Some people love to place antique furniture in their homes to give an old vintage look. These contain brass handles of golden-brown color, which provides them with a classical look.
How to Clean Brass Handles on Antique Furniture? You can clean brass handles on antique furniture by using metal furnishing sprays, lacquer thinner, and commercial grass cleaners. It is also beneficial to use onions, yogurt, tomato sauce, lemon with baking soda, and hot soapy water for cleaning. Finally, you can make the brass handles shine by applying wax, olive oil, linseed, and mineral oil.
These handles are easily tarnished due to oil from skins, fingerprints, and dirt. They contain copper and zinc, which quickly become rusty due to moisture in the environment. It is necessary to clean them properly and to maintain their original patina appearance.
Antique furniture gives the whole home vintage and appealing look. They have brass handles with them that use an alloy of copper and zinc. It is inexpensive metal, so it is best for a designing purpose, and its golden color looks stunning.
This material becomes dull after some time due to the removal of its lacquer polish. It also becomes dirty due to dust in homes and from the air.
Clean brass handles with carbonated beverages
It is an easy trick to remove the dust, grimes, and sticky oil from their surfaces. Coke contains natural acid them which erodes the stains and makes them clean.
It contains acetic acid, which also breaks the dust particles and removes them.
Take a screw wrench and unscrew them carefully without damaging them. Now take a big container according to its size and fill it with carbonated beverages.
Now submerged them in the container and leave it for 1 to 2 hours. After this, take them out, wash them with tap water, and dry them with a towel.
Now they become free of dust, and their original color comes back. Screw it again with the furniture and tighten the nuts.
Use of toothpaste on the antique furniture
It is the home remedy to clean tarnish and grimes from the metallic handles of old furniture. The use of toothpaste is an easy method, and it is also cost-effective because it is readily available in our homes.
It contains a bit of baking soda in them, making them bright and removing stains.
Don’t apply them directly on its surface; apply them first on a cloth, then rub the handles. Don’t rub it too harshly; it can cause scraping off the layer.
Leave it for 4 to 5 minutes for better results, and then wipe it with a damp cloth. If moisture remains there, it can cause rusting process there.
It is beneficial to use plain toothpaste then gelled one because it can damage them.
Use of onion
These handles lose their luster due to exposure to dust, air, and moisture. Again, onion is the effective way and the best cleaner for metal like brass and copper.
Take an onion according to handle size and make a slice by chopping them. Now take a deep pan and add water to it. Boil the water for 4 to 5 minutes also add the pieces of onions in it.
Cool this water for 1 to 2 hours and then apply it to them for 10 to 20 minutes. It also uses as a polish and makes them brighter and restores their original shine and color.
Use Hot soapy water
Some of these handles in old furniture are made of different metals, and their surface is brass plated.
You can test time by using a magnet to check their original material brass can’t attract with magnet and plated one will attract the magnet.
Don’t use harsh chemicals on plated surfaces because it can cause scraping off its layers when you hardly rub them.
Take soap and boil them in water for 5 to 6 minutes. Cool this soapy mixture, and you don’t need to unscrew them; you can directly clean them.
Take a soft toothbrush or soft-bristled brush and rub the surface after the application of soapy water. Then, wipe off this solution y using cotton wipes.
Metal furnish spray for lacquered brass
They are plated with lacquer to prevent them from tarnishing and sticky surfaces. However, they become oily due to body oils when you touch them.
It also becomes dirty and dull due to fingerprints stains and environmental conditions.
You can’t apply any chemical or harsh cleaner on it because it can erode the lacquer plated material.
You can use metal furnishing sprays on them to regain their brightness and without causing harm to their original patina.
If it’s the lacquer layer scrapes off due to the use of harsh detergents on them.
You can’t use abrasive cleaners on the lacquer-coated surface.
The mixture of salt, flour, and white vinegar
It is also an effective method to wipe off stains and tarnish from them. But, again, these are home-based products and are readily available; you don’t need to purchase them from the market.
Take 1 to 2 cups of flour, add 20 to 30 tablespoons of vinegar and 4 to 5 tablespoons of salt to make a homogenous mixture. You can also make this mixture according to dirt and stickiness’s length, width, and severity.
Stir this mixture well to prevent the formation of precipitates.
Apply the thin layer of this paste on the handle and leave it for about 10 to 20 minutes.
Now take slightly warm water in a pan and wipe off the solution by using a lint-free cloth.
