How to Care and Clean for Brass Jewelry

At Fang Jewelry, we put much emphasis on our silver and sterling silver jewelry but we do make jewelry with other metals. Brass is another type of metal we incorporate in our collections to add a warm color to certain pieces. Our brass jewelry has the perfect tints of gold, as it is a much cheaper alternative, but it does take some care.

Lucky Star Ring

What is brass?

Brass is a metal where both copper and zinc have been combined. With brass, there are three different types: solid, plated and lacquered.

Solid

Solid brass is considered to be “true brass” where it has no additional metals or coating. Additionally, it is the best for traditional polishing compared to plated or lacquered. The other two require a bit more careful and sensitive approach.

Plated

When an item is brass-plated, it’s not brass at all. The piece is actually made of steel but has a thin coating of brass on the outside.

Lacquered

Lacquered brass is classified through a clear coating put on brass. Since most brass tends to oxidize quickly when it is exposed to air, some brass pieces are covered with a clear coating of lacquer to protect it thus, making it lacquered brass.

Brass Star Bangle

Caring and Cleaning Brass Jewelry

With solid brass, it is much tougher than the other types of brass. Therefore, it just needs to be washed with soapy water, air-dried and then polished. When applying polish, a fair amount should be applied and spread with an absorbent rag. While buffing the polish out rapidly, it will create a surface difficult to smudge or discolor.

Since plated brass technically isn’t brass completely, one must be careful when caring and cleaning for it. When plated brass begins to tarnish, the rust is mainly due to the steel beneath. One thing to not do is polish the brass for it could take off the brass.

The most convenient way to go about restoring plated brass is to gently wipe the rusty areas with soap, water, and a soft cloth. For a stronger effect, you can use dish soap. If that does not work, the best option is to get the item re-plated with new brass.

As mentioned, lacquered brass has to coat that is meant to protect the brass from the exposure of air and other elements. To clean lacquered brass, you must first take off the lacquered coating with acetone. If you try to polish lacquered brass with its coating still on, nothing will happen and the polish with give the coating a cloudy look.

After taking off the lacquer coating, you will then have a solid brass material in which you can go ahead and follow the steps above to polish your item.