How do I clean antique brass drawer pulls?

by Mandy

I am cleaning up a 1949 Brickwede Bros. mahogany dining room table and buffet. I really want to keep everything as original as possible, including these beautiful drawer pulls. I believe they are brass. Is there a SAFE way to clean the brass up and maybe get them back to their original brass/gold color without damaging? Thanks so much for any help!🙂

Buffet drawer.
Buffet drawer.
Chairs to set I have already cleaned up and then used beeswax. They really came out beautifully!
  8 answers
  • Gk Gk on May 06, 2019

    Use some Brasso metal cleaner. It's made for cleaning brass.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 06, 2019

    Hello there, Release the screws that attach the handles at the back and remove them to clean with Duraglit metal polish for brass, or mask off around the handles, so you can polish them without damaging the timber. These handles may not have been bright brass, as you suggest, but more of a bronze colour, as I have a number of this design of handles on my Mahogany furniture. Hope that helps........

    • Mandy Mandy on May 06, 2019

      I was able to remove the handles easily enough and your suggestion is VERY helpful. Thank you so much! 😊 I did a quick search and the metal polish is in a store nearby. In all honesty, I prefer the duller more aged look to shiny gold anyway.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 06, 2019

    Glad to have been of help!

  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on May 07, 2019

    If they do not shine up, they may be plated. I have some on a similar dresser, with similar handles. I ended up spray painting them a soft gold color.

  • Kathy Kathy on May 07, 2019

    Remove them and rub ketchup on thoroughly. Let them sit for about an hour and wash with good dish soap and hot water. Buff when dry with a soft cloth. Repeat if necessary.

  • Mandy Mandy on May 07, 2019

    Interesting! I like that it is more “natural” and less chemicals! Thanks!

  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jan 06, 2021

    Hi Mandy, my Mom always used ketchup (tomato sauce) to clean her brass ornaments. Squirt some on a clean cloth and rub all over and then wipe off with a clean cloth and buff.

  • Shirley Shirley on Jan 06, 2021