Vinegar can be used to clean brass. Vinegar cleanses brass by breaking down oxidation and restoring the natural, shiny appearance of brass, claims San Francisco Gate.
To clean the brass, remove the lacquered coating, if necessary, by pouring hot water over the brass to soften the lacquer, and then peel it off. Use nail polish remover or denatured alcohol if the hot water is ineffective, advises San Francisco Gate. Once the lacquer is removed, cleanse the brass by soaking it in undiluted white vinegar for up to an hour. If the piece of brass is too large to soak, sprinkle salt on the surface, and scrub the brass with half a lemon.