Brass Maintenance Like A Pro With Home Items: Cleaning And Polishing

How to Maintain Brass

Brass items are among the topmost home décor and vintage items inside a home. You may have a vase, a lampshade, a vintage drawer, or even some vintage doorknobs. These items look artistic and add a touch of glamour to your interior.

Tarnished brass items become dingy and unappealing. Hence, you need to maintain their look. But, maintaining brass items is often a challenge for homeowners; from cutlery to home decor- brass items often lose their shine with time.

But, here we are, and your worry is gone! This article will find some common ways of cleaning and polishing brass with ordinary things that you can find easily in your home or a local shop. Read on to know more!

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Some points to keep in mind

Before you clean, you need to check the percentage of brass in the item you have chosen. Brass items can be made with only brass or may come as brass lacquered or plated. Lacquer is a fine layer of brass applied on the brass item that prevents the tarnishing of the item. Such brass pieces usually do not tarnish easily. On the other hand, plated brass items have a thinner layer of brass on another item(for example, steel or iron) to make it look like brass. Lacquered brass items are quite difficult to clean.

On the contrary, items made of pure brass which do not have any lawyer on them tarnish easily. But, such items get their shine back whenever you polish them.

Items made with pure brass will not contain any other metal. You can use a magnet to know the truth. If the magnet sticks to brass, it is probably brass plated or lacquered. If the magnet does not stick, it is made of pure brass.

Cleaning brass items

1) Brass lacquered or plated items.

Brass lacquered items need special attention. If the lacquer is present in whole, you can clean it with a brass cleaning liquid or chemical. You will find such chemicals in local hardware stores easily. But, if the lacquered coasting is coming off from places, you need to visit a professional to restore it and clean the item.

SImilarly, brass plated items also require special attention. The coating will get scratched if you clean such items with harsh strokes! So, it is better to use only standard brass cleaning chemicals with swift motions to prevent unwanted and irreversible damage.

2) Cleaning pure brass items

You can use multiple methods to clean pure brass items-

3) Ketchup

Ketchup is a great household item for cleaning and restoring the shine of brass. Ketchup is made of tomatoes, and the acidity of tomatoes and vinegar often works wonders.

  • First, squeeze the ketchup bottle and apply a small amount of ketchup on the brass item at different places. Let it sit for five to ten minutes.
  • Next, take a damp cotton cloth and rub the ketchup all over the surface of the brass.
  • Finally, rinse thoroughly.

4) Vinegar

Like ketchup, pure vinegar or household vinegar is also a great cleaner for brass items. It also contains acidic compounds. Combine vinegar, salt and all-purpose flour to make a household cleaning solution for brass.

First, add 1 teaspoon salt to each half cup of vinegar you add. Next, add nearly 2 tablespoons flour to the half cup of vinegar to make a paste. If it looks liquidy, you can adjust the amount of flour in this mixture.

  • Apply this mixture to the brass item and let it sit for ten minutes.
  • Finally, use a soft and damp cloth to wipe the mixture and rinse the brass.

5) Lemon and Baking Soda

Lemon and baking soda are other natural items that can clean brass items easily. You can make a DIY solution of one teaspoon baking soda to the juice of half of a lemon. Mix it and wait for the foam.

  • Now apply the mixture to the grime and rub it using a soft wet cloth.
  • Next, wipe out the residue with another wet cloth.
  • Do not wash it. Instead, dry it with a clean cloth.

6) Toothpaste

Toothpaste also works wonders with brass items. It is better to use plain white toothpaste that does not contain any flavor or color.

  • First, apply a thin layer of the toothpaste on the brass and let it sit for five minutes. DFor grimy places, apply a thicker layer of toothpaste.
  • After that, wipe the toothpaste with the help of a clean cloth. Do not rinse it.

7) Soap and water solution

If you do not have anything handy, simple household soap and warm water are enough for cleaning brass items. You can use these two items to make a DIY brass cleaner. You have to add 1-2 tablespoons of soap to a cup of warm water. Repeat the procedure to make a large batch as per requirement.

  • You have to make enough to soak the brass item in the solution. Let the item soak for 5 minutes; If some places are dirty, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush for cleaning the dirt.
  • Next, rinse the brass when you see all the dirt is gone!

Polishing brass items

There are different ways of polishing a brass item. You can use a professional brass polishing agent. For DIY lovers, soft cotton cloth is great. If you want professional shine at home, try to use a microfiber cloth.

If you use ketchup, vinegar, baking soda, and lemon solutions, you can use a clean, dry cotton cloth or a microfiber cloth to polish the brass. You need to rub the cloth on the brash item for a few minutes till the shine comes out. Always try to use soft strokes while polishing.


As you can see, cleaning and polishing brass items is easy for anyone, and you can easily do it in your home. You can follow any of the procedures mentioned above to achieve the desired shiny brass item that looks good!

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