If the surface is still dirty, then you can again coat them with this mixture.
Apply Lemon and baking soda on the brass handles
Baking soda can remove greasiness, dust, and corrosion from the brass handles of antique furniture.
It contains ammonia peroxide them which breaks the corrosion and erodes the tarnish from it.
Take to 4 to 5 tablespoons of baking soda and squeeze 1 to 2 lemons in them. Apply this paste on it and leave them for 5 to 6 minutes.
Wipe this mixture with the damp rug or cotton wipes and dry them thoroughly.
It is also beneficial to use baking soda with a mixture of white vinegar. You can take this according to the tarnished surface and its size.
Use Brass Cleaners
Brass cleaners of different brands are available in the market, which differs in price and quality. Don’t apply them directly to them; it can damage their material.
First, sprinkle them on a cloth and rub this cloth on the dirty and grimy surface. Don’t rub it too hard with stiff brushes because scratches are produced on them.
After removing filth from the area then clean it with a paper towel. Now, apply it more until it becomes bright and shiny again and restore its original golden color.
These cleaners or polishes are only suitable for solid brass material; it is not appropriate for the surface made of other metals and plated by brass.
Salt and lemon mixture
The mixture of salt and lemon is an effective way to remove dust and grease from them. Cut the lemon into slices and apply small salt on them.
First, you have to do a patch test after using them on a small area to check that they are not damaging.
Now rub the lemon and salt on the handles of antique furniture. You can rub them until they become spotless and looks pleasant and attractive.
Rub the salt-coated lemon again if needed, then wash them using water and dry with a paper towel.
You can also use 3 to 4 tables spoons of tartar powder with 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Apply this thick paste on them and then rinse it with a damp cloth.
Use Lacquer thinners
Lacquer thinners of different brands are available in the market at an affordable price range. In addition, some of the brass handles are polished with lacquer material to prevent their surface.
It also prevents them from stains and protects them from the dullness of a color. Due to this coat, you can easily remove the fingerprint stains and grease from them.
When their color becomes lighter or dark brown due to dust and grim, apply these thinners on them to maintain their polish.
It also restores its original golden ornamental color and shine. After polishing it with thinners, they look attractive and brand-new.
Simple soft cloth
You should clean them regularly for proper maintenance of cleanliness and remove dirt and stickiness.
Take a microfiber or lint-free cloth and rub them on the surface from every side.
If you do this daily, it can also save your cost for further cleaning. It accumulates less dirt, and you don’t need to try harsh chemicals and methods for deep cleaning purposes.
Use of yogurt
You can also use yogurt for cleaning purposes because it contains lactic acid. This lactic acid can readily remove the tarnishes from the surface and restore its original glory and luster.
You can apply them on solid brass handles of furniture. Take 10 to 12 tablespoons of yogurt in a bowl and apply it by using a toothbrush.
You can also use bristled brush for this purpose. Leave it for 2 to 5 hours maximum for rinsing purposes.
Wash them with tape water and let them dry completely. You can also use milk as an alternative to yogurt; it also contains lactic acid to put back its shine and glimmer.
Ketchup and tomato sauce
Tomato ketchup looks weird for cleaning purposes, but it gives astonishing results. It contains acid and vinegar them which removes the dust that comes due to air and atmosphere.
Take ketchup according to the length of the handle and apply it to them. After this process, leave it for 1 to 2 hours.
After 1 to 2 hours, wipe off the ketchup by washing it with warm water and dry it using a paper towel.
You can also use tomato sauces and tomato paste for the rinsing purpose, so they become golden and beautiful again. Finally, you can apply their thin layer and wash them with water.
How do you prevent brass handles from tarnishing in the future?
The antique furniture handles contain brass, copper, and zinc metals, which become dirty and corroded early. If you take these types of preventive measures, you can maintain their look.
Apply a thick layer of car wax on the brass surface that comes with a lacquer coating. It will also prevent the dullness of the color.
It can also prevent the dullness which comes with air and changes in environmental conditions.
Olive oil polishing prevents them from the future accumulation of dirt and also prevents rust. Take a soft cloth and pour some drops of olive oil on them.
Moisten the handles with them and then buff dry them with a clean cloth.
Linseed oil and mineral oil are the best protective layer to maintain their shine and original color. After cleaning them with detergents or chemicals, apply the linseed or mineral oil to them.
You can polish these handles for future prevention of antique furniture.