How to clean brass handles – The most comprehensive guide.

Last summer, I went to stay at my sister’s place for a few months. Since I used to stay there, so I volunteered to help her in cleaning the house. My sister had brass hardware all over her home, so I asked her ways to clean it. She gave me a few tips, and I also did my own research on how to clean brass handles

Brass is a versatile and distinctive finish, used in both antique and modern styles. Cabinet handles made of brass are still prevalent in today’s time. People who like to give an antique and vintage touch to their houses often use brass hardware. It is also said that Brass tarnishes quickly, but with the right ways and techniques of cleaning Brass, everything can get saved! Let’s get started by introducing you to brass and methods of cleaning it.

Brass Handles – A Perfect Vintage Touch

A pair of designer door handles in matte brass and black finish.

Brass is most commonly used for aesthetic and mechanical purposes. The material’s aesthetic value, in addition to its antibacterial characteristics, makes it a preferred choice for decorative applications. It comes in a variety of colours, ranging from pale gold and silver to practically red. Brass doors and handles are inexpensive and fire-resistant, which means they are safe and can protect the door or anything behind it from being damaged by a fire. Moreover, brass is frequently mixed with other metals to provide specific benefits. Brass doors have a beautiful, one-of-a-kind aspect that is quite appealing. Nowadays, brass is also widely used in residential dishwashers and lamp fittings because it is visually stunning and bacteria resistant.

Advantages of Brass Handles

Some of the advantages of brass hardware are as follows 

Beautiful and Elegant

How to clean brass handles
A pair of elegant Emmett brass knobs from Luxterior.

Brass hardware can make your house look antique as well as elegant. It gives the perfect vintage look, which can change the whole vibe of your home. If you like to have an antique yet modern look of your house, then Brass might be the perfect option for you!

Strong and Long Lasting

The doors in most hotels and houses are Brass, and they match well with the décor and interior. The handles are also important since they must fit the door correctly and elegantly. Brass knobs are a popular choice for any entry since they are durable. Door handles made of Brass are durable and long-lasting. They are gleaming and go with most decors, as well as the color scheme of the door.

Antibacterial Property

Brass has the added advantage of being antibacterial. Copper and copper alloys such as Brass and bronze were recently registered as the first solid antibacterial material by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This is due to its inherent ability to destroy specific viruses such as MRSA, Staph, Influenza A, E. coli, and the human coronavirus on contact. On a copper or brass surface, a virus can persist for minutes vs. weeks on a stainless steel surface. According to studies, covers composed of uncoated copper, Brass, or bronze start neutralizing bacteria right away, destroying more than 99.9% of them in just two hours. A chemical reaction occurs in an unlacquered solid brass doorknob, which helps to prevent germ build-up.


How to clean door handles
Iriis knob from Luxterior, perfect for any interior.

Brass door furniture is resistant to corrosion in high-corrosion environments. It has no iron; thus, it will not rust or tea stains in severe corrosion, unlike other regularly used materials.

Disadvantages of Brass Handles

Brass doors and handles can be scraped or dented, giving them a dingy appearance. They are only suitable for interiors because they corrode in harsh weather. To protect their surface, Brass must be polished. With time, the color of brass doors fades. When you touch these doors and handles, they feel warm in the summer and frigid in the winter.

How to Clean Brass Handles

Now that you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages of brass handles let’s discuss several methods to clean Brass.

Cleaning Brass With Soap and Water

The simplest way to clean Brass is with soap and water. Fill a jar halfway with warm water and a few drops of dish soap if you want to clean your brass handles quickly. Then, using a microfiber cloth or a clean toothbrush immersed in the cleaning solution, scrape the surface. Dry the Brass with a clean cloth once it has been cleaned. If the handles are particularly filthy or tarnished, remove them, and soak them in soapy water before washing them.

Cleaning Brass with Ketchup

For harsher brass cleaning jobs, use ketchup. It may seem strange, but the natural acids in ketchup may remove tarnish from Brass without harming or ruining it. Tomato sauce or paste will suffice! Apply a thin coat to the tarnished brass surface and let it sit for at least an hour. Then, using a microfiber cloth or a clean toothbrush, scrub the Brass clean with hot, soapy water. The natural acids in ketchup or tomato paste will remove tarnish from Brass without harming or coloring it.

