If the luster of brass catches your eye, then lacquered pieces might make you positively gape -- until they get dirty. Brass looks its best when it's shiny, and lacquer burnishes that look. Lacquer is a coating designed to seal out air, which would otherwise tarnish brass. Lacquer also renders polishing unnecessary. Cleaning lacquered brass is simple with warm, soapy water. Just be sure not to soak your brass pieces, or the lacquer finish you so admire could crack.

gold label on wood
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Help keep lacquered brass clean by dusting it regularly.

Step 1

Fill a sink partway full with warm, soapy water. Use mild dish soap.

Step 2

Dip a soft sponge into the soapy water. Wring it out to remove excess water.

Step 3

Go over the surface of the brass with the sponge. For intricate inlays or hard-to-reach areas, dip cotton swaps into the soapy water and clean the lacquered brass.

Step 4

Rinse the brass with warm water. Dry with a microfiber cloth, which will repel dust and leave your brass piece shiny.