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Brass brings a warm, burnished glow to household items, ranging from switch plates, door knockers, and lamps to bathroom fixtures, furniture, and even kitchen utensils.
Brass is a strong, corrosion-resistant, and relatively inexpensive alloy made from a combination of zinc and copper, and on account of its bright, golden color, the material has long been a favorite material for home furnishings and decorative accents.
Like any metal, brass can become dull and tarnished over time. However, with only a little bit of knowledge—and some elbow grease, too—you can keep your brass accents polished and shining. In fact, many common cleaning products are already in your kitchen cabinets!
The first thing you need to determine before cleaning and polishing any brass object is whether the item is solid brass, or brass-plated steel, zinc, or cast iron. The easiest way to check is by placing a small magnet on the piece you’re not sure about. Magnets will not stick to solid brass, so if the magnet sticks, the piece is brass-plated. Plated items can be cleaned with hot soapy water, but rubbing or polishing them too aggressively can remove the brass plating, so proceed with caution.
There are numerous ways to clean solid brass. Your approach should depending on the level of dust, dirt, or tarnish that has built up. Here are a few tips and techniques:
There are a few areas of concern that you should be aware of when it comes to cleaning and polishing brass:
Regular cleaning and polishing with a microfiber cloth will help keep dust and dirt from accumulating and keep your brass accents lovely and lustrous.
For more on cleaning, consider:
All of the Essential Cleaning Advice from BobVila.com
There’s no way around it: Keeping the house clean demands your time, your energy, and even some of your money. Fortunately, this arsenal of cleaning tips can help you finish the housekeeping more quickly—and with fewer commercially sold products.