Has your brass hardware got years of tarnish deposited on it? How To Clean Brass Hardware? Are you looking out for ways to get your brass vessels as new as before? Then this article is for you. Read the complete article to find the different solutions for cleaning your brass hardware.
What Is Brass Hardware?
Do you have brass hardware but are unsure if they are pure brass hardware or not? Well, brass hardware is made from solid brass metal that has a golden-hued brown colour full of lustre. The hardware made of brass is shiny and has long durability as well as sturdy to use.
Some hardware is just brass plated which means they have a coating of brass over them but are not completely made up of brass, while some hardware is just painted golden hued to give an effective look of brass. You must make sure the hardware you have is completely made up of brass.
How Can You Tell If The Hardware Is Brass?
Removing Brass tarnish is an extremely difficult task to carry out. However, some of the given methods can ruin the overall look of your hardware if they are not made up of brass. This makes it a very necessary step to double-check whether the hardware is brass hardware or not.
Luckily, double-checking the hardware at home is a very easy task. You just need a magnet to testify to it. Take a magnet and touch it with the hardware, if the hardware sticks to the magnet or attracts the magnet then it isn’t brass hardware. As brass metal doesn’t have any magnetic properties, it doesn’t attract magnets.
If your hardware isn’t brass, then the best way to clean it is using lukewarm soapy water. Use a smooth cloth or scrubber and scrub off the tarnish you see around the hardware. If the hardware is removable, then it is suggested you clean it off after removing it. This will ensure that the hardware gets its shine back from all corners.
Once you confirm whether your hardware is of brass, then you have great options for cleaning the hardware. To select the cleaning method, identify which type of tarnish has accumulated on the hardware. Is it some fungal growth, oil stains, water stains, etc? Once you know the type of tarnish, it becomes quite easy to remove and clean brass hardware.
Which Products To Use For Restoring Brass Hardware
If you get to know about the type of tarnish on the brass hardware, you can easily decide what to use. For simple fungal growth, warm water with some soapy liquid and a light scrubbing can remove the strains. You can also look for home remedies like vinegar, citric acid, buttermilk etc.
For restoring brass hardware you should have the following tools to make your work easy:
- A soft scrubber to help you scrub the brass hardware gently but effectively, so you get rid of the tarnish.
- A hard scrubber, in case, there are tough stains that need more labour.
- A small brush so that you can reach all the nooks and corners. If a tiny brush isn’t available, you can use a toothbrush as a replacement.
- A polisher to polish the surfaces of the hardware after cleaning. You can also use the table ingredients like olive oil to polish it naturally.
How To Restore Brass With Lemon And Salt
If you see tiny brown spots on your brass hardware, then you can use the lemon and salt paste to clean it. Mix the regular table salt with lemon juice and create a thick paste. If needed add a few drops of water but don’t dilute it much.
Use this paste to scrub off the stains and tarnish. Use a soft scrubber or the leftover squeezed lemon to scrub stains. Once you feel the stains have been cleaned rinse the hardware immediately as citric acid erodes brass if left for a longer time.
Pat dry the hardware with a cloth and use a polisher to polish the surfaces so that the shine of the hardware regains.
How To Restore Brass Hardware With Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar paste clean off one of the toughest tarnish and strains. If you see your brass covered with the hardest tarnish that has accumulated over years, then baking soda and vinegar paste may work for you.
Take baking soda and vinegar to form a thick paste. The quantity may differ according to the size of the hardware. Once you mix the soda and vinegar, it creates frizz. Wait until the frizz disperses and use a hard scrubber 5o scrub the tarnish.
Make sure you don’t apply great pressure, or else there might be chances of scratches. Rinse it with water and pat dry quickly with a dry cloth. Don’t let water sit on it or else it may again create stains. If the stain doesn’t come out at once, do the same steps for a second time and allow the paste to sit for 2 minutes on the tarnish.
Scrub in circular motions, if necessary you can use a toothbrush to brush off the nooks. Don’t forget to apply a polisher or olive oil to make the hardware shine as if it was new.
How To Restore Heavily Corroded Vintage Brass Hardware
Restoring heavily corroded vintage brass hardware is a heavy task to do. However, it is not impossible to do so. You can use the soda and vinegar paste to clean the corrosion, if the vintage brass has not been cleaned for some years, then you should leave the brass hardware for 5 to 7 minutes into the vinegar and soda paste. For effective cleaning add salt to the paste and clean it off.
