Homemade Brass Cleaner: 7 Expert Tips to Polish Like a Pro

A homemade brass cleaner comes in handy when you need to clean your tarnished brass pieces. Brass is a mix of zinc and copper and is likely to tarnish with time when exposed to oxygen and moisture. Here are the homemade brass cleaner: 7 expert tips to polish like a pro.

A commercial cleaner is suitable, but you can quickly make a natural cleaner at home.

You can follow easy steps in a brass cleaner recipe to make a natural homemade brass cleaner. Common household ingredients to use here include water, table salt, white flour, white vinegar, fresh lemon, baking soda, and mild detergent.

It is advisable to use a do-it-yourself brass cleaner on any brass item, such as your coffee table, brass lamps, decorative objects, brass handles, and jewelry. But you must consider the tips for cleaning discussed below to ensure you leave your brass intact.

Here are seven handy tips on using a homemade brass cleaner to clean your brass hardware and leave it polished to your liking.

1. Confirm if it’s Solid Brass

Before you start any cleaning process on your brass objects, you should first check to find out if it is real brass. You can use a refrigerator magnet to check on this since solid brass is not magnetic. If the magnet sticks, you have fake brass or an alternative metal with brass plating.

If the magnet sticks, use warm water, soap, and a soft cloth to clean the brass-plated item.

If the magnet doesn’t stick, you have a solid brass item that you can clean using your DIY brass cleaner.

2. Tell Apart Lacquered and Unlacquered Brass

Lacquered brass has a coating on it that reduces or eliminates tarnishing. The best way to clean lacquered brass is to wipe the brass coating gently with a damp cloth. If your brass item is tarnished, it is unlacquered brass, also known as naked brass or non-lacquered brass.

To clean non-lacquered brass, you can use a suitable DIY homemade brass cleaner and soft cleaning cloth before wiping it with a dry cloth to remove the moisture.

3. Use a Homemade Brass Cleaner

There are several ways to clean brass at home using a suitable cleaner made by following a homemade brass recipe to combine different ingredients. The following are some common homemade cleaners for brass.

How to Clean Brass with Lemon Juice

Lemon juice cleans brass well because of the mild citric acid in lemon. If your brass is only slightly tarnished, use lemon in salt combination on the brass surface before wiping it with a dry cloth. One cup of lemon juice will be more than enough to clean several brass items.

Cleaning

How to Clean Brass with Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

While you can use baking soda and lemon juice separately as individual ingredients to clean brass, you can always combine the two to make a lemon juice baking soda combo for even better results. Start by cutting up a lemon into wedges and then squeeze the juice out of them.

Add 1 teaspoon baking soda to lemon 1 tablespoon in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Use a soft cleaning cloth to rub the mixture onto brass hardware that you can’t soak, such as knockers and door knobs. Polish the entire surface (including the accessible undersides) and remove any grime while reapplying the mixture where necessary.

Use a damp cleaning cloth to wipe away any excess mixture, then dry it up with a clean cloth.

How to Clean Brass with Water and Soap

As you will notice, sometimes your brass items will only be a little dirty with very little or no tarnishing.

In such cases, use the simplest of all cleaning methods. In a suitable container, pour some warm water and then add some soap. Depending on the number or size of brass objects to clean, a pint of water will be enough.

Soak the brass items in the warm soapy water, and then work on the stains with a clean toothbrush or microfiber cloth. Once clean, give the item a cold water rinse and wipe it dry with a piece of cloth.

How to Clean Brass with Onions

Another simple method for cleaning brass involves boiling onions in water and using the cooled liquid on the surfaces. Onions boiled in water are generally good metal cleaners. You can then use a metal refinisher such as mineral oil to polish up your tarnished pieces thoroughly.

If there are some stubborn stains, you can use different methods to clean brass objects by trying an alternative method where the last one has failed.

Tomato juice and paste eliminate tough stains well since they contain vinegar, which is tough on stains because of the acetic acid.

4. Polish Your Brass Regularly

You can always reduce the tarnishing effect on your brass pieces through regular cleaning and polishing them more often to reduce the chances of accumulating dirt, debris, and tarnish.

5. Apply Linseed or Mineral Oil

You can apply a thin coat of linseed oil or mineral oil on your brass household items after cleaning and drying to prevent repeat tarnishing. The layer forms a protective coating that helps prevent oxidation so that the brass won’t tarnish even with prolonged exposure to the air.

6. How About DIY Brass Polish?

Another way to polish brass is to use homemade brass polish to restore its beautiful shine.

You will need two soft cloths and two polishing ingredients – one lemon wedge and 1 teaspoon baking soda.  Blend the two products into a paste to rub gently on the brass in slow circular motions with a soft cloth.

Rinse the paste with warm water and dry your brass with the second soft cloth.

You can use this procedure on items made of another popular metal in your home – stainless steel. However, you must rub the paste along the grains to avoid scratching the surface of the metal.

Clean Brass

7. Forget Cleaning, Let it Be!

Perhaps you have antique brass items that will lose their value and appeal if you clean them to remove the tarnish or stains? There’s only one solution here – forget about cleaning or polishing and let them be.

Be sure to consult a brass professional for tips on how to preserve your antique brass object.

Bottom Line

If you are a DIY enthusiast, you can ditch commercial cleaning products in favor of a homemade brass cleaner for your fixed and mobile brass hardware.

From using simple ingredients like laundry detergent or dish detergent and warm water to carefully mixing natural ingredients to make an effective DIY brass cleaner, there is a solution for cleaning and polishing your brassware like a pro all the time.

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