How to Clean a Brass Bell

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish soap

  • Soft sponge

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Cream of tartar

  • Lemon juice

  • Salt

  • Baking soda

  • White vinegar

  • Bowl

  • Fresh lemon

When you clean brass, you remove dust and dirt; when you polish brass, you remove tarnish.
Image Credit: MagMos/iStock/Getty Images

You might ring your brass bell to alert your loved ones that dinner is ready, or you just might admire an antique bell from afar as you cook. If you're near the kitchen when you realize your brass bell is dirty, you're in a good position to restore its original gleam -- because the products you need should be easily within reach. Try any of several methods until you find the one that brings music to your ears and shine to your bell.


Step 1

Begin with the quickest and easiest way to clean brass: with warm, soapy water. Dip a soft sponge into a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent. Clean the bell with the solution, and then rinse it thoroughly with warm water. Wipe the bell with a microfiber cloth.

Step 2

Make a soft paste with cream of tartar and lemon juice. Spread the paste over the brass piece and let it sit for at least five minutes. Rinse the bell with warm water. Dry the brass with a microfiber cloth.

Step 3

Make a soft paste by combining lemon juice with salt or baking soda. Rub the paste on the bell. Rinse it with warm water. Wipe the bell dry with a microfiber cloth.


Step 4

Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a bowl. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into the vinegar until it dissolves. Add just enough flour to make a soft paste. Rub the paste on the brass bell and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Rinse the bell with warm water. Wipe the bell with a microfiber cloth.

Step 5

Dip a slice of fresh lemon into table salt. Rub the salty lemon wedge on the bell. Wash the bell in warm, soapy water. Wipe the bell dry with a microfiber cloth.


Play it safe, and test your cleaning method on a hidden portion of the bell first.

If your brass bell doesn't have a loop or metal string where you can grasp it, you might wish to consider adding one so that you minimize physical contact with the brass surface. Oil from your skin can expedite tarnishing.

Polish your brass bell with one of two items you might find in your kitchen pantry: olive oil or Worcestershire sauce. Dampen a soft cloth with either product and wipe the bell until it shines. Olive oil, in particular, blocks tarnish.


Do not use sharp brushes, abrasive sponges, steel wool and any other coarse tool that could scratch your brass bell.


references & resources

M.T. Wroblewski

M.T. Wroblewski

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.