The basic component of a bell is bronze, therefore it is necessary to know key rules for treatment of bronze products, to keep its appearance well as long as possible. Don’t forget when cleaning bronze, you deal with two chemical elements simultaneously. It is an alloy of copper with any other metal, except of zinc.
A dust layer amasses on the bronze surface, as well as on any another, and slumps gradually to dirt. First wipe bronze with a soft duster, it could be flannel or a suede napkin, and then hard-to-reach spots with a soft brush clean. Experts recommend to clean ornaments not less than once a month.
For a more thorough radical cleaning, carefully wash the bronze with a solution of 1 table spoon of table salt and 3,5 l of water. If the dirt still remains, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of colourless vinegar and add enough flour to get paste. Smear a bronze thing with it and leave for 15 minutes - 1 hour. Then wash of the bronze with warm water. Necessarily wipe it dry with a towel - salty water gradually spoils bronze. To imagine how spoiled bronze product looks like, remember what occurs to small coins thrown in the sea. Also it is possible to wash bronze products with warm soap water with some drops of liquid ammonia.
There is also one more way of bronze cleaning. Bronze products are put into 2 % soap solution and heat up. After boiling, bronze is taken out of the solution and is washed out by warm water. Then dry up carefully.
Passing directly to care for church bells, it is necessary to carry out preventive measures against impurity as well. Birds are the main problem of bells, as well as of monuments, especially pigeons. They often find a lodgement under a dome, and the bird's dung not simply spoils appearance of a bell, but also corrodes external layers of a bell literally. To prevent such cases,you can just simply set a grid in a belfry. To clean a bell from consequences of residing of birds on a belltower, you can use everything from a duster to a knife, the main thing, you should not be overzealous not to tear off a surface, for example, by a metal brush.
Experienced bell ringers advise such way as covering of a bell with wax. Wax is dissolved in gasoline, and then the bell is covered by the received solution, and excesses are cleaned. As a result bronze gets a beautiful noble shade. And the most important thing is, such wax covering protects the bell from corrosion and it is more easily to clean it from excrements of birds.
If a paint somehow gets on a bell, it can be accurately removed by solvent.
Care for bells, and they will serve for you long.
The service regulation and service of bells
1. Bells should hang on a channel or a double-tee beam/bridle which should boxed-off with wood (a pine or an oak) before assembling of bells.
2. A bell will be fastened to a beam by means of a special steel assembly bell hanger.
3. Close dense suspension bracket carriage hook-up of a bell is forbidden. It should vibrate naturally. Otherwise it can lead to its split.
4. A bell will undergo the risk of splitting if the striking sphere of a bell-tongue by ringing (verberation) gets under a shock ring.
5. A bell should be suspended freely not to adjoin to a wall, a beam or another bell.
6. The object of a bell-ringer is to proportion the force of verberation according to the size of a bell. Excessively strong verberations can lead to its splitting.
7. The place for a bell’s disposing should be free and convenient to control an emplacement of fastening of a bell-tongue.
8. The bell ringer should check regularly correctness and reliability of a suspension bracket of bells and bell-tongue as well and supervise safety of placing of a bell on belltowers.
9.By 20°Ñ degrees of frost bell bronze becomes a more fragile metal. Before bell ringing it’s necessary to "warm they up" with a series of light verberations.
During cold seasons it is necessary to ring more carefully, than by warm weather. For safety it is necessary to observe following rule during bell ringing:
1. The workplace of a bell-ringer shouldn't be under a bell.
2. It is necessary to check periodically, if there is greasing on the place of a suspension bracket of a bell-tongue , to grease the fastening knot with solid oil.