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Homemade Brass Cleaner Paste

Do you like cleaning with things you already have in your pantry? Learn how to easily clean brass hardware using supplies you already have in your pantry.

tarnished brass hardware and cleaned brass hardware sitting on countertop.

Our Tarnished Hardware

I needed to find a DIY natural brass cleaner for this amazing midcentury modern dresser I picked up for FREE in my local buy-sell trade Facebook group (get the BST group lingo here)!

brass hardware on top of dresser.

I tested out a few DIY & natural brass cleaner recipes to see which ones would do the best job polishing the brass hardware.

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Different Ways You Can Clean Brass

  • Use storebought cleaners like BarKeeper’s Friend
  • Create a paste out of vinegar and baking soda (optional to add some salt)
  • Use soapy water
  • Use ketchup
  • Soak in Cola
  • Use WD-40
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1/4 salt
  • Toothpaste

How To Test Brass Hardware

To make sure that you are solid brass, take a magnet to your hardware. The magnet will not stick to solid brass. Therefore, if it doesn’t stick, you will be ready to start making your DIY natural brass cleaner!

Vinegar and Salt Brass Cleaner and Polisher

1. In a plastic container, mix 2 cups white vinegar with 10 tablespoons salt.

white vinegar, salt, brass hardware and plastic container.

2. Using an old toothbrush, rub the mixture around the brass.

3. Allow the brass to soak for around 45 minutes. Don’t rush this. I am always impatient, however, you end up having to work harder. Just let the brass hardware soak!

brass hardware soaking in vinegar and salt with toothbrush on paper towel.

I attempted this mixture a few ways. As you can see, the hardware is soaking, however, I also felt that I needed something else to help the solution get around the ends of the handles.

Brass Cleaning Paste

If soaking your hardware doesn’t work out you can try to mix flour with your brass cleaner solution to create a paste. It really seemed to help get some of the areas that didn’t want to be cleaned by only the solution.

brass hardware in flour, vinegar and salt paste.

After my handles were done soaking in the DIY natural brass cleaner, I used the toothbrush to clean them as well as a sponge.

sponge and toothbrush and some clean brass hardware handles.

Be careful when doing this as you may end up scratching your hardware. I cleaned the hardware in one motion so that any scratches or lines would look intentional.

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Other DIY Brass Cleaners

I was very happy with the outcome of my DIY natural brass cleaner. During my research, I did see some other ways you may want to try. As weird as it sounds, ketchup might be your answer!

As a child, I remember being in awe when I put a dirty penny in ketchup because it came out completely clean after soaking it. If you are up for it, slather some ketchup on your hardware and let me know how it goes. 

Another brass cleaner would be to try a baking soda & vinegar mixture. We use white vinegar for a variety of homemade cleaners like our vinyl siding cleaner and eco-friendly deck cleaner.

Can’t Get The Look You Want

Then it might just be time to paint your hardware to fit your style.

I would love to hear what your homemade and natural brass cleaning remedies are. What has worked the best for you?

hand holding two brass hardware handles one is tarnished and other clean.
tarnished brass hardware and cleaned brass hardware sitting on countertop.

Homemade Brass Cleaner Paste

Clean and polish brass hardware with this homemade cleaner.
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Soaking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: under $5

Equipment

  • Small Plastic Container
  • Old Toothbrush
  • Rag

Recommended Supplies

  • 2 cups White Vinegar
  • 10 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1/4 cup White Flour

Instructions

  • Remove hardware.
  • Mix white vinegar and salt into small container.
  • Using an old toothbrush, rub mixture around hardware.
    brass hardware soaking in vinegar and salt with toothbrush on paper towel.
  • Let hardware soak for 45 minutes.
  • If soaking is not working, make a paste out of the materials by adding flour to the vinegar and salt mixture. Let the mixture sit before wiping off. 
    brass hardware in flour, vinegar and salt paste.
  • Use toothbrush to clean tarnish areas and a rag to polish and dry.
    sponge and toothbrush and some clean brass hardware handles.
Tried this Tutorial? Tag me Today!Mention @theDIYNuts or tag #thediynuts!

Recipe Rating




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Trina

Tuesday 9th of April 2019

Can’t wait to try this on some of my goodies.

Emily

Saturday 6th of April 2019

This is a great tip! I have an antique hutch that I'm going to paint soon and the brass pulls are really dingy, I will have to try this on them.

Erlene

Wednesday 27th of March 2019

It's amazing what vinegar can do and this polish recipe is something anyone can make. Also, good idea to add some flour to make a paste too. Pinned.

Habiba

Sunday 24th of March 2019

Hi Erin, I am pinning your test right away! I love buying or finding unloved furniture and giving it a new home. I tend to not be able to rescue the hardware, though. Maybe now I've found the cure?!

Roseann Hampton

Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Wow! This will definitely come in handy! Pinning!

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