Quick, Easy, And Safe Ways To Clean Tarnished Brass

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Brass is a beautiful metal, and can be a wonderful way to bring shine to accent pieces throughout your home. Brass, like silver and other metals, does tarnish easily. So what is the best way to clean your tarnished brass pieces?

We’ll tell you how below, then go over some quick, easy, and safe ways to clean your tarnished brass using natural ingredients.

Lemon and Salt

This method is wonderful because it’s both completely natural and doesn’t require dirtying a clean rag and only takes a few steps to clean and shine brass.

Cut a lemon in half and remove any seeds.
Coat the open fruit of the lemon with table salt.
Hold the lemon by the rind, and rub the salt-coated lemon over the brass. (You may need to recoat your lemon with salt if it’s a large piece.)
Buff to a shine with a clean, dry cloth!

Salt, Vinegar and Flour Paste

Salt and vinegar is more than a great flavor of potato chips, it’s also a great brass cleaner!

Combine equal parts salt, vinegar, and white flour to form a paste.
Use your fingers to put the paste on your brass piece and let it sit for an hour.
Rinse thoroughly with water, buff with a clean, dry cloth, and admire the shine.

Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice Paste

Another great option for a brass cleaning paste is one made of cream of tartar and lemon juice.

Use 2 parts cream of tartar to one 1 part lemon juice and mix into a firm paste.

Rub it on the piece with your fingers, let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly with water and buff with a dry cloth.


Yogurt isn’t just something to enjoy eating. Using plain yogurt is a great way for cleaning brass. Rub it on the brass with either a clean cloth or your fingers, then let it dry.

Use a clean, dry cloth to buff off the yogurt. Your brass now looks like new again!


If your piece of brass is particularly tarnished, a great cleaning method is a solution of: 1 part ammonia to 8 parts water.

As always, when using ammonia, ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area. You’ll need to completely immerse the piece in the solution and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

This obviously won’t work for pieces that aren’t 100% brass or have decorations glued onto them, but it’s an all-natural way to clean highly tarnished brass quickly.

Image Credits: Cleaning Brass with Household Items

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