Brass is an alloy made from a combination of zinc and copper, and it has become a favorite material for home furnishings and decorative accents, for its golden and bright yellow metal color. But, like any metal, brass can become dark, dull or tarnished over time. However, there are some inexpensive items that we already have in our kitchen cabinets,  that can be used to clean our brass articles, and to maintain them polished and always shinning.

Using household items for cleaning is not new, our grandmother have been used natural methods for centuries, and some of the articles commonly used for cleaning are ammonia, vinegar, salt, baking soda, lime juice, or lemon juice. You can also buy cleaners at the store, but there is no need to buy them if theitems used are already in your kitchen.

Here is a simple recipe that can be used to clean, polish and shine our brass, cooper, zinc, or bronze articles.


  • 1 qt. water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. dish soap
  • Plastic or glass container
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Old toothbrush


  1. Combine all ingredients in a plastic or glass container (avoid metal or stainless steel containers, because the metal may react with the chemicals of the solution).
  2. Introduce the metal object or part in the solution.
  3. Clean the surface of the object thoroughly with the cleaning cloth, and use the old toothbrush to get into any crevices. Rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly.
  4. It should be clean and shinny, and ready to be displayed again.

Other cleaning options with household items are:

  1. Make a solution of lemon juice and salt, use it to clean the object, rinse and dry.
  2. Mix two parts cream of tartar powder to one part lemon juice, clean the object with the paste, rinse and dry.
  3. Clean the brass object with ketchup sauce, rinse with running water, and dry.
  4. Make a paste with equal parts of salt, flour, and white vinegar. Rub the object with this paste, rinse, and dry.