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Video: How To Clean Brass Jewelry at Home with Jessica Lawson

This Earth Day, we wanted to show you how to clean and polish brass jewelry at home using simple household ingredients. Instead of relegating your tarnished jewelry to the hidden corners of your jewelry box, breathe new life into them by learning how to clean jewelry with household items and bring them back to their original shine. Consuming less and taking care of the things you already own is an easy way to be green. Here are some simple recommendations on household items for a homemade jewelry cleaner recipe.


Step 1 - Clean your jewelry

Dish Detergent & Warm Water

We recommend water and Dawn because it is a powerful degreaser and is an essential step when choosing a homemade jewelry cleaner

Step 1.1 - Darkened and Lightly Tarnished Jewelry 

Soak in White Vinegar

For darkened jewelry that is lightly tarnished, soak in white vinegar for a few minutes until it is brightened. Rinse off with clean water.

Step 1.2 - Heavily Tarnished Jewelry

Barkeepers Friend and Water

For more heavily tarnished brass, try mixing a little Barkeepers Friend with water and gently scrubbing with a toothbrush until you see the desired lightening effect. Rinse.

Step 3 - Polish Your Jewelry

Sunshine Polishing Cloth

Now that the tarnish is removed, we polish! We recommend a Sunshine polishing cloth. This cloth has a polishing compound embedded in to the cloth to instantly polish and shine your jewels.

Step 4 - Rinse to Remove Dirt and Polishing Compounds

Rinse Your Jewelry Again

Once you’ve reached peak shininess, rinse your jewelry one more time to remove any dirty polishing compound. Then dry your jewelry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or hairdryer. Water spots left on brass will leave unsightly marks that are hard to remove.

And that’s it! Depending on how much jewelry you have, you can clean it in 5-30 minutes. For even more information read our detailed blog on How to Clean Brass Jewelry


A Note About These Cleaning Methods

Do not try this on plated jewelry as the abrasive compounds or acid in the vinegar could remove the plating. These cleaning methods are suitable for brass and bronze jewelry without stones. 

Another thing to note is, the more you wear brass and silver jewelry, the shinier it stays. The oils in our skin inhibit tarnish from forming. Jewelry left out exposed to air on a tray or in a jewelry box for months or years will start to build up with tarnish. 

To inhibit tarnish, don’t store your brass jewelry in the bathroom, store it in a little plastic zip bag to limit exposure to air, and wear your jewelry frequently. Tarnished raw brass jewelry can always be brought back to life, it’s an amazing and affordable alternative to solid gold.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Clean Jewelry With Household Products?

A mild solution of dish detergent and warm water is effective for general cleaning of tarnished jewelry at home. For lightly tarnished jewelry, soaking the jewelry in white vinegar for a few minutes can brighten it. After each treatment, rinse your jewelry thoroughly with clean water.

What is the Best Homemade Jewelry Cleaner?

The best homemade cleaner for brass jewelry, particularly for dealing with tarnish, involves using Barkeepers Friend mixed with water. This mixture should be applied gently with a toothbrush for heavily tarnished items. For lighter tarnish, a solution of white vinegar can be effective.

What is a Good Homemade Jewelry Cleaner Recipe? 

A reliable homemade jewelry cleaner recipe for brass jewelry includes mixing a few drops of dish detergent in warm water for basic cleaning, or using white vinegar for soaking lightly tarnished pieces. For more stubborn tarnish, create a paste with Barkeepers Friend and water. Always finish by rinsing and drying your jewelry thoroughly.

Can These Cleaning Methods Be Used on All Types of Jewelry?

These cleaning methods are specifically recommended for brass and bronze jewelry without stones. Avoid using them on plated jewelry or pieces with stones, as the abrasive compounds or acids may damage the finish or the stones.

How Often Should I Clean My Brass Jewelry?

Clean your brass jewelry whenever you notice tarnish or a loss of shine. Regular wearing helps keep tarnish at bay, as the natural oils from your skin provide a protective layer against oxidation.

What Should I Do to Prevent Tarnish on Brass Jewelry?

To prevent tarnish, avoid storing brass jewelry in humid areas like bathrooms. Store it in airtight containers or zip-lock bags to minimize exposure to air. Wearing your brass jewelry frequently also helps reduce tarnish buildup.

Are There Any Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Brass Jewelry?

Yes, avoid using overly abrasive materials or excessive force, especially on delicate pieces, as this can scratch or damage the metal. Also, ensure that all cleaning agents are thoroughly rinsed off to prevent any potential damage from residual chemicals.


For more methods on how to clean brass jewelry and your other Dea Dia Jewelry pieces, visit our Care Guide. Don't forget to explore our bestselling brass jewelry like our Ingot Ring or Void Necklace!

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