How Do I Clean a Clock Mantle?


Quick Answer

To clean a clock mantel, remove the back of the clock and the floating balance before gently wiping the mechanisms inside with a small paintbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol. Remember all of the pieces of the mantel are easy to bend, and, if bent, the clock cannot work.

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Full Answer

Remove the back of the clock with a tiny screwdriver and set it off to the side along with the floating balance and plastic levers. Take a small paintbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe all of the pinions, wheels and pivots. Big How states that rubbing alcohol easily removes dust and build-up and evaporates away from the delicate clock pieces, unlike warm soapy water. The springs, once removed with an unwinder, are safe if cleaned with warm water.

Check all the movements to ensure they function smoothly and dry any excess moisture with a hair drier on a low-heat setting. Before reassembling the clock, apply clock oil to all parts excluding the gears and pinions. These pieces tend to attract the most dust, and oil only makes the attraction worse, eventually causing them to stick. Mantel clocks, though small, are intricate and require a good deal of time and patience to clean. If taken care of, they last many generations.

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