Shawna Bailey
Shawna Bailey
  • Hometalker
  • West Orange, NJ

Clean Brass With Ketchup (Really!)

2 Materials
$3
45 Minutes
Easy

Who ever would have that my favorite condiment would make a great metal polish? Using ketchup as brass cleaner has got to be one of the most unusual ways to clean any object ever. And it's chemical free - the concentrated tomato in the ketchup is what makes the magic. (Tomato paste also works, just not as well.)

I broke it down so you can see how to do it yourself!

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

I found this cup in a second hand shop and thought it would be really great for storing pens in my home office. Unfortunately, the cup was filthy! So here's what I did...

Step 1: Squirt Ketchup onto the Brass

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

I’m the first to admit that I was overzealous with the amount of ketchup I put on this cup. You really only need enough to cover it (and not cover the whole counter), but it was just too fun!

Step 2: Wait 40 Minutes

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

I tried this on a few brass pieces and the amount of time needed for each object varied a bit. This cup looked much dirtier than it actually was, but 40 minutes was enough to make it shine. For something really dirty, it could take up to two hours of sitting, especially if the grime on the brass object is oily.

Step 3: Rinse off the Ketchup

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

I just rinsed the cup in my kitchen sink. Make sure not to leave any ketchup, or it will dry sticky (yuck)!

Step 4: Dry and Buff Your Brass

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

The cup did need a wipe with a microfiber cloth to get that really brilliant shine. In the end, there were still a few black spots that looked like damage and would not come off, but I think they added character.

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

Just look at that newly polished brass! This trick worked like a charm. The only downside? It made me kinda hungry!

ketchup brass polish, cleaning tips, home decor, how to

And it works on jewelry too!

Suggested materials:

  • Ketchup  (Grocery Store)
  • Micorfiber cloth

Have a question about this project?

3 of 25 questions
  • Lyn7493601
    on Jul 18, 2016

    Will the ketchup clean silver?

    • Lois
      on Jan 16, 2017

      don't know why does't work every time. When it does it is great

  • Aon
    on Aug 17, 2016

    Does it work on copper?

    • Mark
      on Mar 21, 2017

      vinegar and salt works very good, probably why ketchup works so good it has both in it. also don't use ammonia it crystallises the brass not good for reloading cartridges or where brass has to support something heavy.

  • Tanya
    on Jul 29, 2018

    Would sweet & sour sauce work in place of the ketchup?


Join the conversation

2 of 161 comments
  • Mary Coakley
    on Aug 5, 2016

    That is pure magic,definitely will be using this great idea.

  • Diana
    on Jan 12, 2019

    Wow!!! It works, I had to do mine twice but it worked with very little scrubbing.

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