How to Clean and Polish Old Brass Hardware

What You'll Need
Masking tape
Brass cleaner
Lint-free towel
Ammonia (optional)

Brass hardware will stand the test of time even if it is neglected over the years. Brass hardware will brown and tarnish but will also turn green from oxidation with exposure to salt for long periods of time. You can clean brass hardware yourself and this article will show you how.

Step 1 - Masking and Removal

Brass hardware is easily cleaned when removed. Use the screwdriver to remove the screws attaching the brass hardware. If the item is also an antique you may simply want to mask off the area around the brass hardware with tape.

Step 2 - Protection

Wear gloves when using these chemicals as they're caustic. Wear a mask as well if you are going to use the ammonia.

Step 3 - Soak

If the brass hardware has heavy tarnish then soak it for 1 hour in pure ammonia.

Step 4 - Cleaning the Brass Hardware

Place the towel over the open container of brass cleaner and tip the container slightly to get a small amount of cleaner on the towel. Dampen the towel with water. Scrub the brass hardware rigorously until clean. Repeat as needed as you may need several applications and towels. Replace the hardware.