Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and is similar to bronze, which is another alloy containing copper that uses tin instead of zinc. Brass has been a popular material for centuries thanks to its shiny and bright gold-like appearance. It’s also used in many household utensils due to its low melting point, workability, durability, and electrical and thermal conductivity. Although brass is great to look at, it can easily tarnish and get dirty, and it can seem like no matter what you try it never quite gets its shine back – here’s how to buff the brass in your life.
Before enduring a long and arduous session of polishing brass, find out which one you have.
The way to know if something is fully brass is just by placing a magnet on it. If it sticks, it’s brass plated, and if it doesn’t stick, you’re dealing with pure brass.
If the object is brass-plated, you can simply clean it using washing-up liquid, as polishing isn’t necessary on objects that are plated.
In fact, it could damage the item by scratching the plating off, so it’s really important to identify what you’re dealing with.
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Flour, salt and white wine vinegar
White wine vinegar is an excellent household cleaner thanks to its acidity which can cut through most grime and buildup.
Combine equal parts of all three ingredients to make a paste.
Apply a thin layer of the paste onto the tarnished brass and leave it to sit.
About an hour should do, but if the stains are particularly stubborn, leave for longer before rinsing with warm water and drying.
Ketchup, tomato sauce or tomato paste
Ketchup may seem like a weird way to clean brass – but it definitely works.
Tomatoes contain an acid that helps to remove tarnish on brass and other metals, so applying a tomato product can really work its magic.
Ketchup, tomato paste and tomato sauce will achieve the same results, so it doesn’t matter which you opt for.
Apply a layer to your brass and leave it on for an hour, then wash with warm water and washing up liquid and let it dry.