7 Effective Ways To Clean Brass Jewelry And Make It Shine

Read this before you throw out your old jewelry—with these tips, they'll look brand new.

Reviewed by Michelle Wagman, Fashion Stylist Michelle Wagman Michelle WagmanFashion Stylist facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English) Asmita De MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BA Anu Pallavi BA linkedin_icon

Unique, fashionable, durable, and affordable brass jewelry is popular all over the world. But, keeping the shine of brass jewelry intact can be an issue. Thankfully, we are here to tell you how to clean brass jewelry at home. Whether it has become dull, gotten scratches, or accumulated dirt and grime in the corners – we can help you take care of it all! Read on to learn how to polish and clean your brass jewelry and make it shine like it is new. Scroll down to know more!

Easy And Effective Ways To Clean Brass Jewelry

1. Ketchup

Ketchup as an easy way to clean brass jewelry
Image: IStock

Regular ketchup is all you need to revive the shine of most brass items.

  • Put your rubber gloves and an apron on, so you do not spill ketchup while cleaning. Soak up as much of the ketchup as possible with a paper towel from one side of the jewelry piece.
  • Turn over the item and soak up ketchup on the other side. You will notice the results right away!
  • You can also leave the ketchup on for about 4-6 minutes if your piece is severely tarnished.
  • Wipe any excess ketchup and rinse with warm water.
  • Let your jewelry dry overnight, so it does not get messy when you wear it.

2. Toothpaste

Toothpaste as an easy way to clean brass jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Toothpaste is a great brass cleaner and does not require much time and effort to see the results.

  • Coat your brass jewelry with regular white toothpaste and scrub it gently with a brush.
  • Continue until there is no more dirt and grime.
  • Rinse the jewelry and wipe it with a soft, clean cloth to see your brass items gleam.

Note: As toothpaste is mildly abrasive, use this method only for occasional cleaning to avoid scratches.

3. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice as an easy way to clean brass jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

You can use lemon juice to clean both red and yellow brass jewelry.

  • If you are cleaning intricate jewelry with multiple pieces, soak the entire item in a glass bowl filled with lemon juice. Otherwise, soak cotton swabs in fresh lemon juice and rub them against the jewelry for five minutes.
  • Rinse your jewelry thoroughly and dry it with a clean cloth until it shines.
  • You can also use a toothbrush to clean hard-to-reach places and make any excess dirt or grime come off quickly.

4. Vinegar

Vinegar as an easy way to clean brass jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Vinegar has been a popular household cleaner for a long time, and it also works for your brass jewelry. You can have sparkling brass jewelry in no time with a bit of apple cider vinegar. However, make sure that you have gloves on before using the vinegar, as it may irritate if it splashes onto your hands or wrists.

  • Submerge your jewelry in a bowl of vinegar for several hours or overnight. You can also add some salt for better results.
  • Remove your jewelry from the solution and wipe any leftover vinegar with a clean cloth.
  • Ensure to rinse your pieces before wearing them again.
protip_icon Quick Tip
It is recommended to use distilled white vinegar for its slightly lower concentration of acetic acid. It is less likely to damage the brass jewelry.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda as an easy way to clean brass jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Clean your brass jewelry with baking soda and salt to make it appear new. The process is quite simple and you can also retain some patina for the added charm. This natural cleaning method keeps the shine of your brass pieces intact. Though slightly abraisive, baking soda will not scratch the metal and destroy its color.

  • Mix a bit of salt and baking powder with water in a bowl.
  • Dissolve the ingredients and make a paste.
  • Scrub your jewelry with the cleaning paste for about five minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
  • The brass jewelry piece should be back to its original shine in no time. You can use an old toothbrush for harder-to-reach areas of your jewelry pieces, but make sure not to scratch them.
protip_icon Quick Tip
You also can squeeze the juice of half a lemon to a teaspoon of baking soda to clear the heavy tarnish from your brass jewelry within 30 minutes.

6. Warm Soapy Water

Cleaning brass jewelry with warm soapy water is a simple and effective method to restore its shine. This method helps remove dirt and grime, leaving your brass jewelry looking clean and polished. Follow the below steps for this method:

  1. Take a clean container and pour warm water into it.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of liquid dish soap to the water.
  3. Allow your brass jewelry to soak briefly in it.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth or a toothbrush to scrub away any stains.
  5. You may also have to manually scrub to remove stubborn stains.
  6. Take the brass out of the soapy water.
  7. Rinse it thoroughly and then dry it with a clean cloth.

7. Clean Brass Jewelry Without Removing Patina

Brass may get tarnished over time, resulting in an unattractive greenish layer of corrosion called patina. However, many people appreciate the appearance of this patina since it adds color and elegance to your jewelry.

