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How to Clean Silver With Brasso

Updated April 17, 2017

Brasso originated in the UK in 1905. Sold in most hardware and home improvement stores, it is used to clean silver, brass and bronze. Once known for its familiar metal can, Brasso now comes in a plastic container. The formula now conforms with the safety regulations in most countries, but is essentially the same formula Grandma used. Follow the directions precisely and your silver, or almost any smooth surface, will gleam.

Clean the silver thoroughly with hot water and a mild dishwashing detergent. Make sure there is no wax or oil on the silver you are cleaning. Dry the silver thoroughly when clean with a soft cloth.

Shake the Brasso container. If the Brasso liquid is clear, it has not been shaken enough. Apply a small amount of Brasso to the cloth; a small amount goes a long way. Never apply Brasso directly to the silver.

Rub the cloth on the piece gently in small circles. Never scrub when using Brasso. Do not worry if the Brasso turns black as you rub; this is the Brasso reacting with the tarnish. Allow the Brasso to dry on the silver; the piece will turn white and chalky.

Use warm, clear water to remove the Brasso from the silver piece. Make sure that you remove all traces of Brasso. After rinsing thoroughly, dry and buff with a soft, clean cloth.

Tip

Brasso has a very strong smell. Use it in well-ventilated areas.

Warning

Not all silver reacts well to Brasso. Clean a small area of your silver that cannot be seen before using it all over. Do not leave traces of Brasso on the silver pieces as it will turn black and unsightly.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dishwashing soap and hot water
  • Clean soft rags
  • Brasso
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About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Craig Barney has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. His articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines, and on Discovery.com. Barney received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. He holds a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Missouri.