Brass is indeed a beautiful metal. At one time, brass was the most widely used metal for making household hardware. If your home is adorned with brass furniture and other items, you need to know how to clean them since, unlike other metals, they tarnish quickly on contact with air.
Know Your Brass
Before you get down to the actual cleaning of your brass you need to know whether what you hold in your hand is solid brass or a brass plated item. The easiest test to tell them apart is to use a magnet. Solid brass items will not attract magnets, whereas brass plated items will. Yet another test could be to scratch a surface not easily visible to anyone and see the color of the metal in the scratch. If it is yellow, it's solid brass, if it is some other color, it is brass plated on another metal, such as steel or zinc.
Once you know which is which, you will be able to choose the appropriate cleaning method for them. For instance, brass plated items cannot be cleaned with abrasives. This could damage the brass coating and rip it off completely. Therefore, know your brass before you begin to polish it.
Make It Shine with Lemon Juice
Lemon juice makes for an excellent brass cleaner. There are several ways in which you can use lemon juice to brighten up your brass beauties. You can use lemon juice neat or team it up with baking soda and/or vinegar.
Take equal quantities of lemon juice and vinegar and mix them together. To this, add baking soda. Make a paste that is slightly gritty in nature. Scrub this paste onto your brass items with a cloth. Finally, rinse it off with lukewarm water and dry it off with a clean cloth.
If you aren't inclined to taking the pains of making the paste, you can simply cut the lemon into halves, sprinkle salt or baking soda directly onto the lemon half and scrub the brass with it. This can be followed by a warm water rinse. Alternatively, you can buff the surface with a clean, soft, and dry cloth.
Avoid the second process if the brass is lacquered and you want to maintain that finish. Also, on items that are brass-plated, avoid scrubbing too hard.
Onion Solution to the Rescue
Onions are yet another home remedy for cleaning brass that not many people are unaware of. This cleansing agent is quite simple to make and it works wonders on your brass items. Begin by chopping onions, but not too finely. Put all the onions in a pan and fill the pan with water. Bring to boil. Once it boils, simmer for 2 hours. Finally, strain the water using a colander and use it to polish your brass with a soft cloth.
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