Everyone has that one trophy or plaque they’ve held onto. Maybe it’s the trophy you received for your first bowling league title, maybe it’s a medal from making it on the dean’s list in college, or maybe an award your received for 25 years of service at your work.
Whatever the trophy is that’s important to you, if you want it to remain in pristine condition, it will require a little bit of TLC. However, not all trophies can be treated the same.
Here’s a basic guide how to care for trophies made out of different materials:
Silver is a soft metal that is easily scuffed or tarnished if improperly cleaned.
Regular maintenance should include wiping with warm soapy water using a soft, lint free cloth. Be sure to dry your trophy after you’ve finished wiping.
If tarnished, special silver polishes can be purchased and should be gently applied by wiping in only one direction before completely removing with a separate, clean cloth. For a natural cleaning solution, you can create a paste out of baking soda and water which you can use to coat your trophy with it and let sit for several hours. The tarnish will come off with the paste.
Dust and dirt can be removed from acrylic trophies using warm soapy water. Never use Windex or any chemical cleaner on your acrylic trophies as they will cause fading over time.
For scratches and blemishes, special polishing products can be purchased and applied with a soft cloth.
Glass and Crystal
For basic maintenance, once again warm soapy water is always a safe bet to use. However, with glass and crystal you can also use an ammonia based cleaner.
First wipe the trophy down with a dry cloth, then after shaking that cloth free of all dust and contamination (or getting a fresh one), applied the cleaning solution to the cloth directly then gently wipe down your trophy.
Plain white vinegar diluted into water at a ratio of approximately 4:1 is also a safe cleaning option.
Whatever your trophy is made of, in order to get maximum longevity be sure to store it away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment with minimal airflow. While time eventually fades everything, with a bit of care your trophies will be looking brand new for years to come!