How to Polish Brass

Brass looks beautiful when it has been cleaned and polished, bright and dazzling and an asset to any home decor. Handles, lamps, door knobs, door knockers, copper kettles, saucepan bottoms and light switch plates all look brilliant when they are cared for properly. Brass should be handled as little as possible due to the oils and grease naturally present on our hands transferring to the metal which eventually gives it a grimy appearance. Brass tarnishes naturally and may even enhance antique items with its old-looking patina; it's all up to personal preference. There are several substances that will polish brass to your satisfaction. Read the following article to find out how you can polish your brass.

Step 1

Remove drawer handles, door knobs, light switch plates and other fixtures before attempting to polish them as they are usually attached to wooden furniture. Wallpaper and paint will be ruined if cleaners are accidentally wiped over them. Brass lamps should be unplugged and placed on several layers of newspaper before polishing.

Step 2

Polish your brass items with a brass cleaner such as Brasso which has been around for many years and will do a marvelous job. Apply a little with a soft cloth and gently rub the tarnish and grime away. Use an old toothbrush to clean cracks and crevices in your particular item. Buff the Brasso off with a clean soft cloth and you'll be able to see your face in the resulting shine.

Step 3

Place your brass items in a bucket of warm vinegar with a cup of salt dissolved in the mix. Leave brass items to soak in the liquid until they are shiny. Remove from the liquid and dry the brass items with clean soft cloths. Buff with a fresh soft cloth.

Step 4

Submerge your brass items in hot ketchup until they're shiny. Rinse ketchup off with warm water. Dry with a paper towel and buff with a soft cloth.

Step 5

Combine a tbsp. of salt and a few drops of vinegar and apply to small brass items with a toothbrush. Use a circular motion to clean and polish your items. Rinse the residue off under warm water and polish the brass items with a soft cloth.

Victoria Ries

Victoria Ries is a freelance writer whose work has been published in various print magazines, including "Guideposts," "BackHome," New Homesteading" and "Mother Earth News." Ries enjoys working on diverse topics such as travel, animal rescue, health and home business. Ries is currently working on her B.A. in psychology.