How to Clean a Tarnished Brass Sink

Brass adds a warm glow to wherever it is, whether it’s in the form of a fixture, hardware, sink, utensils, or the like. Caring for your beautiful brass sink is not difficult. With a bit of elbow grease and a few extra minutes of your time, you can restore a tarnished brass sink to its original glory.

To learn how to clean a tarnished brass sink, continue reading. Whether you have a hammered brass sink, an old antique sink, or a smooth brass sink, this article will guide you in the process of restoring the sink to its shiny state.

What Causes Brass To Tarnish?

Brass objects can tarnish for several reasons. Brass alloy is composed of zinc, copper, and tin. Oxidized brass usually appears as a bluish-green or black hue. The green film formation is known as patina. The colored coating will typically flake off and can be removed to expose the shiny surface.

What Causes Brass To Tarnish

Hard water and chemicals can cause the brass to tarnish. The oxidation process is entirely natural with uncoated brass and will usually happen over the course of several years. While some people appreciate the patina’s look, most people don’t enjoy the green oxidation coating their sink. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to clean.

How To Clean Tarnished Brass

Restoring your brass sink to its original, lustrous state won’t take too long. Whether you are cleaning your bathroom sink, kitchen sink, sink drain, or various fixtures, the process remains the same. There are a few different cleaning options you can go with, which we will discuss below.

Clean With A Paste

This method is handy, as it doesn’t require anything you wouldn’t already have in your kitchen, save for the lemon oil. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hot soapy water
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Lemon oil

Before you get started, clean out your sink. Remove dirty dishes, dishcloths, large particles of remaining food, dirt, etc. Once the sink is free of debris, continue with the process.

Start the cleaning process by thoroughly washing the sink with a microfiber cloth and hot soapy water. Once the sink is clean, rinse it well and wipe it completely dry. Next, mix a paste with vinegar, salt, and flour. You’ll need one part of each: for example, ½ cup of flour, ½ cup of salt, and ½ cup of vinegar. You may need more or less depending on the size of the sink you’re dealing with.

Once you’ve made your paste, scoop a generous amount onto a cloth. Rub it into the brass, then wipe it clean with a clean cloth. You may need to apply the paste several times, working it into the sink, before it comes clean.

After the paste lifts the tarnish, rinse the sink clean with warm water. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth, then apply a thin coat of lemon oil with a soft, clean cloth. Buff the oil into the sink to restore the natural shine of the sink and remove corrosion.

Enlist The Help Of Tomatoes

Enlist The Help Of Tomatoes

Surprisingly enough, tomatoes can be a handy tool to employ when restoring your brass sink. They are great for tackling challenging cleaning projects. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Hot, soapy water
  • Ketchup, tomato sauce, or tomato paste
  • Microfiber cloths

Start by cleaning the sink with the same process we outlined in the previous method. Once your sink is clean and debris-free, proceed with this method.

All you need to do is rub a thin coat of a tomato product of your choice onto the brass. Allow it to soak for about an hour. Once it has sat for a while, rinse it clean with hot, soapy water. Follow with a warm water rinse, then wipe it dry with a microfiber cloth.

Use Salt And Lemon

If you don’t happen to have all of the materials for the above methods but have salt and a few lemons, give this method a go. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A few lemons
  • Table salt
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Cream of tartar powder (optional)

Start by slicing a lemon in half and removing all of the seeds. Sprinkle a generous coating of table salt on the lemon face, then rub it over the surface of the brass. Re-coat the lemon half as the salt runs out.

Use Salt And Lemon

Once the entire surface of the sink is clean, rinse it clean. Buff it with a clean, dry cloth. Alternately, you could also use one part lemon juice mixed with two parts cream of tartar powder. Simply rub the paste into the brass with a clean cloth, then allow it to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse it clean with warm water, then buff it with a clean cloth.

Commercial Cleaners

Numerous brands offer brass sink cleaners. If you’d prefer to use a cleaning product to return your brass item to its original state, there are several options out there. Popular choices include Bar Keeper’s Friend, Brasso, and Cameo.

How To Polish A Brass Sink

Most of the methods we mentioned above to remove tarnish from brass sinks involve a buffing process that helps shine the sink. However, if you’d like to add an additional glossy coat, apply a thin coat of linseed or mineral oil, which serves as a form of brass polish, to the clean brass using a soft cloth.

You can also use commercial metal polish products to help restore the sink to its original shine.

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