Cleaning brass doesn’t have to be a chore if you pick the right product. This comprehensive guide will help you choose the best brass cleaner for every task.
ByBob Beacham| Updated Dec 30, 2020 9:29 AM
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The look and durability of brass has made it popular for generations. It’s in everything from jewelry and ornaments to bathroom fixtures. But that signature look so many people love can tarnish easily when it mixes with the natural oils in skin or oxygen in the air. Tarnish, a type of corrosion like rust, is mild and unlikely to damage brass, but it does spoil that rich appearance.
What you need is an easy-to-use, fast-acting brass cleaner that’s both strong enough to remove tarnish and mild enough to spare the brass any damage. You also want a brass cleaner that offers long-lasting protection so you don’t have to use it too often. Each of the items on this list offer some or all of those benefits. Among them, you’ll find the best brass cleaner for your needs.
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To find the best brass cleaner in each category, the suitability for the task was considered—be that a quick shine of kitchen fittings or the careful polishing of a treasured heirloom. Ease of use, durability of the finish, and the environmental impact of each formula was also taken into account.1Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
If you’re looking for the best all-round brass cleaner, it’s hard to beat Wright’s Copper and Brass Polish. The brand has been around for 150 years, which is a testament to its quality. This product requires that you rinse your brass, apply the cream, rinse again, and then dry and buff. While the process is more involved than what some other products require, the results should be well worth the effort.
Wright’s Copper and Brass Polish is a mild formula that won’t scratch delicate items or mirror finishes. It gently removes even heavy tarnish, brings back the shine, and leaves a protective coating, so you can spend more time admiring your brassware and less time cleaning it.
Wright’s Copper and Brass Polish bears the coveted Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, underscoring its quality and value.2Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
Brasso has been around for over a hundred years, and for some people, it’s the only word for brass cleaner. Its ease of use, great cleaning power, and low price have kept it extremely popular to this day. Brasso is formulated to bring a quality shine to a range of lackluster surfaces, including brass, copper, chrome, bronze, stainless steel, pewter, and aluminum. No polishing wheel is required with this product; you simply apply the compound to a soft cloth and wipe it over the surface. As you buff it off, it leaves a lasting shine.
One reason Brasso works so well on heavily tarnished items is the mild abrasive it contains. That said, you won’t want to use it long term on plated brass.3Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
This tiny tube may contain only 4 ounces of cream, but a small amount goes a long way. It’s powerful enough for long-neglected brass and safe enough for delicate items, too. It’s also effective on copper, stainless steel, chrome, and silver.
The cream is quite thick, so it takes a little work to polish large areas, but a little effort can produce a deep luster. MAAS Metal Polish contains a tarnish inhibitor for lasting protection and has a pleasantly light, French lavender scent.4Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
If you’re looking for a simple solution, then Brass & Copper Clean And Shine Bath by Quick Shine may be the product for you. After filling a sink or bowl with hot water, add a sachet of solution and carefully lower your brass into the bath. Let the items soak for five minutes, rinse in soapy water, dry, and enjoy the results. With this product, there’s no cream to rub in and buff. Afterward, the solution can safely run down the drain.
Quick Shine Brass & Copper Bath is odorless, nonabrasive, and nontoxic, making it suitable for use on eating utensils. Follow the instructions carefully, as Quick Shine cannot be used on lacquered brass or anything with wood, leather, or fabric parts that shouldn’t be submerged. And though it probably won’t make old, deeply tarnished brass items shiny and new, this product is a quick and efficient method for regular cleaning. The package includes four sachets.5Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
Flitz Brass and Copper Tarnish Remover uses natural organic salts rather than harsh, toxic chemicals and acids. But the no-rub formula still gets the job done. You simply spray it on and rinse it off. It’s also a remarkably versatile cleaner. You can use it on aluminum, glass, porcelain, fiberglass, and even brickwork. However, it is not for use on patina finishes, which is a rule with almost all brass cleaners.
While it is particularly good at removing deeply ingrained tarnish, it’s not a polish; it will restore brass surfaces to their natural warmth but does not leave a high shine. Flitz is an American company that uses eco-friendly products.6Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
The unique non-scratch formula is safe enough for delicate items but powerful enough to eliminate tarnish from large areas. For best results, apply the cleaner with a soft cloth, polish well, rinse, dry, and buff. And with very little physical effort, you can create a brilliant, lasting shine.
Weiman Brass and Copper Polish and Cleaner contains an anti-tarnish ingredient, which helps stave off future corrosion. Like most brass cleaners, it’s not for use on lacquered items, but it is safe for copper, chrome, bronze, and pewter.7Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
With the Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaning Kit, you won’t have to go hunting for the right kind of cloth before you can get started; just open the box and the ideal sponge applicator is right there with the brass cleaning cream. To use, rinse your brassware in hot water, apply the cream, and then rinse again. Next, give your brass a quick wipe with a dry cloth to reveal the shine. The manufacturer recommends wearing rubber gloves.
The Twinkle formula quickly removes tarnish, water spots, and other stains. Twinkle also contains a tarnish inhibitor for lasting protection. To prevent drying out, which is a common problem with brass cleaners, Twinkle recommends storing unused cream, with the sponge left damp, inside a ziplock bag.8Photo: amazon.com Check Latest Price
Vinegar is one of the main ingredients in homemade brass cleaners. Natural Armor has taken that basic idea, refined it, and combined it with other environmentally friendly components to produce a powerful tarnish remover that has a multitude of other uses around the home and garden. You can also use it to remove mold from kitchen and bathroom surfaces and to deodorize toilet bowls, drains, and garbage disposals.
Apply Natural Armor to a cloth directly from the 1-gallon container or use the included spray nozzle. It eats through tough tarnish, calcium, and lime deposits, and then rinses away. Though it’s all natural, it requires the same care as most household cleaning products, so you should keep it out of the reach of children, make certain not to ingest it, and be advised it may burn bare skin.
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