Jewelry Care & Maintenance

How to Clean Brass Jewelry?

Rachel Akmakjian


Rachel Akmakjian

While brass jewelry pieces might not be as popular as jewelry made from other metals such as sterling silver or gold, if you have a few unique brass items in your jewelry box, you’ll want to ensure that they stay clean and in the best condition possible, long-term.

If you’ve been wearing or collecting jewelry for a while, you know cleaning jewelry can be tricky. Using the wrong methods, cleaning solutions, or harsh chemicals can irreparably damage a favorite jewelry piece.

Brass pots and pans

What You Will Learn

How Do You Clean Brass Jewelry?

Items to clean brass jewelryCleaning brass jewelry doesn’t usually require any complex cleaning solution. Suppose you want to simply polish your brass jewelry piece or maybe give it an occasional cleaning to wipe away any accumulated dirt. In that case, you can do so with just a few household items.

You’ll need:

  • A soft cloth
  • A soft toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Mild dish soap

First, use the soft polishing cloth to gently rub your brass pieces. You may find that this is enough to remove any residue and return your jewelry’s shine.

However, if not, mix the warm water with the mild liquid dish soap. Then, gently scrub the piece with the metal’s natural grain using soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Then, pour warm water over the piece to rinse away all residue and soap. Finish by thoroughly drying the brass jewelry using another clean polishing cloth or microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Brass Jewelry at Home: Other Methods

You may find that the above gentle method isn’t removing dirt as you’d hoped. If that’s the case, there are a few more options to try, but note that these can potentially damage some gemstones and similar materials. The following methods are best for brass items that do not feature any other metals or embellishments.

The Salted Lemon Method

For this method, you’ll need:

  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Warm water
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all of the above in a bowl. Then, let your brass jewelry soak in the mixture for no longer than half an hour. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly and use a soft toothbrush to remove any residue. Rinse the jewelry again and thoroughly dry it.

The Baking Soda Method

Whether general household or brass jewelry cleaning, baking soda is a great all-natural and gentle method. For this method, you’ll need:

  • A tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Five tablespoons of baking soda
  • Warm water

Mix the lemon juice and baking soda into a paste, and then apply the paste to your brass piece in a thin layer. Rub the paste all over the item and use it like a soap, cleaning away any residue. Then, thoroughly rinse the item with warm water before thoroughly drying it.

How to Remove Tarnish from Brass Jewelry

Tarnished brass is unsightly and often discolored. To remove tarnish from brass jewelry, use the above baking soda method. However, rather than immediately rinsing the thin layer of lemon juice and baking soda paste from your jewelry, let the paste sit on the jewelry for about half an hour before rinsing. This amount of soaking time should help remove any tarnish.

How to Shine Brass Jewelry That’s Antique

Aged brass typically features a patina — aka a filmy sheen on the item’s surface — giving it a somewhat discolored look. While you might think this is undesirable, it is sometimes an eclectic look. The patina signifies the brass’s age and can positively impact its’ overall value.

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Because of this, you won’t want to use rigorous cleaning methods to clean or shine aged brass. Instead, retain the patina by only using a gentle cleaning cloth to wipe the item until it shines. At most, use warm water and dish soap to clean the item.

How to Keep Brass Jewelry Looking Better, Longer

Once your jewelry is clean, keep it looking better for longer with a hack that uses a pantry staple: olive oil. Shine and buff your brass items using olive oil on a clean, dry, soft cloth for an excellent shine. The oil will even help reduce dirt and tarnish so you can go longer between cleans.

You can also use a specialized product known as Renaissance Wax for similar results. Renaissance Wax is a museum-developed solution often used in conservation efforts to help preserve a range of items made from various metals, including brass.

The Renaissance Wax won’t leave behind a shiny residue like the olive oil might but still provides extra protection against tarnishing and decay. Additionally, you can safely use Renaissance Wax on antique brass, including aged brass with desirable patina.

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Cleaning Brass FAQs

TL;DR? Just need the basics? Here’s what you need to know if you’re wondering how to clean brass ring jewelry and other items.

Do You Need Specialty Cleaning Products to Clean Brass?

No! You can use household items to clean brass safely and effectively.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Brass Jewelry?

The best way to clean brass jewelry is by first going gentle, with a mixture of warm water and dish soap, applied with either a soft cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure to rinse and dry the piece thoroughly when done.

Can You Add Waxes or Polishes to Brass Jewelry?

If you want to shine your brass jewelry until it gleams, consider using olive oil on a polishing cloth. You can also use museum-grade Renaissance Wax to protect your brass jewelry from further dulling or tarnishing.

Is Patina on Brass a Good Thing?

In many cases, yes! Antique brass with patina can increase the piece’s value, as it shows off the piece’s age, character, and history.

Protecting Your Brass Jewelry Beyond Regular At-Home Care

With a bit of at-home care, your brass jewelry and other brass items can always look as good as new. However, a little extra protection never hurts.

BriteCo can help ensure that all your jewelry — brass or otherwise — is safe and protected from accidents, damage, and other worries. Get a quick quote and cover your jewelry in seconds.

Also Check:

Is Jewelry Insurance Worth It? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance

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Rachel's expertise is further enhanced by her distinction as a Graduate Gemologist from the prestigious Gemological Institute of America (GIA), equipping her with exceptional knowledge in gem identification and grading. Her education and experiences have given her an in-depth understanding of the demands and expectations facing jewelers and customers in today’s evolving retail marketplace.