How to Maintain Military Medals
Preservation of military medals is very important. There are a few methods that are used to maintain them regularly to keep them from getting damaged. They also need to be stored carefully. This is one of the crucial aspects of medal maintenance. Medals kept in museums are in carefully regulated conditions where the effects of humidity and temperature are controlled and the light levels are kept low to prevent fading.
When storing medals at home, you need to make sure that you find a location that is clean and dry. The storage area should not be subjected to extreme conditions of light, temperature or humidity as this will affect the quality of the materials. Improper storage will result in corrosion of the metal and the fabric may rot if kept in high moisture levels for too long. If kept in a location that is very dry and is subjected to high temperatures, the fabric of the ribbon can weaken and become brittle. You can find boxes that are recommended for storing medals that are made of acid free cardboard and hoop pine plywood. Ordinary cardboard and wood that are used for storage containers have an acidic environment that can damage the metal. You can also get more information about proper medal maintenance from a professional service that specialises in it. You can get war medals here to a professional and get precision medal mounting services as well.
Once you have a proper box, you can use acid free tissue paper or a fabric that has not been dyed to wrap the medals. You can also use soft fabric such as handkerchiefs and linen fabric. Make sure to avoid fabric like velvet or woollen felt. It is best to handle the medals as little as possible as the acid and other contaminants on our fingers can harm the metal. Generally, soft cotton gloves are recommended for handling medals. You can also polish or clean the medal before storing it. It is better to minimise the polishing as this can have an effect on the sharpness of the medal design. Make sure that you clear any polishing substance with an expert before using it to maintain the integrity of the medal. You should wear gloves when cleaning the medals as well and it is better to do this in a ventilated area. If you have not done this before, make sure that you carry out the cleaning in a small area of the medal like the edge which is not very conspicuous.
For a thorough cleaning, you can remove the ribbon from the medal by cutting the stitching. And then you can degrease the medal by dipping it in acetone. Make sure that you have cotton buds on hand to wipe the medal. To dislodge the dirt, you can use a small toothbrush and wet it with water to gently massage the medal until all the dirt is removed. You need to rinse the medal between the brushing and check for any new scratches. Medal ribbons can be cleaned with a soft brush or you can dry clean it if it is possible to detach it from the medal. But normal washing is not recommended.