Brass plating

How do you clean brass, or brass plating?

Our neighbor gave us her brass music stand. One section has a
coppery discoloration from years of handling. I cleaned it with
alcohol and then tried to polish it up with Flitz, but nothing

Any guesses as to whether this is plated or solid, and what the
underlying metal is?


Sounds like brass plated copper or copper alloy to me. To get it
all brass looking, you will probably have to have it replated.

John Dach

Janet, Brass has to be protected ( coated ) somehow to keep it from
oxidizing. The coating has worn off. A temporary way to fix this is
to clean the spot with BRASSO,. which you can buy at the market, and
then apply 3 or 4 coats of RENNASSIANCE WAX to seal it. The permeate
way is to find a plater that does work for decorators and have it
refinished. If it’s not solid brass and needs recoating, the plater
can do this too. I can refer you to a few in West Los Angeles Best,

End of forwarded message

First check it with magnet to see if it is steel underneath. If
not magnetic it is probably all brass.

If it is magnetic it may be a brass plate over a copper strike
plate over steel. I once cleaned an old Brass bed- maybe about
100 years old now. It has a thin brass sheet over steel. It was
quite a job. Vinegar and salt is a good cheap start-- It may be
lacquered which may need to be removed first- use lacquer thinner
or acetone and watch out for fires. The German polishes such as
Similchrome is very good . I think Flitz is pretty much the same.
use with a green Scotchbrite pad and rub. It may take a lot of time
but is smaller than a bed. I will have to the bed again someday.

Polishing copper and brass

LAST UPDATE: 12/23/2002 3:41:07 PM

There are a number of specialized products available specifically
for cleaning copper and brass. If you choose to use one of these,
follow the directions on the label. If you’d rather make your own,
there’s a simple recipe: dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of
white vinegar, then add enough flour to make a paste. Apply the
paste to the surface you want to clean and let it sit for fifteen
minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and dry thoroughly with a
towel. After cleaning, you might want to apply a protective polish
to protect the surface.


If you don’t have access to Renaissance Wax… Turtlewax 2000 from
an Auto Parts store is a decent sub…stuff is supposed to protect
for a year on an auto finish…

Gary W. Bourbonais