How to effectively clean brass

How to effectively clean brass

Brass is such a great material; durable, robust and aesthetically pleasing. It’s why we’ve been crafting our products from it since we opened our doors. However, like with all metals, brass can become dull or tarnished over time. If this happens, don’t panic! There are a few simple ways to effectively clean your brass plaque or tag without scratching the surface, and leaving it looking like new again. 

*Please note, this advice relates to brass products sold by Engraving Studios, as they are solid brass. With other items, it is important to find out whether it is brass plated or lacquered before applying cleaning solutions, as they may cause damage, leaving your product looking worse than it did before.

1. Warm soapy water

If your tag or plaque has a slight dullness to it we’d recommend cleaning it with a soft cotton cloth and warm, soapy water first. Simply add some soap to warm water, and soak the tag for a few minutes. Use a clean toothbrush or a microfibre cloth to rub away any marks. Then, polish with a clean cloth to bring the shine back. This does take a bit more effort than other methods, but is handy if you don’t have any Brasso on hand!

2. A specific brass cleaner

Always a winner due to its effectiveness and ease of use, using a brass cleaner (such as Brasso) effectively removes any tarnish and brings your brass back to its shiny state once more. We’d recommend using a brass cleaner over other options as we know it’s a tried and tested method which our customers use, with amazing results. Remember to clean any debris off using soap and water before applying a polishing product and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

3. Household products

Whilst not our recommendation, many people report to use ketchup to remove marks from brass. This is because it contains vinegar. We would always recommend testing a small area beforehand to ensure no damage is caused. Once the test is complete, and you’re satisfied no damage has been caused, simply apply the ketchup to the brass, leave for an hour and then wipe clean with a soft, clean cloth and warm water. This may need to be repeated if any stubborn marks remain. You can also try toothpaste, using the same method mentioned above. 


As with any metal product, brass will dull over time. Whilst some people love the natural patina that brass develops over time, others love the look of a shiny brass tag or plaque. Here at Engraving Studios, we’d recommend using a specific cleaner (such as Brasso) as we've found it to be a reliable and simple way of bringing your brass up to its original shine.