If you’ve noticed that the brass pieces throughout your home are starting to look dull and tarnished, then it might be time for you to break out the soft cloth and brass cleaner and get to work. Many of today’s commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your family and are harmful to the environment.
However, cleaning the brass around your home doesn’t require a special cleaner. You can make a homemade brass cleaner using simple ingredients that you can find around your house. Before you begin cleaning your brass, it is essential for you to determine whether it is lacquered brass or non-lacquered brass.
If the brass pieces do not look dull, or they don’t show signs of tarnish, it is most likely lacquered, which means it can be cleaned using nothing more than soapy water and a clean, damp sponge. However, if the brass is not lacquered, and has begun to tarnish, you’ll need to give it a deeper clean using a homemade brass cleaner.
DIY Brass Cleaner Solutions
Brass and copper can begin to develop an unattractive patina or tarnish over time. Tarnish on brass starts to grow because of a chemical reaction that happens between the surface of the metal and the air that surrounds it.
Cleaning the tarnish from your brass isn’t difficult and can be done using standard ingredients you can find in your kitchen or the grocery store. The following recipes for how to clean brass are safe, inexpensive, and useful for cleaning the brass around your home.
Vinegar Brass Cleaner
White vinegar is a staple in many kitchens. It can be used to clean brass to a “like-new” condition. It does a great job of removing black and green tarnish that has built-up on your brass.
Place the white vinegar in a small bowl. Add the salt and allow it enough time to dissolve. Begin to add flour to the mixture until paste forms. Using an old toothbrush, rub the paste into the brass.
Allow it to sit for approximately ten minutes. Rinse the brass with warm water. Using a clean, dry cloth, buff the brass until it is dry. This recipe is just like the pewter cleaning and polish tips. See our how do you clean pewter recipes for more.
Baking Soda Brass Cleaner
This homemade remedy to clean brass is simple to make and easy to use and is only one of the many uses for baking soda around the house. Baking soda, salt, and vinegar are ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
They create a reaction that helps to dissolve the tarnish that has developed on the brass. The following recipe is also part of our homemade jewelry cleaner series:
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients, stirring until the salt and baking soda has dissolved. Dip a clean, soft microfiber cloth into the solution. Using small, circular motions, apply the paste in a thick layer onto the brass.
Allow the paste to sit for at least ten minutes. Using cool water, rinse the paste off. With a clean, soft cloth, buff the brass until it is dry.
Lemon Juice Brass Cleaner
This cleaning solution works for both brass and as a silver cleaner. The ingredients that you use in this recipe, once again, are ones that you probably already have in your kitchen, or they can be easily purchased at the grocery store. This cleaner, like the rest, is non-toxic and safe to use around your family.
Combine the salt and flour in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and stir to create a thick paste. With an old toothbrush, cover the brass with a thick layer of the paste. Allow it to dry completely. Once it is dry, it will begin to flake.
With a soft, clean cloth, rub off the dry paste. Cut the lemon into slices. In a shallow bowl, add enough baking soda to cover the bottom. Dip the fresh cut lemon, cut side down, into the baking soda, making sure to coat the entire cut sides of the lemon.
Rub the lemon slice over the brass to remove any remaining tarnish. Rinse the baking soda and lemon juice off with hot water. Using a clean, soft towel, thoroughly dry the brass.
Homemade Brass Polish
Once you’ve removed the dirt and tarnish from your brass, you can use two simple ingredients to polish it and bring back its original shine.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a small bowl. Add the baking soda to the lemon juice. It will begin to fizz. Stir the ingredients to mix thoroughly. Using a soft cloth, apply the paste to the brass. Using a gentle circular motion, work the paste into the brass.
Rinse the paste off with warm water and dry the brass with a clean, soft cloth. This remedy is also an appropriate way for how to polish for stainless steel, as well. With stainless, however, you do not want to spread the paste in a circular motion. Instead, go with the grain of the stainless steel to prevent scratching the surface.
Can I Use an Ultrasonic Cleaning to Clean Brass?
You can clean small pieces of brass with a combination of everyday household products, and an ultrasonic cleaner. Ultrasonic cleaning machines use a high-frequency vibration to deliver the homemade brass cleaner deep into the gaps between the surfaces, helping to clear away buildup.
Mix the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are mixed. Add the solution to the cleaner. Add your brass pieces and turn on. Allow the cleaner to run for at least fifteen minutes. Remove the brass from the ultrasonic cleaner and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
How Can I Protect My Brass from Tarnishing?
You can protect your brass from becoming tarnished by rubbing it down with mineral oil on a regular basis. Not only will the mineral oil bring out the natural shine, but it will help to break apart any stains that may be on your brass.
The mineral oil will help to slow down the oxidation process and will keep your brass looking like new, and reduce the need for continuous polishing.
When it comes to cleaning and polishing the brass around your home, you can skip the expensive and chemical laden, commercial cleaner and make a homemade brass cleaner out of ingredients you already have in your home.
Not only will you save money by making your brass cleaner, but you’ll be able to bring your dirty and tarnished brass back to life without leaving a toxic residue.
Recipe for Homemade Brass Cleaner
- 1 whole lemon, sliced in half
- 1 teaspoon of table salt
- 2 cups of white flour
- 1 cup of vinegar
- Baking soda
- 2 or more clean, soft cloths
- 1 bowl
- 1 jar
- Add the flour and salt to the jar and stir well to combine.
- Pour in the vinegar and mix to make a paste.
- Use the toothbrush to spread the cleaner paste on the brass.
- Let the paste dry until flaky.
- Wipe the paste off with a cloth.
- Pour baking soda into the bowl so that it covers the bottom.
- Dip the cut side of one lemon half into the baking soda, coating it completely.
- Rub the baking soda-coated lemon over the brass to eliminate tarnish. Use the other half if needed for a larger area of brass.
- Rinse the brass well with hot water.
- Dry with another clean, dry cloth.
This recipe also works well for cleaning copper.
We hope you found the information in this article helpful, and please feel free to share it with your friends and family.