How to Clean Old Hard Stained Brass


A prized metal, brass is commonly used as a decorative element in homes, boats and landscaping. Although it is a sturdy metal that can withstand the elements without decay, it can also dull over time. Humidity and chemical elements in the air will cause the brass to develop a green or dark cast. Fortunately, restoring brass elements to their former brilliance is a simple process when the right products are used.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt
  • Brush
  • Detergent
  • Polish
  • Apply alcohol to a clean, white cloth and rub the affected area to remove stains and other buildup. The alcohol will remove the buildup on brass without causing any damage to the metal.

  • If the alcohol doesn't completely remove the stain, make a paste of baking soda and hot water and rub into the brass with a cloth. The natural abrasive properties of the baking soda should remove most stains.

  • Applying a solution of lemon juice, salt and water is an effective solution for removing particularly stubborn stains. Dissolve 1 tsp. salt into a solution of 1 tbsp. lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water. Rub the solution onto the brass with a brush and allow to sit for at least five minutes. The acid in the solution will break down the stains on the brass.

  • Wash the brass with a mixture of water and mild detergent to remove any cleaning agent used. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Polish, if desired, using a cream made for brass metal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cleaning brass on a regular basis will prevent buildup and staining from occurring.
  • Never handle cleaning products without wearing gloves; the chemicals can cause rashes and other irritation to the skin.


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