How do I maintain my roof light winders?
Manufactured in the UK our winders are produced using CZ121 brass as this offers excellent corrosion resistance. Over time the colour may start to dull and so it is advisable that winders are checked and cleaned on a fairly regular basis to ensure smooth operation. Before cleaning, examine the item for damage. Surface dirt can often be removed using a very soft toothbrush or artist's brush. There are two ways to remove accumulated surface grime. The first is to use lukewarm distilled water with a mild liquid detergent and a soft cloth. Be careful to avoid scrubbing too hard because this may scratch the surface if there are particles of grit in the cloth. Rinse with distilled water and allow to air dry on paper towels. If this is not sufficient, greasy residues can be removed with a mixture of equal parts distilled water and alcohol. This can be applied with a stencil brush, cotton swabs or a soft cotton cloth. Rinse in distilled water and let dry. Polishing will remove tarnish. Because all metal polishes contain abrasives, they will also remove some of the metal. Over-polishing can, therefore, result in the loss of surface detail. If excess metal polish has been used in the past, there may be a build-up of residue in detailed areas. This is usually greyish-white or greenish-white in colour. Such residues should be removed. This can be done by using a wooden toothpick moistened in the water and alcohol solution mentioned above. If lacquer or varnish is present, remove it before polishing (but only if adequate facilities are available because the process requires toxic and flammable solvents). A mild polish, such as jeweller's cloth, is recommended for most mildly tarnished copper, brass and bronze pieces. The cloth contains a fine abrasive, but even so excess metal can be removed by rubbing too hard. Use a more abrasive polish, such as liquid metal polish, only if using the cloth is ineffective. Most polishes leave a blackish residue, which can be removed by softly polishing with a plain piece of flannelette. Polishing should be done only if the surface can be protected from tarnishing again. There is no point in polishing away material from the surface if tarnish is allowed to reform.