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By custard
I had some tarnished brass components recently that needed cleaning.


If they had been flat it's easy enough to just abrade them clean. But with knurling and threads it's not so simple. When I was antique restoring this was a common problem, and one way of handling it was to mix up 1 tablespoon each of White Vinegar, Plain Flour, and Salt. It forms a thick paste, which you daub on to the tarnished brass or bronze component (often a hinge, escutcheon, or lock plate).


Leave overnight and wipe off. No heavy rubbing needed so great for hard to reach areas, works equally well on weathered brass which has turned black.


Thought some might find this useful for tool restorations. There's another recipe we used to use that cleans but leaves more of the patination, but for the life of me I can't remember what that was?
By Cheshirechappie
Also worth a try are soaking in Coca-Cola or slathering in HP Sauce. Both methods work a treat on old, tarnished copper coins, anyway. Check progress fairly often - 12 to 24 hours should be sufficient unless the tarnish is really severe. Don't drink the Cola or eat the sauce after, either.

Back in my steam restoration days, we used to clean larger brass castings by giving them a good blast with a steam cleaner, a method which while rather vicious did get into all the roughness left by sand moulding. Smoother things like heavily tarnished copper piping responded well to rubbing with wire wool and Brasso, followed by buffing with a clean(ish!) rag.
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By Osvaldd
I just chuck them in boiling vinegar, instant results. Also if you have non brass pieces in the same solution they will get brass plated, well sort of..
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By MikeG.
screwpainting wrote:Spooky! I was just looking to find something to clean some brass stuff.

Nice one.

I've spent the evening cleaning up an old No 6 Record, with some nice brass bits. I buffed up with Brasso.
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By MikeG.
Cheshirechappie wrote:Also worth a try are soaking in Coca-Cola or slathering in HP Sauce......

Toothpaste is worth a try, too, if a paste is going to be more practical than a liquid.
By SammyQ
BarKeepers' Friend is, I think, Sugar Soap? More knowledgeable may throw epithets.... :D