To clean a solid brass object, wash it with hot soap and water using a microfiber cloth. Follow this washing up by applying a thin coat of ketchup. After approximately one hour, wash the piece again with hot soap and water, and then polish it to a shine.
- Determine the type of brass
Solid brass items withstand a more rigorous cleaning than plated or lacquered brass. Test for solid brass using a magnet. If the magnet sticks, the item is brass plated over another metal. If the item is plated or lacquered, avoid aggressive cleaning techniques or harsh chemicals.
- Wash with soap and water
Fill a sink with hot, soapy water. Place the object in the water, and scrub it using a soft microfiber cloth. Use a small brush, such as a toothbrush, to clean any crevices. Rinse the piece, and allow it to dry.
- Apply ketchup
If the item is solid brass, apply a tomato product such as ketchup or tomato paste. Spread a thin layer over the exposed surface. Allow the acid in the ketchup to dissolve away any tarnish for about an hour. Rinse away the ketchup with water.
- Wash and polish the item
Wash the item in soapy water again, and rinse it thoroughly. Allow the piece to dry. Use a soft cloth to polish the surface to the desired shine.