How to clean brass? Tips on how to clean heavily corroded brass

Brass is a versatile metal that is used for all manner of objects. For jewellery, pots, cutlery, vases, lamps, and many more. Hardly surprising, because the addition of zinc makes brass strong and it has a beautiful golden look.

To keep this beautiful look, you do need to polish brass regularly. Otherwise it may become dull or acquire verdigris. You can prevent this by cleaning it from time to time. But how to clean brass items properly? We provide you with number of convenient tips on how to remove green oxidation from brass.

How can you test whether it is brass?

how to clean brassBefore you start cleaning brass objects, it is a good idea to be sure that you are actually dealing with brass. What if you're not sure? Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, so it always has an orange, yellow or golden-yellow colour. That is how you can tell it apart from copper, because copper is always red-brown. Bronze is also a copper alloy, but with tin. That makes bronze darker and more red or pink. In some jewellery, brass can look bright gold, white or grey.

To determine whether you just have a brass coating on a type of iron, you can use a magnet. If the magnet sticks, it is iron or steel with a brass coating. If it doesn't stick, it is solid brass. Further on you can read what you need to remember if you just have a brass coating on an object.

Why should you clean brass?

Brass has a beautiful golden-yellow or golden-orange look. As brass contains copper, it can become dull over time or even turn green. That is difficult to prevent. Copper starts to oxidise when it is exposed to air and humidity. Brass objects are also affected by skin oils and the acids in perspiration, and they become dull just by touching them. So you need to polish brass regularly. By cleaning brass, you remove the verdigris and the brass will shine again.

How to clean brass handles and other items quickly and safely with HG

Do you want to clean brass quickly, safely and effectively? HG copper cleaner is also suitable for brass objects. This cleaner does not scratch and is based on natural materials. Cleaning oxidised brass and difficult to clean objects is not a problem for HG copper cleaner. By cleaning brass with HG copper cleaner, you remove deposits and restore the shine. 

How to clean old brass with HG copper cleaner: 

  • Shake the bottle well before use. 
  • Add a splash of HG copper cleaner to a damp cloth or sponge. 
  • Soap the surface thoroughly and rinse with cold water. Dry the cleaned surface carefully.
  • Now polish the surface with a microfiber cloth. Preferably use the HG copper polish cloth.
  • You can retain your shine for a long time with HG silver and copper protector.
  • You can also use the copper polish for regular maintenance.

Alternative tips on how to clean brass at home

how to clean silver-plated cutleryPolishing brass with HG copper cleaner is the best solution for cleaning brass. There are alternative brass cleaners for this task. We would like to share a few. However, you do use these tips at your own risk.

  1. How to clean brass with vinegar
    You can clean smaller brass objects with vinegar. Prepare a bath of 90% lukewarm water and 10% vinegar. Add one teaspoon of salt per litre. Leave the objects to soak a while. Then rinse with warm water and rub the objects dry.
  2. Clean brass with vinegar, salt and flour
    You can also prepare a cleaning paste with vinegar. Fill half a cup with vinegar. Add one tablespoon of salt. In principle, you can clean brass with this mixture. However, by adding a little flour you have a thicker paste. That makes it easier to apply to brass objects. Leave the mixture to absorb for 15 minutes. Then rinse the objects with clean water and dry them with soft cleaning cloth.
  3. How to clean brass with lemon juice
    Lemon is also a good product to polish brass. Cut a lemon in half. Sprinkle some salt on and rub this over the brass object. 

What do you need to remember when you polish brass?

It is particularly important that you do not use highly abrasive products when you polish brass. So no scouring pads or steel wool, because they produce scratches. You also need to be careful if there is just a thin coating of brass on the object. Don't polish too hard.

Prevent brass from getting dirty

Do you want to avoid polishing brass too often? With HG silver and copper protector you create an invisible but strong coating that protects your brass objects.

If you have a good tip for how to clean brass without Brasso, please let us know!

Frequently Asked Questions about cleaning brass

Why does brass turn green?

Brass contains copper. Copper oxidises due to air and humidity. Skin grease and perspiration can make brass dull.

How to clean antique brass?

You can polish brass with the following products. Be careful!

  • A bath of water and vinegar and a few spoonfuls of salt
  • A paste of vinegar, salt and flour
  • Lemon and salt

How to restore brass and make it sparkle again?

If you want to guarantee that your brass will sparkle again, use HG copper cleaner or HG copper polish cloth.

What do I need to remember when I clean brass?

Check it is real brass. Brass is golden yellow or golden orange in colour. Does a magnet stick to a brass object? That means it is iron or steel with a brass coating. In that case, be careful not to polish too hard.

Which HG product do I use to polish brass?

HG copper cleaner is also extremely suitable for brass objects. This cleaner does not scratch and is based on natural materials.

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