How to Clean Brass so It Looks Shiny And New Again

When used as a warm-toned metal substitute for chrome and stainless steel finishes, brass may have a significant impact on home decor. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that has been used for ages to make decorative items, musical instruments, door hardware, and buttons. Even though brass is a classic material for home décor, the material itself can deteriorate with time.

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Uncoated brass tarnishes when exposed to air or the oils in our skin. Even though tarnish doesn’t normally corrode, it can make brass appear more worn-out and occasionally unclean by darkening and dulling the surface.

Even while some people might enjoy the raw, old aspect of brass, cleaning brass can give it a more modern appearance. The good news is that you most likely already own everything you need to clean brass and restore its original sheen.

Considerations Before You Get Started

Make sure you know exactly what you’re working with before you begin cleaning. Is the item brass-plated or made of solid brass? Is there a protective coating on the brass, such as a polyurethane sealer or lacquer?

Years of washing and polishing can be applied to solid brass without causing undue wear. Uncertain if the material you’re working with is solid brass? See what happens when you hold a magnet up to the surface. Solid brass is not magnetic.

Conversely, things that are brass-plated merely have a thin layer of brass on top of another, typically less expensive, metal. Here too, a magnet test is effective. The brass is only plated if a magnet adheres to the object in question. When cleaning brass-plated items, exercise caution and minimal pressure.

To avoid scratching or chipping the lacquer, brass that has been sealed or lacquered should only be dusted or cleaned with a moist cloth. Tarnish will develop on the metal if the coating is damaged, allowing air to reach the metal.

How frequently should brass be cleaned?

Handling brass frequently will cause it to tarnish more quickly. Clean and polish the brass hardware on doors, cabinets, and sink fixtures once a month to keep it shining. Decorative items need to be cleaned as soon as tarnish begins, or at least once a year. Items made of lacquered brass just need to be dusted occasionally and gently wiped down with a moist cloth.

How to Use Salt and Lemon to Clean Brass

Wash Away Surface Dust and Grime

To get rid of the grease and dust, immerse the brass object in warm, soapy water (use liquid dish soap). Should the item not be able to be submerged, remove any loose dirt by dipping a cloth into the soapy water.

Make a Lemon Scrubber

Halve a lemon and coat the cut sides with table salt. Scrub the brass with the lemon that has been coated in salt. Add salt again as necessary.

Make a paste with lemon juice

Combine one cup of salt and one-fourth cup of lemon juice to make a paste. Using a sponge or rag, apply the paste to the brass. Let it sit for thirty minutes, then use a damp sponge to scrub the item clean.

Rinse and Buff

After the tarnish has been removed, give the item a good rinse and use a microfiber cloth free of lint to buff the brass dry.

How to Clean Brass With Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remove Surface Soil

To get rid of the grease and dust, immerse the brass object in warm, soapy water (use liquid dish soap). Should the item not be able to be submerged, remove any loose dirt by dipping a cloth into the soapy water.

Make a Paste using Baking Soda and Vinegar

In a bowl big enough to hold the fizzing, make a paste of one cup of baking soda and one-fourth cup of distilled white vinegar.

Use the paste to cover the brass

Using a sponge, smear the paste onto the brass once the fizzing stops and it has settled. Let the paste sit on the brass for half an hour, but no longer than that.

Take Out the Tarnish

Gently remove the tarnish and paste with a moist cloth. An old toothbrush works excellently to reach into small cracks and remove tarnish if the brass has detailed carvings.

How to Maintain Clean and Shiny Brass for a Longer Time

  • Avoid handling brass things unless required. The brass tarnishes because of the oils in your hands.
  • To keep ornamental brass objects from tarnishing due to airborne contaminants, dust them regularly.
  • After washing, make sure all of the brass cookware is completely dry to avoid spots and tarnish.
  • Steer clear of aggressive cleaners that could harm the finish, such as ammonia or dishwasher detergents.
  • After polishing, think about using a polyurethane coating to prevent tarnish on decorative brass surfaces.

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