If you own one of these pieces and want to retain the patina, all you have to do is clean your jewelry with soap and warm water. This will help get rid of dirt, grime, and build up without removing the patina.

Instead of a polishing cloth, use a soft cloth to gently wipe off the patina. Wipe your jewelry with a clean cloth and ensure it is fully dry to avoid water stains.

The next section lists measures to take while cleaning and polishing your brass jewelry to keep it shiny, beautiful, and free of tarnish. Scroll down for more information.

How To Care For Brass Jewelry

  • Avoid abrasive commercial cleaners and polishes as they may damage the protective coating or the golden sheen on your jewelry and leave it looking dull.
  • Use a polishing cloth only for plain, undecorated pieces. If you use it on jewelry with engravings, etchings, or paint, the abrasive surface of the fabric can rub anything that is not polished gold or silver.
  • Clean hard-to-reach corners with a toothbrush. Any small, stiff bristles will do as long as they do not leave stray hair on your jewelry.
  • Warm water is all you need to clean your cast brass jewelry pieces. Lay them flat on a towel after scrubbing and dry overnight before polishing them to reduce spots.

Now, let’s get into some at-home hacks to prevent tarnish on your brass jewelry.

How To Prevent Tarnish On Brass Jewelry

  • Store your brass jewelry pieces in a clean, dry place — especially if you do not wear them often and want to keep their shine intact.
  • Do not try abrasive methods to clean your brass jewelry, as they will strip the patina and may result in a dark green or black patch.
  • Dry your jewelry with a soft cloth immediately after cleaning to avoid water spots.
  • Wipe away any excess cleaning solution from the jewelry to prevent scratching.
  • The strength of acidic and alkaline solutions will affect how quickly your jewelry will tarnish, so avoid using harsh chemicals for cleaning.
  • Use a good quality polish and gently rub it over the metal until you find your jewelry shine. Repeat this when there is visible tarnish since polishing your jewelry too often will not achieve any results.
  • Do not wear your brass jewelry while swimming or showering. Also, avoid contact with harsh chemicals like perfume, household cleaners, makeup remover, or hairspray.
  • Store brass pieces in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent metal oxidization and darken patches.
  • Do not let your brass jewelry pieces rub against other items, as it can lead to scratches. If storing for an extended period, use felt pads between each piece to not scratch each other during storage.

These easy and effective ways to clean your brass jewelry at home will help maintain the shine for years. There are no hard and fast rules about how you should care for brass jewelry – just use common sense and safe methods.

Do not get any water on the metal or scrub too vigorously. Ensure not to wear your brass jewelry during strenuous activities, so you do not accidentally scratch the metal. With a bit of care, cleaning, maintenance, and love, your beautiful piece of jewelry can last forever.

Infographic: Pros And Cons Of Brass Jewelry

Before purchasing anything, it is essential to be aware of the pros and cons of the object you want to buy. Keeping that in mind, we have decided to introduce you to the pros and cons of brass jewelry. Check out the infographic below to know what they are before you buy any brass jewelry.

how to clean brass jewellery (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Brass jewelry is popular worldwide as it is one-of-a-kind, fashionable, long-lasting, and reasonably priced. However, maintaining the brilliance of brass jewelry might be challenging. But fret not. As long as you follow the guidelines shared in this post to clean brass jewelry at home, you can take care of any items that have become dull, have scratches, or accumulated dirt and filth in the corners. You may clean brass jewelry with basic household products such as lemon juice and toothpaste, or even ammonia, and to its advantage, it does not cost much to shine anew.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Coke clean brass?

Yes, coca-cola contains phosphoric and citric acids which make it ideal for removing stains and rust. Take some coca-cola and rub it on your brass jewelry. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse it off with water for clean and shiny jewelry.

Why is my brass turning black?

Constant exposure to air, salt, or using abrasive products can result in brass turning black.

How do you clean brass with aluminum foil?

Take a dish or pan and line it with aluminum foil. Fill the dish with hot water and add baking soda. Take the brass jewelry and leave it in hot water for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with water and let it dry.

Key Takeaways

  • You can clean your brass jewelry using ingredients from your pantry like lemon juice and toothpaste, which help in tarnish removal.
  • Clean your cast brass jewelry with warm water and dry overnight before polishing them to reduce spots.
  • Prevent tarnish on brass jewelry by drying it with a soft cloth.
how to clean Brass jewelry

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to easily clean your brass jewelry and make it shine like new! Follow the easy steps mentioned in the video below and get your jewelry looking great again without hassle. So, check it out now!

Michelle Wagman

Michelle WagmanFashion Stylist

Michelle Wagman is a fashion industry entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience as a designer’s agent. She is also the editor-in-chief of FashionEdits, a fashion and lifestyle blog. She graduated from FIT with a degree in fashion merchandising and has worked with notable designers on 7th Avenue in NYC.read full bio

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