Bright, shiny brass looks great, but when brass begins to tarnish it is not a pretty sight. So many things are made from brass--door knockers, cabinet handles and doorknobs, but so few of us polish the brass in our home regularly. Dip cleaning brass is much easier, and it breathes new life in to some of the most ordinary areas of your home. Once you know how to dip clean brass, you can give your home a facelift.
Check to make sure you are cleaning solid brass before you proceed. See if a magnet will stick to your item. If the magnet does not stick, your item is solid brass and you may proceed with your dip cleaning. If the magnet sticks, your item is brass-plated and therefore should not be dipped. Additionally, your item should not be dipped if it has any glue pieces attached to it.
Move all the items you need to clean your brass, and all the brass pieces you are going to dip, outside. This is important because when working with ammonia, ventilation is essential.
Put rubber gloves on. Keep the rubber gloves on until you have finished dip cleaning your brass and cleaning up. This will prevent you from developing any skin irritation from the cleaning solution.
Mix 1 cup ammonia with 8 cups water. This is your dip cleaning solution. If you need to mix more dip cleaning solution, the formulation is one part ammonia to eight parts water.
Submerge one piece of brass in the bucket of dip cleaning solution. Leave the brass piece completely submerged in the cleaning solution for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the brass piece from the bucket. Sit it on the old towel. Use a clean microfiber towel to dry the excess cleaning solution.