Copper and brass are the metals that are being used for household items since time immemorial. Nowadays they are in trend due to the antique look they give to the items. When you buy new metal items, they shine brightly and have a polished finish. However, as the time passes they get stained and also get tarnished due to the reaction that is caused by air and water. So, if you possess copper or brass items, it becomes imperative for you to maintain them well by giving them regular cleaning breaks.
Gentle techniques to clean brass and copper surfaces
Both copper and brass tend to become blackish over time. This is because the metal oxidises when exposed to air for a long time. There are many methods that you can use to clean up these metals. Some are easy but could prove to be harsh on the metal and the person who is cleaning it, while some can be gentle on the metal and the hands. It is always recommended that you use simple techniques which incorporate some very commonly available household items.
The following are some ideas to get you started with eco-friendly cleaning options for brass and copper,
- White vinegar is the best when it comes to cleaning up metal surfaces. This holds good for brass and copper as well. Mix 2 tbsp of white vinegar to water and boil it for few minutes. This might spread some unpleasant odour in your kitchen. Take an old piece of cloth which is medium hard and dip it into the liquid mixture. Now, clean your metal surfaces with this.
- Tooth paste also happens to be one of the items which can clear up the tarnish on copper and brass surfaces. Apply a little toothpaste on the metal and then using a rugged cloth spread the toothpaste to the whole surface and rub it thoroughly. After this, wash off the surface under running water. Using warm water is more effective.
- A surprisingly effective household item that cleans up these metals is the ketchup. Just smear a spoon full of sauce on to the surface. Leave it for a while until the sauce dries up a bit and the metal soaks in the vinegar contained within the sauce. Then take a cloth or dish cleaner to gently scrub the surface. Lastly wash the surface with hot water so that the sauce fully leaves the surface.
- A common household method is to take a cut lemon and dip the open end into salt. Rub the lemon and salt surface on to brass or copper. This will slowly eliminate the stains and when done couple of times, it will bring back the lustre too.
- Scrubbing the copper or brass surface with tamarind is also an age old technique of cleaning. This is time consuming but definitely effective.
Make it a point to keep away harsh chemicals and acidic cleaners from these metals. Use the above techniques to gently clean them.