I found a gorgeous pair of brass frames in a thrift store over the weekend and I really wanted to spruce them up. I tried a couple of methods without success before I used this one—which must be fool proof because even I managed it—proving once again that more often than not the simple things are the best. Quick, tidy and super easy—just how I like my green cleaning!
What You Need
1/2 a lemon
a teaspoon or so of baking soda
a small bowl to mix your paste
and some dirty brass
*adjust to suit project and juiciness of lemons
1. First off you'll probably want to know if you're actually working with brass. This might seem obvious but old brass can get pretty dirty and I'm not expert enough to pick fakes or brass plating. So if like me you're not 100% sure grab a magnet from your fridge and see if it sticks. If it does you'll want to stop right here and do some more investigating. If it doesn't you're probably looking at some really dirty brass.
2. Squeeze half a lemon into your bowl.
3. Add your baking soda. It will fizz a little but settle down when you mix it.
4. Stir the baking soda and lemon mix until it forms a delicious smelling paste.
5. Using a soft cloth (in the end I mostly used my fingers) apply the paste and gently work it into the brass. I got the best results when I rubbed the paste gently in one direction.
6. Rinse off the paste and dry. Reapply and repeat the process as and where necessary.
7. When you're done give the brass a really thorough rinse making sure there's no paste left over and then dry it with a clean dry towel.
8. Voila!Sshiny clean brass by you!
If you want to buff your brass try rubbing it gently with a clean dry cloth. I'm also told that you can shine brass with olive oil.
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(Images: sarah starkey)