Wind chimes are a joy to own and are built to play their melodic tune for many years. They usually need little maintenance or attention. However, sometimes the chimes weather prematurely or become dull-sounding before their time. This can be due to differences in climates or where the chimes are placed around the home. With proper attention and maintenance, your chimes can last a long time. Here are some cleaning and preserving tips for some of the most common wind chime materials.
Caring for wood or bamboo chimes:
Wood chimes may need periodic cleaning and oiling to maintain their looks and sound. Use a damp cloth to lightly clean your chimes. This will stave off mold and mildew, especially in wet climates. Use lemon or teak oil for protection and to keep them from aging. Using furniture polish is not recommended for these types of chimes. Bamboo chimes can also be wiped down with a damp cloth and be touched up with varnish. Since bamboo chimes are more delicate, it is advised to bring them inside during excessively windy or rainy weather.
Caring for metal chimes:
Brass, aluminum and copper wind chimes are mostly maintenance free except for a periodic wiping down with a damp cloth. Brass and copper wind chimes are designed to age and patinate (turn green) naturally. Some manufacturers apply chemicals to change the patina to another color like blue. If you do not want your chimes to patinate, you can clean them with a brass or copper cleaner periodically. Either choice does not affect the sound of your chimes. Aluminum chimes are naturally rust free and resist mold, but can become scratched and pitted. Use extra-fine sandpaper or steel wool to remove pits and scratches and use gun oil and car wax to polish them further.
Caring for glass wind chimes:
Chimes made of glass or similar material can usually be submersed into a tub of soapy water and soaked. Be careful not to twist or tangle the chimes as you submerge them. Wipe them dry or lay them flat on a towel before placing them back outside. For light cleaning, a non-ammonia glass cleaner can be used to spritz them up. For stained glass, a soft brush and soap and water can be used to clean around the metal borders.
To get the best longevity out of your chimes, hang them in areas where they aren't in direct sunlight all day. Keep them out of windy areas and bring them in during windy weather to prevent them from breaking. Otherwise, with a little care and attention, your chimes should last many years.