The daunting thing about wearing unique jewelry metals is knowing the proper way to clean and care for them. Brass makes for a beautiful jewelry metal due to its yellow warm tone, affordability and durability. However, if you’ve noticed your brass jewelry has lost its shininess or gleam, this may be due to tarnish on your brass jewelry. Therefore, you might be wondering how to clean brass jewelry to keep your jewelry items looking good.
First of all, what is brass jewelry?
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Variations of brass have been used all around the world since 500 BC. Brass metal has been popular throughout history and is used in cookware, music instruments decorative items, machinery, household items and, of course, jewelry. Since brass is known for its strength and durability, it does not break easily. Brass is also very malleable and is resistant to corrosion, so it tends to bend or stretch under pressure, which makes it ideal for shaping it into a variety of intricate jewelry designs.
If you are searching for how to clean brass jewelry, how to polish brass jewelry or for the best brass cleaner, keep reading! For more information on how to clean other kinds of jewelry, check out our Complete Guide: How To Clean Jewelry.
How To Clean Brass Jewelry At Home
You Will Need:
Does Brass Rust?
You might be wondering, does brass rust? Does brass tarnish? To know how to clean brass jewelry and how to clean oxidized brass jewelry, it is important to know whether brass tarnishes or rusts.
Yes, brass jewelry tarnishes, but no it does not rust.
Brass jewelry is resistant to corrosion, so it does not rust. The reason for the tarnish is that brass is an alloy or copper and zinc, which will naturally tarnish when exposed to oxygen. Oils from your skin in addition to oxygen in the air accelerate tarnishing on your brass jewelry. Some people actually like the patina of tarnished brass, since it serves as a protective layer for the brass. However, if this is not you and you’re looking to get rid of this tarnish on your brass jewelry, keep reading to learn how!
Best Brass Cleaner
If you’re looking for a brass cleaner or brass jewelry cleaner that works wonders on all your brass jewelry, this Weiman Brass and Copper Polish is the best brass cleaner! It provides a long-lasting shine to your brass jewelry, restores and rejuvenates dull and tarnished brass products, is ammonia-free and safe to use, and leaves behind an anti-tarnish formula, or protective coating, that delays tarnish from reforming on your brass jewelry.
How Do You Clean Brass Jewelry Naturally?
If you’re wondering how to clean brass naturally, you’re in the right place! Check out these 6 simple methods for how to clean brass jewelry!
#1 Soap + Water
If you’re looking for the best way to clean brass jewelry, the soap and water method might just be all you need! This method also works great if you’re trying to preserve the patina of your brass jewelry item.
- Mix a few drops of mild dish soap in a bowl with warm water. 1 cup of water, 3-4 drops of mild dish soap.
- Test the soapy water on a corner of your jewelry item. If the patina starts to come off, you might want to consider having this item professionally cleaned.
- If satisfied with the spot test, dip a microfiber cloth or toothbrush into the soapy water and use it to scrub the jewelry item in small, circular motions.
- For stubborn dirt or grime, let the jewelry item sit in the soapy solution for 2-3 minutes.
- Rinse in warm water
- Dry with a soft cloth
#2 Lemon + Salt
Still wondering, how do you clean brass? For light tarnish, cleaning your brass jewelry with lemon and salt works great!
- Cut a lemon in half
- Dip the cut side of one of the lemon halves into a small bowl of salt
- Rub the salt and lemon over the surface of the brass jewelry until it shines
- Use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach places
- Rinse the jewelry
- Dry thoroughly
#3 Salt + Flour + Vinegar
For your brass jewelry that has built up tarnish and lots of grim, the salt, flour and vinegar method works wonders. If you’re not sure how to clean brass jewelry with lots of tarnish, try out this method!
- Mix ½ cup white vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt and stir until salt is dissolved
- Add 2 tablespoons of flour to make a thick paste
- Rub the paste onto the brass jewelry with cloth
- Let it sit for ~10 minutes
- Let dry
Still not getting that tarnish off your brass jewelry? The ketchup method is another great way to remove built-up tarnish on your brass jewelry. The acidic blend of tomatoes and vinegar in ketchup make it a great natural cleaner for brass jewelry.
- Squirt some ketchup onto a soft cloth or toothbrush
- Gently rub it onto the surface of the jewelry item
- If the brass jewelry item is badly tarnished, let it soak in the ketchup for ~3-5 minutes
- Rinse ketchup with warm water
- Dry jewelry item thoroughly with soft, dry cloth
#5 Non-Gel Toothpaste
Toothpaste is mildly abrasive and this method should only be used for occasional cleaning of brass jewelry. The toothpaste definitely gets the brass clean, but can scratch the surface of the brass over time.
- Coat jewelry item in thin layer of plain, white toothpaste
- Leave layer of toothpaste on for ~5 minutes
- Polish jewelry item with clean, soft cloth to remove stubborn dirt and grime
- Once it looks shiny, rinse the brass under water
- Dry it with a separate clean cloth
If you don’t mind the fumes, ammonia can be a good way to remove built-up tarnish from your brass jewelry. If you’re still not settled on the right method for how to clean brass jewelry, try the ammonia method! However, ammonia can be dangerous so make sure to take the proper precautions! Wear gloves and goggles and work in a ventilated area. Also, do not mix ammonia with bleach as these fumes can be deadly.
- Mix 1 part ammonia to 8 parts water in a plastic or glass container
- Soak jewelry in the mixture for several minutes
- Once it looks shiny and clean, carefully remove the brass jewelry item
- Use a cloth to wipe away any excess tarnish
- Rinse jewelry item thoroughly with water
- Dry jewelry item with soft cloth
How To Get Rid Of & Prevent Tarnish On Brass Jewelry
How To Polish Brass
Now that you’ve cleaned your brass jewelry, you’re probably wondering how to polish brass to ensure it remains in tip-top shape. Check out this video to learn more!
- April 24, 2019
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