How to Clean Brass
Many people wonder how they should clean their various brass items. There are many ways to clean brass, which is a soft alloy of about 70% copper and 30% zinc. Both commercial and homemade solutions work well.
These tips help make cleaning brass simple:
(1.) Determine if the item is real brass. Try sticking a magnet to the item. The magnet will stick if it's real brass.
(2.) Clean off the grime and grease. Try wiping the item clean with a clean, dry cloth. Then try using warm water and mild soap. Next, try wiping it with vinegar, cola, or mineral spirits, or a commercial product. Be sure to thoroughly dry the item.
(3.) Polish the item. Use either commercial metal polishes or restorers or homemade ones. However, avoid any that contains ammonia or anhydrous ingredients, as it has recently been discovered these components destroy the zinc in brass.
(4.) Apply a lacquer or wax if the item will be exposed to severe weather conditions
(5.) Buff with a clean, dry, soft cloth until the item has been restored to desired brightness.
Homemade Methods of Cleaning Brass
◊ Use a clean, damp cloth to rub ketchup, plain yogurt, or Worcestershire Sauce into your brass piece, and then wipe it clean. Use another clean cloth to buff it.
◊ Lemon & salt- Cut a lemon in half, remove any seeds, and then coat it with table salt. Hold the lemon by the rind, and rub the salt-coated lemon over the brass. You may need to recoat your lemon with salt if it's a large item. Buff to a shine with a clean, dry cloth.
◊ Salt & Vinegar Paste: Combine equal parts of salt, vinegar, and white flour to form a paste. Use your fingers to put the paste on the brass item, and let it sit for an hour. Rinse thoroughly with water, buff with a clean, dry cloth, and admire the shine.◊ Cream of Tartar & Lemon Juice Paste: Use 2 parts of cream of tartar to one 1 part of lemon juice to get a firm paste. Rub it on the piece with your fingers, let sit at least 30 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with water and buff away with a dry cloth.