Best brass polish for very tarnished brass?

linnea56October 28, 2012

I'm ready (okay, almost ready) to tackle the Egyptian stamped and repoussed cachepots I bought at an estate sale last spring.

I tried Brasso on one small piece. It took an immense amount of elbow grease, and there were still some spots. I already have the 000 steel wool Linda C. recommended to use with the polish.

I saw a brand in the store called Hope's: I have never used that, I am wondering if it is any better than Brasso. The label stated something like : "works better than the leading brand" which I guess would be Brasso. It also said, though, "for heavily tarnished brass, use Hope's copper cleaner first". Though the store did not carry that.

Before I go ordering something, I'd like a recommendation for the strongest brass cleaner.


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Have you cleaned it before trying to get all the tarnish off? Hot water with TSP, let it soak to get all the years of grunge off first. Then use the copper cleaner. This method works on silver too.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Yeah....don't try polishing dirt!!
Also Barkeepers Friend on the afore mentioned steel wool works wonders on really grungy stuff.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:15PM
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These were obviously stored in a damp basement. Yes, cleaning is a good idea. I must have ESP: just ran across my box of TSP down in the basement. (ESP for TSP?)

So�sequence: clean, scrub with BF and steel wool, then polish with brass cleaner?

Maybe this will finally cure me of picking up this stuff. Wish I could hire somebody to do this! I doubt anyone would have the motivation, though.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 2:56PM
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The really best way is to have a bench grinder with a buffing wheel....and some jewelers rough!....and someone to run it for you!!!!!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:02PM
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A long time ago I bought an older piece of furniture that had brass handles, wow were they cruddy. I was considering replacing them till I noticed one that must've been seldom used had a nice, subtle finish on the inner side. (I'm not really a fan of in-your-face brassiness). So I dove in to clean them. Brasso, all kinds of products, but I wasn't getting anywhere. What finally worked was a cheap little tub of stuff I found at the grocery store called "Twinkle".

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 6:05PM
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Twinkle and Barkeepers friend...
Also I have stripped chests with brasses that were also painted green and then red and then white, along with the chest. I found that the gallons of stripper I slathered on took not only the paint from the brass, but also the tarnish.
Actually it's likely that lye would work too....and not damage the brass.....but it does seem like over kill...unless you have something like a whole house with painted brass hinges and pulls.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 6:59PM
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Boil off the lacquer first, you cannot polish it away or polish through it, Then move on to ammonia and steel wool, Then if you want it very shiny, I have found that jeweler's rouge and a hard felt wheel is just the thing. A unique look is to go back with 0000 steel wool _after_ getting it mirror-finished with rouge, and "satining" it to the desired stage and grain.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Ammonia will remove the lacquer....certainly no need to boil.
And lacquer thinner will remove it too....lots easier than boiling.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 8:53PM
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what about baking soda with enough vinegar to make a paste and put it on and let it sit for awhile and it gets all the crude off, then polish. I just did that a few weeks back.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2012 at 9:22AM
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