How to Clean Vintage Brass Carbide Miners Lamps

Brass carbide miners lamps are popular with cavers. There are modern reproductions available, but many people like to get genuine vintage models to use. If the lamps aren’t in working condition, they still make a lovely display. The old brass polishes up nicely. Some retired miners collect them.

To clean the lamp, you’ll need the following:

* Glass stove top cleaner

* Brasso

* Chrome cleaner

* Hair dryer

* Old tooth brush

* Old tee shirts

When I start cleaning an old brass lamp, I remove the flint from the striker. which is located on the reflector. Just unscrew the cap and turn the lamp over and the flint and spring should fall out into your hand. Then I empty the fuel tank and flush it out with water.

If you want your Vintage Brass Miners Lamp to retain an aged patina after it’s clean, try using glass stove top cleaner and an old tooth brush. First scrub the lamp with the glass cleaner, using the toothbrush to clean the crevices,then rinse with water.

After you get all the cleaner rinsed off, dry the lamp parts with a hair dryer set on low. It takes me about 45 minutes to clean the brass part of the lantern.

If you want your brass to shine like new, use Brasso. It works really well! Brasso is also abrasive, so be careful how much you rub.

When you are done with the brass it will be a shiny brassy brown. Some people like to use Limeaway to speed up the job, but I don’t. It will save you a little scrubbing but if you leave the lamp in the solution too long the brass will turn pink.

To clean the reflector, I use chrome cleaner (available from auto parts stores) and rub until clean with an old tee-shirt.

When you’re finished, buff the entire lap with clean tee-shirt material, and then reassemble it. You’ll be quite pleased with the results!

Mary J. Gibson

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