Brass tarnishes and oxidizes over time. Although some prefer the look of tarnished brass, some want it polished. Here are some ways to clean and polish brass accessories:
- Commercial metal cleaners and polishes can also be effective for cleaning brass and are commonly available at most home centers and supermarkets.
- Start with hot, soapy water and a microfiber cleaning cloth: Go over all of the surfaces thoroughly with the cleaning cloth, using a clean toothbrush to get into any crevices. Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
- For tougher cleaning jobs, pull out the ketchup, tomato sauce, or tomato paste. Simply rub a thin coat onto the brass, let sit for an hour or so, and then clean the piece with hot, soapy water.
- Another option is to make a paste of equal parts salt, flour, and white vinegar. Apply the paste to the brass and let sit for up to an hour. Rinse with warm water and buff dry.
- An alternative natural cleaning combination is salt and lemon. Cut a lemon in half and remove the seeds. Coat the cut half of the lemon with table salt and rub it over the surface of the brass, re-coating the lemon with salt as needed. Once you’ve covered the entire surface, buff to a shine with a clean, dry cloth. You can also make a paste using two parts cream of tartar powder to one part lemon juice—rub the paste on the brass, let sit for 30 minutes, rinse with warm water and buff.