How to clean up brass lamp?

pecanpieApril 3, 2005

I picked up a an old but well-wired Stiffel lamp at an estate sale for $10 today!! It was well-hidden under an enormous unattractive Stiffel shade (didn't know they made shades) and it's tarnished, pitted and dull. Any suggestions as to how to clean this little buy?

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minicrazy

Toothpaste (can't remember which one at the moment) can be used on brass. And there are a few homemade brass cleaner recipes all over the net.

For the pits, can you take a dremel with a fine grinding drum and sand them out? That's what my father in-law did recently with some old brass wall sconces.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 8:37AM
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SHERRIBNC

Last night on TV, Two ladies cleaned a old brass bed with ketchup.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:29PM
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thunderrose

I think that it is probably the acid vinegar and the salt in the ketchup that cleaned the brass.
You may try using a combination of salt and lemon juice or vinegar. Use a soft cloth, not steel wool, if it will do the trick.
I have an old brass lamp that I began cleaning with Brasso. I had to put it aside and I never finished cleaning it, but will try the salt and acid method next. I have used the salt and acid before with varying results, depending on the degree of cleaning needed. The solid brass is so heavy!
Funny, I was just thinking of getting it out and finishing the job when I read your post.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 6:12PM
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measure_twice

Brasso and elbow grease. It has worked for me on many old pieces. Salt and lemon juice works great for the copper pan bottoms - I never tried it on brass.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 11:19AM
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mrstan1234

cut a lemon in half, and dip it in salt. Use the lemon as a "scrubber". Re-dip in salt as needed, and replace lemon half periodically. I have tried this on other metals, I imagine it would work on brass too.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 2:12PM
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carolssis

I have a collection of brass candle stick holders, small electric lamp, and various other pieces. I use grapefruit and water. Fill sink with warm water, add 4 to 6 grapefruit, cut in half, and add brass pieces. Soak for 10 minutes, rub stubborn spots with grapefuit. Rinse and dry. Easy on the hands, muscles, eyes, nose, and TIME.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 11:19PM
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foxrocks

ok just to let you know, the lemon and salt does not work on brass...thanks anyways though.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 11:30AM
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grits10

hummm, are you sure you've got uncoated brass FoxRocks? I've been using lemon juice (fresh, not bottled) and salt for years. you just have to let the sucker soak a little.....i put the juice and salt in a spray bottle, shake very well, kinda dissolve all the salt i can and then spray. have to let it sit a little but it works....at least it does on mine. I would think the vinegar would work the same way. some of the newer brass stuff has a coating on it that 'protects' it from tarnishing; but it sometimes cracks and allows oxidation over time.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 8:37PM
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lazy_gardens

I dip a rag in vinegar (acid), then in salt, and scrub.

If there is laquer, you have to strip it off first.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 11:39AM
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picturelights1

Wash the brass with soapy water.
If the brass is simply dirty or oily, mix a mild detergent with warm water. Dip a soft cloth into the soapy water and wipe the piece down with the cloth.
Remove lacquer coating.
Polish the brass.
Reapply lacquer to the brass.
Wipe the brass off with a soft, dry cloth.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.perfectpicturelighting.com/antique-brass-lights-for-picture-frames.php

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:58AM
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