How to Clean Old Brass


Door knockers, door knobs, hinges, cabinet handles--all around the home, brass fixtures are used both functionally and decoratively. While some people like the look of old tarnished brass, others prefer the refined look of bright shiny brass. If the brass around your home has become tarnished with age, brighten it up and have it looking shiny and new in no time at all. Best of all, you don't even need to buy a special brass polish to do it. Chances are you already have everything you need.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloths
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Flour
  • Paintbrush
  • Fill your sink midway with warm water. Add a few drops of dish soap. Wash your brass item by submerging it in the soapy water and scrubbing it with a sponge. If you can not submerge the item, submerge a soft cloth in the soapy water, wring it out and use it to wipe down the brass item with soapy water.

  • Rinse your brass item with a clean wet rag, or under a stream of cold water. Dry it completely with a soft cloth.

  • Mix 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 cup vinegar in a small bowl. Add flour slowly until you have made a paste of the three ingredients.

  • Apply the paste to the old tarnished brass item with a paintbrush, or just use your fingers. Cover the item completely with a coat of the paste.

  • Allow the paste to sit on the brass item for an hour. Rinse the item clean under cold water, or wipe it clean with a wet rag. Buff the item dry with a clean, soft cloth.

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  • Photo Credit brass lock image by Dwight Davis from
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