Best way to clean medals?

#1
Just dug mine out of the draw and they need a good clean, in fact my GSM is looking positivly tarnished.

Anyone got any good tips for getting them back to parade condition?
 
#2
I just used some metal (silver) polish, it did the trick. Getting into the name and number stamp around the edge was a bit of a pain though.
 
#4
I cannot believe there is such a thing as a soldier who doesn't know how to polish something.
 
#6
WAAAAAAAHHHHH!
 
#7
If your medals are mounted, I find the easiest method is to cut pieces of card to fit behind the Clasp, and a piece to fit tightly behind the medal (to protect the ribbon). I then use Silvo (Duraglit for Silver) to remove the majority of the tarnish. If there is still tarnishing around the inscriptions or the circle of dots round the edge of the face of the medal, then use a very soft toothbrush to remove it. I then use a yellow duster to remove the majority of the remains of the Silvo, and then finish off with a small ball of cotton wool. Do the same with the clasp if your medal has one

If anyone has a better method, I'm willing to learn.

Hope this helps
 
#8
Lairdx said:
I cannot believe there is such a thing as a soldier who doesn't know how to polish something.
Well I can clean them, and up until now a good rub with a soft cloth was ample. You may think you know the best method, and if you do that's fine.

This time they are in need of a little more work and I for one know that there are people out there with all sorts of methods. Some good, some better, but why not share them and see which is the simplest/most effective.
 
#9
metal polish. either duraglit, brasso, silvo, autosol whatever. rub medals with it then get a clean cloth and rub them again.

masking tape prevents polish from getting on the ribbon.
 
#10
Found a small slip from the Medal Office with my Telic gong that warns against using Brasso or any abrasive polish - no alternate suggestion though

Would this be because the Telic gongs are pressed cardboard with a thin tin casing ??
 
#11
I have noticed a reduction in the quality of recent medals. The QGJ medal to cite as an example looks rather cheap and nasty next to the CSM
 
#12
This is not mine -- it came from a previous thread -- but apparently a pencil eraser does the trick. Try it.
 
#13
Give them a rub with a rubber, the eraser for pencils from the banner catalogue. A tailor gave me that top-tip and it's all I've used for the last 5 years. No chance of getting ammonia-based cleaners anywhere near your ribbons either!

Blue skies, Plant-pilot.
 
#14
Maj_Boothroyd said:
Give them a rub with a rubber, the eraser for pencils from the banner catalogue. A tailor gave me that top-tip and it's all I've used for the last 5 years. No chance of getting ammonia-based cleaners anywhere near your ribbons either!

Blue skies, Plant-pilot.
I knew you'd be at the forefront of metal cleaning technology Maj B. but I thought you'd be more interested in parkerizing everything?

Blue Skies indeed :)
 
#15
i use silver dip on a cotton bud. Works a treat and doesnt get any on the ribbons. One thing to note, if you have a Queens Golden Jubilee medal, dont get any form of polish on it. The medal is covered in a couple of microns of gold, which will disolve very quickly if you clean it with brasso etc. It shouldnt need cleaning, just like any other gold plated metal.

Boney
 
#16
Lairdx said:
Metal polish. Either Duraglit, Brasso, Silvo, Autosol.. whatever. Rub medals with it then get a clean cloth and rub them again. Masking tape prevents polish from getting on the ribbon.
Autosol? Fcuk Noooooooooo! A gentle wipe with a tiny bit of silvo will suffice. You do NOT have to go to the trouble of polishing the inside of the naming on the rim with a toothpick. Likewise, clasps and bars shouldn't need that much attention unless you've stored your medals in a compost heap. In fact, storage is the key. Even the non-plated silver or cupro-nickel medals shouldn't need any more than a cursory wiping off of fingermarks providing they've been properly stored - ideally in a proper medal case.

The reason why the Iraq Medal looks like it's made from compressed cardboard is due to the (exessive) heating used during the striking process. I understand that this has been rectified, and new stocks do not have that toasted appearance. Not heard of the eraser trick before. I must try it on that minging four-clasp Crimea I have in my draw.
 
#17
I've heard the rumour that all medals issued by HMG were pressed cardboard with a thin metal veneer. After a heavy session in the Warrior Club in Alanbrooke Barracks, Paderborn, one of the lads decided to see if it was true. The end result was a NI GSM totally mangled and no cardboard!
 
#18
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE METAL POLISH ON MEADALS!!![/]
If you go down this route you will find that you will end up have discs with nothing on them hanging from your ribbons.
Also if you do spill any polish on the ribbon its a sod to get off

As stated use a banner rubber, they are great for removing tarnish and dont damage the ribbon , so you can get the clasps aswell
 
#19
BuckFelize said:
In fact, storage is the key. Even the non-plated silver or cupro-nickel medals shouldn't need any more than a cursory wiping off of fingermarks providing they've been properly stored - ideally in a proper medal case.
I use an airtight lined metal storage case! To prevent oxidisation - Wipe medals with a soft cloth before storing to remove any marks or fingerprints (oily) and wrap them up in a clean cloth (I use a special jewellers cloth, not a yellow duster) and they will be ready to wear again next year!

My medals date from 1971 to 1988 and it works for me for both full size and miniture medals.
 
#20
Sabre said:
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES USE METAL POLISH ON MEADALS!!![/]
If you go down this route you will find that you will end up have discs with nothing on them hanging from your ribbons.
Also if you do spill any polish on the ribbon its a sod to get off

As stated use a banner rubber, they are great for removing tarnish and dont damage the ribbon , so you can get the clasps aswell


I have always used metal polish. I just do it carefully. there is no need to rub the detail off. As I said. Masking tape prevents accidents from spoiling the ribbon. The medals don't need polishing that often that obscuring the detail should be an issue.
 

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