How to clean brass – with baking soda

Lynsey Queen Of Clean uses ketchup to clean brass

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Brass is undoubtedly a stylish element of decor to have in your house, but tarnish definitely isn’t. Knowing how to clean brass is critical if you’re going to keep all your metallic items gleaming. Fortunately, miracle product baking soda makes its way into the brass cleaning process, giving you an easy, cheap and stress-free way to get rid of tarnish and get your home sparkling again. Whether you want to clean an antique pot or a vintage lamp, we’ve got you covered.

How to clean brass with baking soda

Pour half-a-cup of baking soda, one cup of white wine vinegar and two tablespoons of salt into a small bowl and mix well.

The reaction caused by combining the acidic white vinegar and salt into the baking soda and salt dissolves the tarnish.

Combine until all the ingredients have melded together into a paste, then dip the corner of a soft cloth into the mixture.

Apply a thick layer of the paste onto the brass object, and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.

Rinse off the paste with cool water and buff the brass item with a soft cloth.

Rules for cleaning brass

Has the brass been lacquered?

One easy way to determine the lacquer status of your brass is by seeing if there’s already tarnish on it – if so, it probably hasn’t been lacquered.

Antique store owner Teri Hartman said: “Chances are it hasn’t, because the point of lacquer is to prevent tarnishing.

“But if there is a thin, shiny coating that is coming off in places, then the piece has been lacquered and the only real option is to take it to a metal refinisher?”

Is the object real brass, or brass-plated?

The way to know whether or not something is made out of pure brass is very simple – just place a magnet on it.

If it doesn’t stick, it’s brass, while if it does, it’s only brass-plated.

An object that’s brass-plated just needs cleaning with warm water and soap, and polishing isn’t necessary as it could scratch the plating off.

For this reason, it’s essential to determine whether or not the brass is just a plating before you embark on any brass cleaning project.

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Other ways to clean brass

Lemon and salt polish

Slice a lemon in half and cover the exposed section with one teaspoon of salt.

Rub the lemon on the tarnished piece of brass, squeezing as you go to release the acidic juice.

Rinse the brass with warm water and dry, and dry with a clean microfibre cloth.

Ketchup, tomato sauce or tomato paste

Tomatoes contain an acid that helps to remove tarnish on brass and other metals.

For this reason, applying a tomato-based product can work wonders on your brass.

Ketchup, tomato paste and tomato sauce all work equally well, and apply a layer to your brass before leaving it on for one hour.

Next, wash with warm water and dish soap and let it dry.

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