As a person that loves finding treasures at vintage merchants and flea markets, I finish up doing a good deal of web browsing when I deliver things home to answer queries about how to restore, resolve, clean, or hang something. I had been eyeing a pair of brass unicorn bookends at a local flea market. And my husband brought property 2 brass camels from his last trip to India, so my latest fact locating mission was centered close to the very best way to clean brass products. Here’;s what I located out:
When determining to clean a brass piece, you’;ll very first want to learn if the piece is sold brass or just brass-coated. You can decide this by putting a magnet on your item—if the magnet sticks, then it is just a brass-plated piece (magnets will not stick to brass). If your item is brass-coated, you may want to only clean the item with soap and water as polishing the item additional could finish up getting rid of the plating.
Right after I created confident they were brass with the magnet test (it didn’;t stick), I determined to try out 4 of the most employed strategies on 4 distinct pieces of brass and see which 1 was the most efficient. The cleaning techniques that appeared to appear the most were lemon juice, flour/vinegar paste, ketchup, and a chemical based cleaner (like Brasso or Bar Keeper’;s Friend). Prepared? May the very best cleaner win!
I commenced off by cleansing my brass pieces with hot soapy water and a soft-bristle toothbrush. I then utilised a soft cloth to wipe down the piece and permitted it to entirely dry.
After the brass was dry, I tried a distinct cleansing approach on every single piece—here are the approaches and the results!
Lemon: Cut a fresh lemon in half and sprinkle a very good dose of salt on the exposed lemon. Rub the lemon over the brass and added a lot more salt to the lemon as necessary. Once the total piece is covered, buff with a soft cloth. Total, I did really feel that the lemon was in a position to clean and lighten the brass. It wasn’;t, however, ready to get rid of any of the dark buildup inside crevices, and the surface appeared a minor streaky as soon as the brass was dry.
Chemical-Primarily based Cleaner (Brasso): Apply Brasso to a soft clean cloth and buff into the surface of the brass. When your entire pieces is covered, use a new clean cloth to take away the remaining cleaner and buff to a shine. The Brasso was ready to lighten the all round shade of the brass, get at the heaviest regions of buildup, and restore more shine to the piece as effectively.
Ketchup: Apply a thin layer of ketchup to the brass and let sit for at least an hour. Wash off the ketchup with scorching soapy water and buff dry. This was a terrible strategy! Not only did the ketchup not clean the dirtiest crevices, but it really turned a few regions of the bronze pink!
Flour/Vinegar Paste: Combine one teaspoon of salt into a one/2 cup of vinegar. Include flour until finally the liquid gets a paste and spread in excess of the brass. Let the mixture sit for up an hour then rinse and buff the piece. This strategy lightened the colour of the brass (there was really some green tarnish left in the paste when I took it out) and did a rather good work of cleaning the brass with no leaving it streaky.
So which cleaning method was the winner? It was the chemical-primarily based cleaner, Brasso! Out of all the possibilities, Brasso lightened the colour the most, eliminated far more develop-up from the crevices, did not depart streaks, and additional a nice sheen to the brass. If you are seeking for a non-chemical way to clean brass, I would recommend the flour/vinegar paste mixture as it seemed to be the ideal of the natural methods. I would not advise the ketchup though—save that for your fries…
Overall, I am really glad that I figured out a handful of very good techniques to clean brass. I didn’;t clean all the darkness from the creases because I sort of like how it offers them a bit of character, but I consider general everyone is cleaner and happier since the cleaning challenge began. xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman