We love brass. It's a character filled metal that's strong, light and has a special vintage feel that makes for great analogue tools. Raw brass starts out with a shiny gold like appearance but over time and with use brass ages as it oxidizes and takes on what's called a patina. It will darken and may even get a green discolouration in sections which is called verdigris. A well used raw brass pen gives you the feeling it has many stories to tell and many more to write.
When it comes to caring for raw brass, it's perfectly okay to leave it to age, but sometimes you may want to revive it by polishing it back to its former glossy self. There are a few brass cleaning products available that you can use to polish your brass items using a soft cloth but there are also a few natural alternatives so you can skip the chemicals.
Please note: If you are cleaning a brass pen or fountain pen, we recommend removing the pen refill or separating the nib prior to cleaning to avoid getting any cleaner on the writing tip.
Always test on a small patch of brass to make sure you are happy with the results prior to cleaning the whole item.
Lemon juice is an effective way to naturally clean brass and return its shine. By mixing in salt, you add an extra abrasive that can also help to clean away imperfections from your brass. Dampen a soft cloth with your mixture of lemon juice and salt and start cleaning. Once you have cleaned the brass, wipe away any lemon residue with a warm damp cloth and buff dry. Alternatively cut a lemon in half and sprinkle on some salt and scrub it directly with the lemon.
You can create a brass cleaning paste by mixing together these simple ingredients. Take half a cup of vinegar and dissolve one tablespoon of salt. You can then add in flour to create a paste to polish your brass.
Below are the steps we took to clean a 4 year old Traveler's Company Brass Ruler using lemon and salt.
First make your cleaner by adding some lemon juice and salt into a container and stir.
Use a soft cloth and clean in a consistent direction.
Clean off your lemon and salt mixture with warm water and polish dry.
Shop a range of brass goods here.