Over time, your prized trophies can get worn out, scratched, faded and otherwise damaged. However, there are a number of ways to restore your trophies. If you are trying to breathe new life into an old trophy, take a look at these five common issues and a few tips on addressing them:
If you have smudges built up on the base of your trophy or on its glass or metal components, don't reach for any complicated, chemical-laden cleaners. Instead, simply, hold the trophy up to your mouth, breathe on it and then shine it gently with a soft, microfibre cloth. Don't use tissues or toilet paper as those can leave unwanted fibres on your trophy.
2. Dirt and grime
If you have dirt and grime, remove it using a cloth moistened with just a bit of water and a gentle dish soap. Use a clean white cloth to wipe off any remaining residue, and then, shine as directed above.
3. Tarnished metal
If the metal on your old trophy is tarnished, you may be able to get it looking new again by using metal polish or brass cleaner. You can buy these cleaners at most trophy shops, including both online and brick and mortar shops. Wear gloves as you clean so you don't leave any fingerprints.
Start with a gentle liquid cleaner. If that doesn't work, use a paste. Pastes should be saved as a last resort because they are more abrasive than their liquid counterparts.
If your trophy is plastic coated in metal, don't use a polish. Instead, just use soap and water to clean it. If any of the coating has chipped or scratched off, you can repair it with a bit of gold or silver craft paint.
Polishing old trophies often gets rid of shallow scratches, but if it doesn't remove your scratches, you may want to try filling the scratch with resin and then polishing over that or adding gold or silver leaf paint over the resin. You can buy resin-based scratch fillers at most car parts stores.
5. Indecipherable labels
If you cannot read the labels or plaques on your trophy any more, you can try the steps above to clean the label. However, you may want to send your trophy to a special trophy restoration company. They can remove, re-engrave and replace any illegible labels, making your trophy as good as new.
If you're hoping to recreate a trophy, contact a company like Full Colour Badges & Trophies to learn about customisation options.