Homemade Copper and Brass Cleaner
I have been handed down several older lamps that have Brass bases. Over the years I have found hidden in my grandmother's closet and Uncles garage a multitude of brass cleaning products, from old yellow and red bottles of "Brasso", a buffing cloth called "The Brass Butler" and a silly looking packaged cloth with a crown on its name called the "Rich Glo Dry Shine Cloth" just to name a few.
I did find that "Brasso" is still on the market. I found it on line and at the large hardware stores.
But, I like to use my homemade cleaners. Its so much better knowing what has gone into the making of the cleaner. Also, it is so much more economical.
When cleaning brass items, you need to make sure that the brass is not coated with lacquer or any other coating. Many of the cleaners can remove the finish and destroy the luster. On finished brass you can easily remove the tarnish and polish it up.
Fine Brass should not be cleaned with any abrasive, as salt or other coarse materials.
I have a few home made recipes that I like to use on my household items, as with this brass dog leash clasp. When it gets dirty from all the fun hikes we take, I will use a small amount of cleaner on it. Find out more about this leash and others I have made. Here is a link to my shop for leashes and other items. Treesee http://www.etsy.com/shop/Treesees?ref=s2-header-shopname
Here is my recipes
Kitchen and Household Copper and Brass Cleaner
(note that this is a medium abrasive cleaner for heavy tarnished items)
Mix together the following in a small bowl.
¼ cup of flour
¼ cup of salt - I use fine grained table salt, so it is less abrasive than Kosher salt
¼ cup of white vinegar
¼ hot water
1 tsp of lemon
You need to make sure that you clean the entire cleaner off with a wet cloth and dry well. Lemon can corrode brass if left on for too long.
Ketchup - A couple squirts of ketchup rubbed on the item with a soft clean cloth. This one I have seen my uncle use on occasion
Milk and Water - Warm up a mixture of 1/2 part milk and 1/2 part water in a stainless steel pan and pour into a glass bowl deep enough to allow the item to soak. Wash off and dry completely.