How To Clean Brass?

How To Clean Brass? An alloy of copper and zinc, prized for its bright yellow color, brass is used for a variety of household objects, such as fire-irons, curtain poles, taps, door furniture and decorative handles on furniture. Brass tarnishes quickly, so it is often lacquered. 

Care and cleaning: Lacquered brass should only need dusting with a soft cloth. Using brass polish will destroy the lacquer and expose the metal to air, causing tarnishing. lf this does happen, remove the lacquer with a proprietary  remover, clean and polish the brass and, unless you want to keep polishing it, reapply a lacquer designed for metal. 

Unlacquered brass will require polishing. Use Autosol polish. After polishing, apply a coat of Renaissance wax to retard tarnishing. A coat of wax should protect the metal for at least a year. 



How to clean really filthy brass?

The following is only to be attempted on solid objects that are not precious or antique.

Do not attempt to clean very dirty brass with metal polish alone. Brass is  quite porous, so dirt can get polished into it and the ingrained grime is difficult to remove. Remove as much of the surface as possible using warm soapy water and, if the object is not precious, a soap-filled pad. lf the object is solid, you can immerse it in water, but hollow objects with filled bases (such as brass candlesticks) should not be immersed because you will never get the water out. Instead, you will have to swab it clean. 

If the brass has corroded, make a paste of equal parts salt, flour and white vinegar. Apply and leave to harden and dry. Rinse off, then polish.

Another method is to boil the object (as long as it is hollow) in a solution of equal parts water, vinegar and salt. 

Yet another method, which also works on copper, is to coat the object in a thick layer of tomato ketchup or brown sauce. Leave several hours and then rinse off. After polishing, apply a coat of Renaissance wax to prevent further tarnishing. 

How to clean brass handles on furniture?

Very bright brass looks out of place on furniture, especially antiques. A soft, dull glow is much more in keeping. Therefore, do not polish brass handles with metal polish, because it will not look right and  you are very likely to damage the wood. Instead, buff up with a soft cloth when dusting the furniture and give a coating of Renaissance wax, which will protect  the metal but not harm the furniture. 


How to clean brass taps?

These are usually lacquered, so merely need dusting with a soft cloth. If the lacquer wears off, or if you have old brass taps, consider the  amount of work involved before you decide to polish them. Most people are content to let them stay dull.

How to clean brass fire-irons?

These get very dirty. Scrub well with a stiff brush, using a solution of water and washing-up liquid, to remove sooty deposits. Then, if  you like, apply the flour and vinegar paste or tomato ketchup, as described  opposite, before polishing. However, before you polish, consider whether you want bright, gleaming brassware – too much can make a place look like a pub. A better alternative is to rub with steel wool or very fine sandpaper to bring up the metal to a dull gleam, without getting the high shine of polished brass. 

How to clean brass door furniture?

Modern door handles and fingerplates are usually lacquered, so should be dusted with a soft cloth. Older handles may need polishing, but often the friction from people’s hands is enough to get a  satisfactory shine. If you want to polish door handles, place a piece of card over the painted surface of the door to protect it from the polish. After polishing, apply a coat of Renaissance wax to prevent tarnishing. 


How to clean brass preserving pans?

Clean the outside with metal polish, but never use it on the inside of the pan (it is poisonous). Clean the inside with a paste of vinegar and water. 

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