How to Clean Brass

When cleaning brass there are three things to determine.

Is the item brass plated, is it solid brass and is it lacquered?

Brass Plated

If the item sticks to a magnet, it’s usually brass plated and you only need to clean it in warm water and soap.

If you polish brass plated items, you may scratch the plating off.

How to clean brass

Solid Brass

If the item is not magnetic then it’s probably brass.

To polish solid brass, first clean it in warm water and soap until all of the dirt has gone.

Then use a cleaner specifically designed for brass, follow the instructions and use a soft cleaning cloth.

If you don’t want to carry out this regularly, then ask us about a polish and lacquer. Sterling Electro Plating can bring out the shine and apply a lacquer to prevent tarnishing.


If there is a thin shiny coating that is coming off in places then the lacquer could be peeling away and the only option is to take it to a metal refinisher.

Sterling Electro Plating can polish and re-lacquer brass items.

Lacquer is an anti-tarnish, therefore if there is tarnish, the chances are it has not been lacquered.