How To Clean Brass Using 2 Natural Kitchen Ingredients

How To Clean Brass Using 2 Natural Kitchen Ingredients

Sarah Starkey
Nov 3, 2017

Brass has slowly been making its way into interiors again as a trendy sheen to accent accessories. And since this was a popular edition to home decor years ago, it's not unheard of to find good deals on brass objects while thrifting. But if your new-to-you brass accessory or furniture piece has loss its brassy bite, you might need to clean it up. We've got the step-by-step guide to cleaning brass using only two natural ingredients you probably already have on hand!


  • 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. Check to see if it's really brass
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. Use a soft cloth and apply the paste.
Gently work it into the brass. I got the best results when I rubbed the paste gently in one direction. (In the end I mostly used my fingers)

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.
Make sure there's no paste left over and then dry it with a clean dry towel.

8. 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.

Fresh out of baking soda? Salt works too!


  • 1/2 a lemon
  • a teaspoon or so of salt
  • dirty brass

1. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle on a generous helping of fine grain salt.

2. Using the lemon as a scouring pad, begin to work it all around the piece, lightly squeezing the juice as you go. The slightly abrasive salt will begin to work away the tarnish.

3. Continue to work the lemon all around the piece until it is clean.

4. Rinse under warm water and you're all set! Can you see yourself smiling in your reflection?

More brass inspiration + ideas:

Post re-edited from one that originally published 1.1.15 - AP

Related video: Make that old silverware look new again.

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