If the hardware has layers of accumulation, start removing the corroded layers to reach the base metal and then apply the paste. Use the olive oil or polisher to polish the surfaces once the corroded vintage brassware becomes clean. The use of a polisher is more advisable as it protects the vintage look of the brassware.
Also Read: How To Wash Plastic Shower Curtains
How To Restore Lacquered Brass Hardware
Lacquer is the protective covering provided over the brass hardware that prevents the brass hardware from being corroded. However, after some time, the lacquer brasswares start to get off.
The Lacquer layers start coming off like a peel of mask and that peeled place, later on, gets eroded. In such cases, there’s no other way, than to polish the hardware again with the Lacquer layer.
However, you can’t directly apply the other Lacquer polish over the old layer. You need to clean off the layer from the overall hardware. To remove all the old Lacquer polish layer, you need to soak the hardware for a minimum of 10 ten minutes in the paint stripper solution. Use a hard scrubber to scrub off all the remaining old polish layers.
Since Lacquer polish is clear, it is a bit tedious to find all the spots of old polish, so use a brass ageing solution as it darkens the brass, and you can easily spot the Lacquer polish. Once all the polish is removed, repolish the hardware with a Lacquer layer, repolishing will also remove the darkness caused due to brass ageing.
How To Restore Brass Hardware That Has Been Covered Or Partially Covered With Paint
There are certain instances where your hardware gets painted partially or completely. In such cases, there are two methods by which you can try to remove the paint.
For partially covered brass hardware, we suggest you use the Boiling method. Take your brass hardware and dip them in hot, boiling water. Let the hardware boil for a few minutes and take them off once you start seeing that the paint has shrunk. Take the hardware out of the water safely with gloves or tongs and start peeling off the paint.
If it doesn’t come off easily, use a hard scrubber or a pointed knife to peel it. Make sure you don’t leave any scratches on the hardware. If all the paint doesn’t come off at once, then repeat the procedure a few more times.
For fully covered with paint hardware, the boiling technique may take ages. Instead of boiling the hardware, dip it in the paint stripper for a minimum of 15 minutes and scrub the paint off with a soft scrubber. Due to the paint stripper solution, the paint will easily come off. Later polish the hardware with olive oil.
How To Polish Brass Hardware
Polishing brass hardware keeps it shiny and new. Polishing brass hardware increases its durability and is easy to do. You get a variety of chemical polishers in the market, it’s up to you what you choose. Certain chemical polishers can be adverse for the wood or other metal objects around the hardware, it’s suggested that you do a patch test first.
Before applying the polisher wipe up the hardware with a Luke warm damp cloth to dust off all the accumulated dust particles. Later dry it completely with a cloth and then start by applying the polisher. You should only polish the hardware two times in one start. To make the polishing process more convenient, use masking tapes or cardboard templates to mark the borders of the hardware. The cheapest and most convenient polisher for brass hardware is olive oil.
Also Read: How To Wash Plastic Shower Curtains
Frequently Asked Questions
Look at some of the common questions related to the cleaning of brass hardware.
1. How do you clean badly tarnished brass?
To Clean down badly tarnished brass wares, it is suggested to use acidic solutions like citric acid or lactic acid present in lemon juice and buttermilk respectively. Let the brassware sit in the acidic solutions for 15 minutes and gently rub off the tarnish. Rinse it immediately after removing the tarnish and pat dry.
2. What is the best thing to clean brass with?
People find the solution of vinegar the best thing to clean the brass. However, it also depends on the quality of the brass and the accumulation of tarnish. If none of the kitchen ingredients works for you, then use the cleaner agents available in the markets.
3. What is the easiest way to clean brass handles?
The easiest way to clean brass handles is using lemon juice and salt solution. It becomes handy as the squished lemon cleans off the corners and nooks perfectly. You can also use a tiny brush to clean off the residuals efficiently.
4. How do you clean old brass door hardware?
Old brass door hardware needs more careful cleaning. Firstly wipe off the dust with a damp cloth, then apply the cleaning powder or liquid to the hardware with a scrubber. Let it sit for a minute or two and then clean it off with gentle scrubbing.
Let it sit again for a minute and then rinse it off with water or wipe it off with a cloth. Dry the hardware with a soft cloth.
Guide On: How To Remove Rust From Stainless Steel