How to Restore a Brass Finish

Written by rachael lingerfelt
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How to Restore a Brass Finish
Restoring brass finish is easy and can be done with household products. (brass mortar image by SBB from

The warm glow of brass adds depth and coziness to a room. However, when time and wear cause the brass to tarnish, it loses its lustre. Restoring brass is a very easy process and there is no need for vigorous scrubbing with harsh and toxic chemicals. The products that you need to restore the former shine of your brass will most likely be found in your refrigerator and pantry.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cotton gloves or new rubber gloves
  • Dish soap
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Pot, pan, or plastic container (large enough to accommodate the brass piece)
  • Ketchup, Tabasco sauce, or Worcestershire sauce
  • Fingernail brush or toothbrush
  • Olive oil

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  1. 1

    Put cotton or new rubber gloves on to protect your hands from any polish that may be on the brass piece while you are washing it.

  2. 2

    Rinse the brass piece under warm running water.

  3. 3

    Rub a dab of dish soap all over the brass piece to remove surface dirt.

  4. 4

    Rinse the dish soap off the brass piece under warm running water.

  5. 5

    Dry the brass piece with a lint-free cloth.

  6. 6

    Place the brass piece into the pot, pan or plastic container.

  7. 7

    Cover the brass piece with ketchup, Tabasco sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Allow it to sit for two hours.

  8. 8

    Remove the sauce from the brass piece under cool running water with dish soap and scrub with the fingernail brush or toothbrush.

  9. 9

    Dry the brass piece thoroughly with a lint-free cloth.

  10. 10

    Saturate a lint-free cloth with olive oil.

  11. 11

    Rub the olive oil saturated cloth over the brass piece.

  12. 12

    Buff the brass piece with a clean lint-free cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not submerge the brass piece completely in the water while you are washing it. Rinse it only in running water.
  • You may substitute vinegar or lemon juice with 1 tbsp of salt per 1 cup of vinegar or lemon juice for the ketchup, Tabasco sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.

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