How to Clean Brass Outdoor Lights

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Brass is a gold-colored metal alloy made from copper and zinc. It is commonly used to make fixtures, instruments, doorknobs and gears. Brass can tarnish, blacken and dull from exposure to water and oxygen. Restore the appearance of your brass outdoor lights using common household products. They can remove the tarnished layer, exposing the clean and shiny brass underneath. Lacquered brass light fixtures do not require any cleaning products, but clean them regularly to maintain their appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloths
  • Ketchup
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Flour
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Lacquered Brass

Dampen a cloth with warm water and wring it out.

Wipe the brass light fixture thoroughly with the cloth to remove any dirt or residue.

Dry the brass light fixture thoroughly with a clean cloth.

Nonlacquered Brass

Apply 2 tsp. of ketchup to a cloth, or combine 1 tsp. of salt, 1/2 cup of white vinegar and enough flour to thicken the mixture. Stir it in a bowl with a spoon. Apply the mixture to a cloth.

Apply either the ketchup or salt and vinegar paste to the nonlacquered brass, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Use more ketchup or salt and vinegar paste if needed to cover the brass completely.

Dampen a cloth with warm water and wring it out.

Wipe the brass fixture with the cloth to remove any tarnish or cleaning residue. Rinse the cloth and wipe the brass again, if necessary.

Dry the brass fixture with a clean cloth.

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