Cleaning Brass Jewelry


Some Epilith pieces are made from brass. It's gold tone gives the warmth of a 14k gold at an affordable price.

Unlike gold, brass does tarnish with wear, exposure to humidity, and some beauty products. This post will discuss a few different options for cleaning your brass pieces and restoring their vibrance and golden hue.

I am beginning with two pairs of Textured Brass Hoops which have tarnished after months of wear. I will look at two different methods which are popular ways to clean brass jewelry with common household items.

Before beginning your cleaning process, note that these methods are for cleaning brass only. Mixed metal pieces or items with stones, beads or other materials may be harmed by the following methods. 

 

Vinegar, Salt + Flour

This method uses a mixture of 1/3 c white vinegar and 1/4 tsp salt combined together. Mix in enough flour to create a paste-consistency. Using a soft bristle tooth brush (keep your used toothbrushes, they come in handy!) or soft rag, coat your brass piece with the paste and let sit for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, use the soft toothbrush to lightly scrub the paste and rinse off in water. Dry your piece thoroughly. Water spots will quickly tarnish your piece again. 

It's recommended to use a polishing cloth to shine up your piece if desired.

Salt, Lemon + Water


Another popular method for cleaning is even more simple... just a little lemon juice, salt and water. 

Combine a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/4 c of water and a teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. Add your brass pieces to the mixture and keep submerged for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on your pieces while submerged, you can watch the transformation begin and may need to adjust the soaking times.

When finished, use a soft toothbrush to lightly scrub surface and rinse off in water. Dry your piece thoroughly. Water spots will quickly tarnish your piece again. 

It's recommended to use a polishing cloth to shine up your piece if desired.

 

(flour + salt + water paste method left, lemon + salt + water method right)

 

Polishing cloths are also a useful tool to remove some of the tarnish from brass jewelry and may achieve the desired effect you are looking for.

All jewelry - sterling, gold, base metal, etc - will change with age and wear and can add a beautiful new component to it's appearance. Decide if a deep cleaning is necessary or just a quick polish will help. Examine how you store your pieces and habits while wearing. Refer to the CARE page to see more tips on keeping your jewelry safe and looking beautiful for years.

 

 


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