5 Tips for Cleaning Brass

Brass is what we’re known for here at Bespoke Taps as it’s one of our most popular materials. So, it makes sense that we run through some ideas for how to keep yours looking at its most shiny and best. From the generic to the unorthodox, we’ve narrow down five of the best ways to keep your Bespoke Taps brass in workshop-fresh shape. After all, few things are more satisfying than seeing the transformation when cleaning brass. 

The ideas we’ll run through below are for use on unlaquered brass which will naturally oxidise and age with use and over time. If you choose a lacquered material, you can simply use a soft cloth to clean any watermarks and splashes and be careful of using anything abrasive. 

If you’re concerned about any germs lingering on commonly used handles then dont fret. As brass is an alloy of copper, it’s naturally antimicrobial so you only need to worry about any visible dirt. We’ve all dripped onto taps when in the middle of cooking a big feast. 

1. Use a specialist product

Generally, it’s safest to go with a tried and tested product such as Brasso, which is usually recommended. All you’ll need is a soft cloth to apply a thin layer, buffing it into the surface in a circular motion. Then leave it to sit for a little while (depending on how bad the tarnishing is) and go back to polish off the mixture with a cloth. This should leave a beautiful shine. Note: Shaking the bottle well prior to application will ensure the polish is fully mixed as it can sometimes separate when left to stand for long periods of time. 

2. Lemon and bicarbonate of soda

Bicarb is widely acknowledged to be an all-round natural household cleaning star, especially the way it fizzes when wet so it eats away at dirt. Mix the juice of half a lemon with a teaspoon of bicarb until it forms a paste and spread into your brassware. Again, leave it to work its magic then just rinse off and dry with a soft cloth.

3. Salt, white vinegar and flour

This homemade cleaning solution harnesses the power of each of the ingredients in their own right. Salt is naturally abrasive which makes for a great scrub. White vinegar is a powerful acidic solution which will work to reverse that tarnishing. Flour, as with when you’re cooking in the kitchen, makes for a great thickener so it’ll turn your first two ingredients into a paste, when combined together, which is much easier to apply. Mix the vinegar and salt until the latter is dissolved, add the flour, apply to the brass, leave for a short time and then rinse off and dry. 

4. Ketchup 

Hear us out on this one as it’s one of those old tricks which there’s evidence behind. Tomatoes actually contain an acid which works to eliminate brass tarnish. Simply apply it straight to the brass surface, leave to sit for a while (go and make a coffee) then rinse off with a mild dish soap and dry. If you’re fresh out of ketchup then other tomato-based products, like the tubes of concentrate, will also work just as well. A cheap ketchup will work just fine so save your homemade stuff (or farmshop favourite) for the dinner table. 

5. Let it age gracefully

The beauty of choosing unlaquered brass for your bathroom or kitchen is that it will age beautifully from the moment it leaves our workshop. Naturally processes of oxidisation as well as small changes to the surface left by water splashes and use will all help to make your piece unique over time and help it develop its own character and patina. 

*Bespoke Taps offers these tips as suggestions only and can’t be held liable for any damage inflicted when cleaning

Main image: @laurenoliviadesign