How to Clean Brass Buddhist Statues

Updated February 21, 2017

The most common metal used to create Buddha statues is brass, followed by bronze. Sometimes, statues made of brass are covered in lacquer to serve as a protective coating. The lacquer will keep the statue from developing a natural patina, or tarnishing, over time as the finish reacts with the oxygen in the air. The method that you use to clean your brass Buddha statue will depend on the type of finish that is present on the item.

Wipe the brass Buddhist statue firmly with a clean microfiber cloth to remove surface dust and grime.

Fill a small container with warm water and add three or four drops of mild liquid dish washing soap. Agitate the water with your fingers to create bubbles.

Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the soapy water and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Wipe the Buddhist statue with the damp, soapy cloth.

Buff dry with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.

Pour approximately 1 tsp of ketchup onto a damp microfiber cloth.

Wipe the ketchup all over the surface of the Buddhist statue. Rinse out the cloth in warm water, squeeze gently and wipe the statue clean.

Buff to a shine with a clean, dry microfiber cloth.


Test to see if the statue is lacquered by mixing 1/2 tsp of white vinegar with 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Dip a soft cloth in the mixture and rub a bit onto an inconspicuous area of the statue. If the brass cleans and brightens on contact, it does not have a lacquer coating. If it doesn't, it has a protective coating.


Do not apply ketchup or other cleaners, including soap, to a lacquered brass Buddhist statue because it can damage the finish. Wipe lacquered brass with a dry or damp microfiber cloth and buff it to a shine.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 microfiber cloths
  • 1 small container
  • 3 or 4 drops of mild liquid dishwashing soap
  • 1 tsp ketchup
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About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.