Home Made Solution to Clean Brass

Make a solution of white vinegar, salt, and flour. Add equal amounts of salt, flour, and white vinegar to a clean mixing basin. Mix the solution thoroughly to ensure that it is completely mixed. Apply the paste to the Brass’s surface and let it sit for up to an hour. Then, using a microfiber cloth, rub the Brass dry after rinsing away the paste with warm water. 

For example, you can make a paste using 12 cups (144 grams) of salt, 12 cups (68 grams) of flour, and 12 cups (120 mL) white vinegar to clean your Brass without hurting the surface or changing the color. Instead of flour, you might use baking soda. Brass handles can be re-shined with various mixtures of water, vinegar, baking soda, and salt. 

Cleaning Brass With Lemon

Cutting a lemon in half and dipping the flat face in salt is another option. Rub the salted lemon over the Brass handles to make them shine. After wiping down the handles with a moist rag, dry them with a clean dishcloth. 

Cleaning Brass With Lemon And Baking Soda Solution

You can polish your brass hardware Lemon and Baking Soda as well. Stir together half a lemon juice and a teaspoon of baking soda until a paste forms. Using a delicate cloth, apply the paste. Allow the object to sit with the paste on it for 30 minutes if the tarnish is severe. After rinsing with warm water, pat dry. If required, repeat the process.

Cleaning Green Oxidation From Brass

  • To eliminate oil and filth, wipe the surface with mineral spirits

Brass can oxidize and erode to the point where it forms a green powder on the surface. Apply a clean cloth or swab to some mineral spirits, often known as white spirit. Wipe off the Brass’s surface to eliminate any dust accumulated over the oxidation, making it easier to remove. Because mineral spirits emit unpleasant vapors, they work in a well-ventilated location.

  • With a wooden skewer, remove the green corrosion

Trim the end of a wooden skewer, bamboo kebab stick, or even a bamboo chopstick to make a chisel shape. Scrape and push the powdery green oxidation away from the Brass’s surface. Then use extra mineral spirits to clean the surface.

Cleaning Brass with WD-40

You can clean tarnished Brass using WD-40. Attach the plastic straw to the nozzle after removing it from the can. Using a soft, clean cloth, apply a tiny amount to the tarnished brass handle and rub it in a circular motion. Continue polishing the brass surface until it is glossy and clean.

Make Your Brass Shiny and Glossy!

Polish the Brass with any commercial brass cleaner. Select a commercial brass cleaner that is specifically intended for Brass. To remove any dust or filth from the handles, wash them with soap and water. Then, using the brass cleaner and a soft cloth, polish the handles to avoid scratches on the surface. You can maintain your handles gleaming and lovely for years by cleaning and polishing them regularly.

Friendly Advice – Polish the Brass on a Regular Basis

Use a polish made exclusively for Brass to remove discoloration. Use a soft cleaning cloth to apply it according to the instructions on the. And, before you start polishing the Brass, make sure it’s clean. Warm water and mild dish soap are all you’ll need. Apply the soapy water with a soft, damp cloth and wipe it clean until all debris, dust, and filth are gone.


Brass is regarded to be a very classic material that is mainly found in older-type homes. They are, however, experiencing a resurgence in popularity. They’re both prone to tarnish, much like silver, but they’re simple to maintain if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves now and then. Cleaning brass is very easy and inexpensive as you can find everything in your kitchen! Over these past years, all these tips have helped my sister and me clean brass handles and other hardware. I am sure it will help you too!

Comments (3)

  1. Nice tips of cleaning oxidation from brass.

  2. Thank you for excellent cleaning advice.
    I live in an old Queensland timber house full of lovely old brass fittings.They look beautiful once cleaned and shining brightly.

  3. Hi Julia, I’m so glad that you like our advices. It’s so satisfied to have brass handles clean and shinny isn’t it? Have a nice day!

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