture can be buffed or polished using a soft cloth.
A second coat of wax will add additional gloss if desired. There is no harm in waxing a sculpture more frequently if the wax is applied in thin coats.
For maintenance and care of bronze sculpture such as your outdoor bronze horse statues, cleaning and waxing once a year as a minimum is something I highly recommend. If the bronze is being exposed to high humidity or other adverse
conditions, waxing the bronze more often may be needed in order to protect and preserve your patina.
For questions regarding care and preservation of the patina of your bronze sculpture, it is wise to consult with a professional patina artist or bronze foundry in order to best protect your investment.