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How To Clean And Polish Brass: The Best Homemade DIY Brass Cleaner

Brass was really big back in the day, but it is making a comeback. Not only that, but some of you guys like me may have some old-time brass ornaments or decorations in your home. Well no matter what you have, today I am sharing with you two methods that you can use which are easy, actually work and cost you hardly any money.

Of course, you can buy a brass cleaning product from the store, but my two (well my grandma’s) methods can be done with what you have in the kitchen!

Is Your Item Brass Or Brass Plated?

Before I share with you how to clean and polish brass, you need to know exactly what kind of brass you have. Is your item actually brass or is it just brass plated? To find out, put a magnet on it. If the magnet sticks, it is brass plated. If the magnet does not stick it is pure brass. 

How To Clean Brass Guide

The reason you want to know is that if your item is brass plated and you scrub too hard, you can actually remove the brass plating!

Cleaning Brass With Baking Soda

Baking soda is something that can be used for all kinds of cleaning missions in your home, including brass.

What You Need For This Homemade Brass Cleaner

  • Baking soda
  • A lemon
  • A bowl
  • A clean cloth

Steps To Clean Your Brass

  1. Take your lemon, cut it in half and then squeeze it into the bowl. Use your Incredible Hulk-like strength to get as much juice from the lemon as possible.
  2. Now it is time to add the baking soda. You want to add a teaspoon of baking soda to the lemon. It is going to fizz up like crazy, but once you start stirring it all together it is going to start to settle down.
  3. Keep stirring for as long as it takes the lemon and the baking soda to form a paste, it may smell delicious, but do not eat it!
  4. Use a cloth and start to rub the paste onto your brass. Everyone has their own method for doing this. For me working in straight lines worked the best, even on some pretty mean and nasty tarnish. It may take a couple of going overs, but if it does, use a clean area of the cloth each time you are applying the baking soda and lemon paste.
  5. Once the brass is nice and clean, give it a good rinse to get the remaining lemon and baking soda off it.

Read More: Natural cleaning ingredients in your home

Cleaning Brass With Lemon

If you do not have any baking soda in your home, you can actually use a lemon.

Steps For Cleaner Brass

  • Cut your lemon in half and then sprinkle salt on it. Some say around half a teaspoon is enough, I find that just covering the lemon is the way that works for me. Best to start with a little as if you feel you need more, you can always add it.
  • Use the lemon as your cleaning pad. Rub the brass with it, squeezing lightly as you do. The combination of the juice and the salt as the scouring pad will start removing any tarnish that your brass has.
  • Keep cleaning until it is so clean, you can see your reflection and give yourself a wink.
  • Once your brass is clean, rinse with warm water to get off all the salt and lemon.
Cleaning Brass With Lemon

Cleaning Brass With A Commercial Cleaner

Of course, the easiest way as we said in the intro is using a product that you buy like Evo Dyne Brass Cleaner and Polish (link to Amazon).

The problem with this is that some of them can be pretty strong and if you use them too much, especially on something that is brass plated, you can actually start to damage the brass.

So if you are using a product that you buy from the store, use it sparingly and only according to manufacturer guidelines.

How To Polish Your Brass

While on its own brass looks great, there is something so regal, elegant, and cool about brass that has been polished. While you can once again go to the store and buy some polish that is designed for brass. You can also head to the kitchen and use mineral or linseed oil.

You want to use the thinnest coating and gently rub it in and your brass will look fantastic. Not only will doing this make your brass look great. You will also find that it stays clean much longer and it is a great way to keep the tarnish at bay.

How To Keep Brass Clean

I have two kids so keeping the brass handles we have in the kitchen clean is usually a losing battle. However, I have done a few things that do help a little bit.

Shiny Brass

Brass and fingers are natural enemies, you touch brass and your fingerprints seem to stay on their forever! So try and touch your brass as little as possible and be careful when you do. I am not saying that you need a special pair of brass handling gloves, but just be mindful when you are handling your brass.

Giving it a clean with something natural like linseed or mineral oil once or twice a month will keep it looking nice.

I really do love brass, having a few brass items around the house is just a great way to finish a room off. I went for brass handles in the kitchen and while it looks nice, it is, of course, a hard fight to keep it clean.

However, I have found that both the methods I have listed up above (thanks grandma) do work and I do keep a little bottle of linseed oil in the kitchen so that I can keep the brash polished. Brass can look good forever as long as you take care of it!


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I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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