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How to Clean Antique Brass With Household Products

How to Clean Antique Brass With Household Products

I don't know about you, but I love the old style patina on brass items. In this article we give you some guidelines on how to clean your antique brass items easily, safer and cheaper than with standard brass cleaning products.

It is easy enough to clean antique brass with a brass polish like Brasso, but sometimes you don’t want to remove the entire patina. Or maybe you just want to polish up some old brass that you already have or have recently bought. It does not really matter which item you want to clean, its easy to do so using household products that you are sure to have or are easily available in a grocery or even in some hardware stores.

The following brass cleaning method is ideal for older brass items because it is gentle yet effective. Since you won’t remove a ton of patina at a time, you can customize the finish and not get rid of that aged look entirely.


Here’s what you need to do.

Baking Soda Method

Time: 30 minutes
Total Cost: under 10€


  • Microfiber cloth
  • Fine steel wool (optional)


  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Table salt


  • Mix ingredients together to create a paste.
  • Mix 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
  • Let the mixture fizz for a few seconds.
  • Once the fix dissipates, use a spoon to mix into a paste.
  • Add more vinegar as needed to create a paste-like consistency.
  • Apply the mixture and buff the brass item.
  • Cover the brass with the paste and let the solution for at least ten minutes.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to buff the paste into the item.
  • The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive and the vinegar works to remove the tarnish.
  • Just make sure you don’t leave the mixture on for more than thirty minutes because an overextended exposure to vinegar can have the opposite effect and cause further tarnishing.
  • Use steel wool for additional tarnish removal.

Once cleaned, examine how much tarnish was removed. If you want to buff off even more tarnish, use an extra fine piece of steel wool to buff the item further. Focus on high relief areas and leave more tarnish in inset areas to keep that aged antique look. Be careful not to buff too hard, or you could risk scratching the finish. Also, be sure that the steel wool is extra fine because other types would be too abrasive for this purpose.





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