How To Clean Brass: The Basics of Cleaning and Polishing

vintage brass service bell decor

Brass is a metal that rewards polish and attention. The shine, luster, and patina of brass speak to those who take pride in caring for it. But, it’s not always easy to keep brass looking its best. The right care can help bring out the best in this warm, rich, and luxurious material. If you’ve ever cleaned brass, then you know that it’s more than just wiping it down with a bit of soap and water. The details, the nooks and crannies, and the softness of brass all need to be considered. Polishing brass the right way will leave you satisfied, but not surprised, with the results. Keep reading to learn more about cleaning brass and how to maintain it.

What Makes Brass Shiny?


Brass is a metal that can be polished to look like silver. But, brass also has a distinctive patina that makes it unique. If you’re looking for the shine of brass, you need to clean it well and polish it with a soft cloth. Polishing brass helps remove the tarnish and clean the surface of the metal while giving it a beautiful shine. It brings out the beauty in brass.

Keep your brass shining bright with these tips:

  • Remove as much dirt as possible before polishing
  • Polish gently but wipe each section two or three times to get an even shine
  • Use cleaning agents like vinegar or lemon juice when you’re done polishing


Why Polish Brass?


Brass is a material that rewards attention. The shine, luster, and patina of brass speak to those who take pride in caring for it. Brass will look its best with the right care. Polishing brass the right way will leave you satisfied but not surprised with the results.


Cleaning Brass at Home



The best way to clean brass is to use a soft cloth and a brass cleaner. However, if you don’t have a brass cleaner on hand, then you can use soap, water, and a toothbrush.


Brushing and Scrubbing


To make your brass shine, it needs to be brushed and scrubbed. You can use a soft brass brush or an old toothbrush for this task. To get the job done more effectively, you can wet the surface with a solution of distilled water and vinegar.


Drying and Buffing


The first step to cleaning brass is drying it. This can be done by wiping down the surface with a damp cloth or using a hairdryer on low heat. If your brass has dried liquid, use a clean cloth to remove the water and ensure that your dryer doesn’t leave any streaks. Once it’s dry, you’re ready to polish it! There are two ways to do this: scuffing and buffing. When scuffing, use fine-grit sandpaper and lightly rub along the entire piece of brass. Just make sure that your sandpaper is not too abrasive; if it is, it will cause unwanted wear on the material. For buffing, you can use an old toothbrush or a hard-bristle brush that has been soaked in water for at least 10 minutes before use. The bristles should be wide enough to reach every part of the surface without having to pull out new ones every time they get worn down.


Waxing Brass


Brass can be waxed to preserve the shine and luster. By applying a thin layer of wax over the surface, you will protect it from corrosion, fingerprints, and dust accumulation. You can use either paste wax or liquid wax. Liquid wax is easier to apply, but paste wax is more durable. In general, liquid wax is used on brass that will not be touched frequently or where cleaning will be difficult.


Polishing Brass




What You Need Polishing brass is not just a matter of wiping down your brass with a wet rag and some Windex. Cleaning brass requires time, patience, and attention to detail.

There are some basic steps you’ll need to take for polishing that will ensure you get the most out of your efforts:

  • Clean your brass with soap and water using a soft cloth or sponge. This will remove any grime and oils from the metal before moving on to the next step.
  • Dry your brass completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
  • Use steel wool or emery board to roughen the surface of the metal so that it’s ready for polishing with an abrasive polish like jewelers rouge or carnauba wax paste.
  • Use a natural bristle brush or stiff bristled brush to further clean away any remaining oil that might be left on the surface after cleaning it with soap and water.
  • Use a non-abrasive polish like beeswax paste to buff up your work.


Other Tips for Polishing Brass


Brass is a metal that benefits from being polished. Brass comes with tarnish, which can be removed by buffing it with a cloth and polishing it. There are different ways to polish brass, but most people start with basic brass polish and then graduate to more advanced methods. Polishing brass is an important part of maintaining its quality. Polished brass looks shiny and new for longer, so it’s worth the effort!


Wrapping up and Protecting Brass


Once you’ve finished cleaning brass, you should always wrap it up in a small towel or cloth when you put it away. This maintains the integrity of your brass, but it also protects it from scratches and damage. Another important step is to seal your brass. Not all lacquers are made for brass, so be sure to read the label on whatever you’re using for this purpose. Some lacquers work best with just soap and water, while others will need to be buffed off before sealing. As far as sealing brass goes, different materials have different effects on the patina and luster of the metal. For example, anodizing aluminum will leave your brass looking shiny and new while polishing copper will highlight the shine of brass without dulling it down too much. And finally, make sure to take extra care when storing your brass. You don’t want your beautiful pieces damaged by exposure to airborne dust or humidity or other factors that can negatively affect them over time.



Get notified of new articles

53,398 home owners are already subscribed to Cleanzen Blog. Leave your email to get our weekly newsletter

No charge. Unsubscribe anytime.


Cleanzen Blog Comment Policy

We welcome revelant and respectful comments. Off-topic comments and spam will be removed.

Google Rating