Easy DIY Brass Cleaner Recipes

Brass is a beautiful metal that will become tarnished by exposure to the air, fingerprints, and water spots. This means you need to regularly clean brass to maintain its beautiful shine.

Brass ornaments and home fixtures were popular and would be found in many homes, nowadays brass ornaments have fallen out of fashion simply because people believe they are hard to clean.

You might have ornaments that you have inherited or you could have functional items like, stair rods, door handles and window catches

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Luckily you don’t have to live with dirty brass! These DIY brass cleaner recipes will help you clean your brass in minutes without any harsh chemicals or abrasives.

homemade brass cleaner recipes

Brass Cleaner Recipes

I recommend different methods for cleaning brass depending on its size and intricacy.

Small Items

This method is for brass items that are small enough to drop into a solution of cleaner. For example, small door knobs, ornaments, or window catches.

You will need the

  • white vinegar
  • baking soda
  • fine wire wool
  • old toothbrush
  • soft cloth
  • small bowl or mug
  • rubber gloves

Place the items in a bowl and pour over the vinegar. Make sure all the items are covered. Leave for about 1 hour, for badly tarnished brass you can leave items in the vinegar overnight.

Remove the items and use damp wire wool and toothbrush dipped in baking soda to remove any stubborn tarnish. Use the toothbrush to get into nooks and crannies.

Rinse in warm soapy water and buff up with a soft cloth.

Immovable or Large Brass Items

  • baking soda
  • fine table salt
  • large old towel
  • fine wire wool
  • sponge
  • rubber gloves
  • soapy water

Before you start this can get a bit messy so put an old towel around the work area.

Mix the baking soda with warm water to produce a thin paste. Cover the item in a thin layer of this mixture. Let this sit on the object for around 10 minutes.

Use the sponge to rub the paste in. Any difficult areas need to be tackled with steel wool dipped in salt. This is mildly abrasive and will get the last of the stubborn tarnish off.

Rinse the salt and baking soda off with soapy water. Dry and buff the brass up with a soft cloth.

Large Intricate Brass Items

For example brass fire furniture, bells, and decorative kettles.

  • 4oz citric acid
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1tbsp eco-friendly dish soap
  • fine table salt
  • funnel
  • glass bottle with a spray attachment
  • rubber gloves
  • old toothbrush
  • sponge
  • soft cloth

Heat the citric acid and water in a saucepan until the citric acid dissolves. Transfer this to the bottle, add the dish soap, mix gently.

Use this mixture to spray all over the brass item. Then using rubber gloves massage this mixture into the brass. Leave for around 5 minutes.

Using the sponge wipe away the citric acid mixture. If you find areas that are still tarnished rub the sponge dipped in salt over these areas.

Once you are happy with the result, rinse the item in soapy water and dry with a soft cloth.


So, if you have brass items that need to be cleaned and polished, I recommend using these DIY Brass Cleaner Recipes.

They work very well and take very little time to prepare. All you need are household products that you may already have on hand.

Happy polishing!

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