To Clean Gilt Frames and Gilded Surfaces Generally

Dip a soft brush in alcohol to which a few drops of ammonia water has been added, and with it go over the surface. Do not rub—at least, not roughly, or harshly. In the course of five minutes the dirt will have become soft, and easy of removal. Then go over the surface again gently with the same or a similar brush dipped in rain water. Now lay the damp article in the sunlight to dry. If there is no sunlight, place it near a warm (but not hot) stove, and let dry completely. In order to avoid streaks, take care that the position of the article, during the drying, is not exactly vertical.

To Clean Fire-Gilt Articles

Fire-gilt articles are cleaned, according to their condition, with water, diluted hydrochloric acid, ammonia, or potash solution. If hydrochloric acid is employed thorough dilution with water is especially necessary. The acidity should hardly be noticeable on the tongue.

To clean gilt articles, such as gold moldings, etc., when they have become tarnished or covered with flyspecks, etc., rub them slowly with an onion cut in half and dipped in rectified alcohol, and wash off lightly with a moist soft sponge after about 2 hours.

Cleaning Gilded and Polychromed Work on Altars

To clean bright gold a fine little sponge is used which is moistened but lightly with tartaric acid and passed over the gilding. Next go over the gilt work with a small sponge saturated with alcohol to remove all dirt. For matt gilding, use only a white flannel dipped in lye, and carefully wipe off the dead gold with this, drying next with a fine linen rag. To clean polychromed work sponge with a lye of rain water, 1,000 parts, and calcined potash, 68 parts, and immediately wash off with a clean sponge and water, so that the lye does not attack the paint too much.