DIY Brass Polishing | 2 Ways to Polish Brass

6 Materials
1 Hour

Thrifting is one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend and also my favorite way to decorate my home with pieces I love without braking the bank.

My absolute FAVORITE things to search for are brass pieces. From brass candlesticks, bowls & more. But often times the brass needs a little TLC!

There are quite a few ways to polish brass but these are 2 very easy DIY techniques using items from the kitchen.

I found this set of beautiful brass bowls but they desperately needed polishing.

Prior to attempting any type of polishing, I suggest rinsing and washing in a mild soap and water first. That'll remove any oil or dirt that may be built up on the pieces. Use your fingers or even a microfiber towel to scrub the brass but I'd suggest avoiding anything to overly abrasive.

You will also want to make sure your your brass isn't lacquered before you do this— you can usually tell by looking at the appearance of the brass. If it's shiny and if the brass seems to be tarnished where the coating is worn off, you'll want to look into the process of removing lacquer.

The first technique may be a bit smelly and usually better with a side of fries; ketchup! but it works absolutely awesome. The acid in tomatoes helps removes tarnish and polishes brass.

Simply rub ketchup all over your brass pieces. I highly

suggest wearing gloves because well.. it's a smidge messy. Just a light coat will do and you can allow it to sit anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. The heavier the tarnish in the brass items, the longer the ketchup can sit and work.

Then, simply rinse with warm water and a tiny bit of a mild detergent. Some of the dried on ketchup might be tougher to rinse off but don't use anything abrasive. Then dry with a lint free cloth. Your brass will look as good as new!

The second method is also made of all kitchen ingredients as well.

Simply mix together 1/2 cup of vinegar, a teaspoon of salt & a sprinkling of flour. Mix until it forms a paste.

I had to add quite a bit of flour to the mixture but I just kept adding and adding until I got the right consistency.

Then simply coat the brass item in the paste. Let this mixture only sit for a few minutes.

Then just rinse it in cold water and dry with a lint free cloth.

I was pleasantly surprised how both techniques worked. Personally, I think the paste did a better job at cleaning where the ketchup seemed to polish it more.

Hopefully you will remember these tips the next time you see a sad , dull brass piece in the thrift store.

If you liked this tutorial , be sure to follow me on Instagram for more DIY tips and tutorials.

Suggested materials:
  • Vinegar   (Grocery store)
  • Salt   (Grocery store)
  • Flour   (Grocery store)
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