How to Polish Military Buttons


Military dress uniforms come with brass buttons. Dress uniforms are worn at formal occasions at home and abroad and are intended to present a clean and efficient image. To meet the regulation standards of the armed forces, you must ensure that the buttons are polished before donning the uniform. To polish the buttons, you must first protect the uniform's fabric and your skin from the cleaning material and then clean the buttons using polish.

Things You'll Need

  • Military uniform jacket
  • Scissors
  • Sandwich bags (one bag per button)
  • Clear plastic tape
  • Latex gloves (or alternative if allergic)
  • Brass polish (Brasso)
  • Cotton rag

Protect Uniform From Polish

  • Sit down and place the uniform on a nearby table or on your lap with the front facing up.

  • Cut a very small hole in the bottom of the sandwich bags.

  • Place sandwich bags around each button. Ensure that the bags completely cover the surrounding cloth.

  • Tape the bags to the uniform fabric around the buttons for full coverage.

  • Put latex gloves on your hands to protect them from the brass polish.

Polish Buttons

  • Wrap the rag tautly around your forefinger and dip the rag in the Brasso solution.

  • Place your free hand beneath the button you are polishing to support the activity and to prevent slippage.

  • Rub the rag on the button you wish to polish first. Use a moderate amount of pressure. Do this for each button, using more Brasso on the rag as needed.

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  • Corporal Richard W. Clapper; United States Marine Corps; Lumberton, NJ
  • How to Clean Brass
  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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