Surely the most important thing is to ensure that you do not damage an object by cleaning it. Look at a silver hallmark that has been obliterated by over zealous rubbing. If you do clean a metal bell just don’t do it too often and use a non abrasive cleaner. I use Autosol which is recommended by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. About once a year if I have the energy. I rarely touch bells hanging outside my house.
Terry Mayer, who is a renowned designer of bell jewelry, writes:
I do want to mention that I buy Silver Polish “in the jewelry district” of NYC…and recently, was recommended to Tarn-X made in the USA…and good for other metals, too. She recommended I buy Tarn-X Silver Glaze, too (as seen on TV) it says…but I haven’t tried it, as yet. The store I bought it at is used by jewelers (Myron Toback, on 47th Street)…but I suspect Tarn-X is available nationally.
On a personal note, Terry also wrote that she will not be able to make the ABA Convention this year for the first time since she joined almost 30 years ago! She is recuperating from a fall. She wishes us all a wonderful time.
Tarn-X is an excellent product. It is a silver dip. It has a strong sulfuric odor and should be used in a well ventillated space. It is also irritating to the skin and eyes, so you should wear protective gloves and avoid splashing it in your eyes.
Harry Long, MD