How to clean brass around the house

How to clean brass around the house

Many of us have brass door handles and other brass items around the home, but how do you clean brass? From learning how to clean brass handles to making your own cleaning solution, become a master with our top brass cleaning tips.

Brass cleaning tips for modern brass

Modern brass is easy to clean, as it’s usually lacquered with a clear finish. This helps prevent discolouration through oxidation. Cleaning brass door handles that are contemporary, or any other modern item of brass, is simple.

After dusting, gently mix mild washing up liquid with lukewarm water. Dip in a soft cotton cloth, wring it out so it’s only slightly damp, and then gently wipe the surface. Remove leftover soap residue with a clean cloth, and dry thoroughly.

Now for how to clean old brass.

How to clean old brass with a homemade cleaning solution

First things first: some old brass is actually antique, and is meant to have a patina. This helps to indicate its value and its age, so you don’t want to clean that off! But how do you clean brass without damaging valuable signs of age? For cleaning brass door handles and other objects that get grubby quickly, you can make an easy homemade solution. Here’s how to clean brass with a salt and vinegar paste:

  1. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a half cup of vinegar until fully dissolved.
  2. Add flour bit by bit, until you get a paste.
  3. Use a strong kitchen towel to gently rub the paste onto the brass.
  4. Leave for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with warm water.
  6. Buff dry.

How to clean brass using food!

Knowing how to clean brass at home doesn’t necessarily require specialist cleaners or even your own homemade solution. You can often just use one or two things you’ll find in your kitchen!

  • Tomato ketchup. Wipe your ketchup over the surface and let it sit for about 10 minutes before wiping off with a dampened kitchen towel.
  • Plain yoghurt. Smear the yoghurt over the surface, let it dry, and then rinse it off with water. The lactic acid helps dissolve the tarnish.
  • Lemon juice. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice from half of it. Mix baking soda or table salt into the lemon juice in a small bowl – enough to make a paste. Gently apply with a sheet of kitchen paper (you can use a soft toothbrush for nooks and crannies), then rinse off.
  • Vinegar and salt. Spritz the surface with white vinegar and then sprinkle salt over it. Gently wipe down with a fresh kitchen towel dampened with vinegar.

Finish off all of these methods by drying the brass with a clean sheet of strong, absorbent kitchen towel.

How to polish brass

All of these cleaning methods also work to polish brass. But if you want to know how to polish brass that’s lacquered (like modern brass) yet still dull, then all it involves is a cloth and some elbow grease! This process is called buffing, and is a way to bring dull brass back to life.

Simply take a dry cotton cloth and use small, circular motions to buff the surface. This will probably take you several minutes, so you might want to pull up a chair!


You can use Plenty The Original One to dry and buff your brass items. It’s got that winning combination of softness and strength.

Now you know how to clean brass at home, and have a recipe up your sleeve for how to clean brass handles with a homemade solution, you can enjoy that beautiful restored look, knowing you brought it all back to its best yourself. Next stop: tackling that silverware!

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