How Do You Take Tarnish Off of Brass?

How Do You Take Tarnish Off of Brass?

Remove tarnish from brass by washing the brass with mild soap and water followed by the application of a mixture of lemon juice and table salt. Protect the polished brass with a light coat of olive oil. Before starting the process, use a magnet to ensure you are dealing with pure brass.

  1. Ensure the piece is not brass-plated

    Many inexpensive pieces are not pure brass, but consist of brass plated over iron. To test, touch the piece with a magnet. If the magnet sticks, the item is not pure brass. Wash it with soap and water, but do not apply the salt and lemon juice.

  2. Wash the dirt away

    Fill a sink with hot water and mild soap. Use a cloth to wash the piece to remove any accumulated dirt.

  3. Polish with lemon and salt

    Cut a lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Remove the seeds, and add salt to make a tarnish-removing paste. Apply the paste to the item, allow it to sit a few minutes, and wipe away the paste and the tarnish. If some tarnish remains, apply more of the paste.

  4. Protect the item with olive oil

    Apply a thin coat of olive oil to the item, and polish it with a dry cloth. The oil protects the brass from oxygen in the air to prevent more tarnish from forming.