Brass is produced by combining copper and zinc, two widely used metals that boast of a great deal of useful properties. It is no wonder that this reddish metal is malleable, strong, and resistant to corrosion and heat. This makes brass a popular material for making plumbing fittings as well as decorative items.
Despite having high corrosion resistance, brass is not immune to tarnishing. After constant use and exposure to oxygen, it will eventually lose its luster. Brass sheet metal is one of those items that require polishing and care to keep its elegant gleam. However, it is also one of the more sensitive brass items, so extra caution must be practiced when cleaning or polishing it. For those who are scared to clean their brass sheets, simply follow this guide:
Step 1: Do the Brass Test
Before you embark on your cleaning mission, make sure to test whether you have real brass or if it is a metal sheet. If a magnet sticks to the plate, it is metal; if it does not, it is brass. If you are dealing with a metal sheet that only has a coating of brass, you must proceed with the next steps with even more caution, as too much cleaning and polishing can scratch and damage the cladding.
Step 2: For Slightly Tarnished Sheets
Examine the entire sheet to determine whether it is extremely tarnished or if the tarnish is just mild. If it is just subtle, go ahead and fill a tray large enough to fit the sheet with white vinegar. Add ample amount of salt to saturate the mixture and soak the sheet. For any stubborn spots, gently scrub them away and rinse the sheet with water, then dry using a clean, soft cloth.
Step 3: For Darker Sheets
For sheets that are tarnished black, you need to prepare citric acid and water solution. Use boiling water to mix the citric acid well. When the solution is ready, try to wash and scrub the sheet with it. Rinse with fresh water immediately to avoid the acid from sitting too long on the metal’s surface. The citric acid and hot water will get rid of the tarnish quickly.
Step 4: The Polishing
Polishing will make the sheets shine while giving it an extra layer of protection from dust at the same time. You can either buy brass polish or create your own using a mixture of lemon and baking soda. Be gentle when polishing the sheets as too much scrubbing can scratch the surface and ruin the entire sheet.
Follow these steps carefully to maintain the luster and shine of your brass sheets for longer. As long as you proceed with caution, you won’t cause any damage.
How to Clean Brass and Copper Sheets, JewelsOfSayuri.com
How To Clean Brass Using 2 Natural Kitchen Ingredients, ApartmentTherapy.com