Restoring brass hardware can seem daunting, especially if it's got years of tarnish build-up or is a chore you've never tackled before. However, it's actually surprisingly easy.

What Is Brass Hardware?

Brass hardware is simply hardware made from solid brass. There are many brass-plated and finished versions, but solid brass hardware offers longevity and quality that adds traditional character to a home.

'Cast, sheet, or spun brass was widely used to make door and window furniture but requires regular polishing.

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How Can You Tell If Hardware Is Brass?

It is important to make sure that your hardware is actually made from brass before attempting these cleaning methods. If it is brass-plated or painted to look like brass, these methods can completely ruin your hardware.

If your hardware is not brass (as the magnet sticks to it), then gently washing it with warm soapy water, followed by a gentle rub with olive oil to chase out the water, is the best course of action, and will have your hardware shining again in no time. Don’t polish it, though, as this can damage the plating.

If your magnet doesn’t stick and your hardware is brass, you have a wide variety of options to choose from, depending on the severity of the tarnishing.

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How To Restore Brass With Lemon And Salt?

Create a paste using ¼ cup of salt with ½ cup of lemon juice, then rub it into the brass with a soft toothbrush to remove tarnishing.

However, you must ensure you wash off the lemon juice with water as it's acidic and will erode the brass hardware if left. Once washed and dry, rub with olive oil to chase out the water and preserve the shine.

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How To Restore Brass Hardware With Baking Soda And Vinegar?

Baking soda and vinegar can clean virtually everything, and brass hardware is no exception.

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with 1 cup of white vinegar to create a paste (you can also add 2 tbsp of table salt if your piece is badly tarnished). The paste will fizz for a few seconds. Once the paste has stopped fizzing, rub on onto your brass hardware in circular motions with a toothbrush. Let the paste sit for 30 minutes, then rinse off.

Repeat if necessary, then rub with olive oil to protect the brass hardware and add shine.

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How To Polish Brass Hardware?

'Regular polishing will keep brass looking attractive,' advises Roger Hunt, Period Living's renovation expert. Though you must take care when doing this, as some chemical polishes can cause harm if they come into contact with stone, wood, or paintwork.

'When polishing,' continues Roger, 'make a cardboard or plastic template to fit around the fitting, so adjoining surfaces are protected, and cleaning is easier, and be sure to wipe off dirt with a soft, damp cloth gently.'

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