Jewelry is one of the best gifts to give and receive during all seasons. By wearing them, people get to express their sense of style and personality. Jewelry can be made of various materials. Some of the common materials that are used to make jewelry include silver, gold, and diamonds.
Over time, these jewelry pieces can begin to look dull and dirty. The owners of these jewelry pieces need to know how clean them so they don’t damage or tarnish their valuable pieces. Our main focus today, however, will be one Brass, a popular material for making jewelry. This blog will teach you the basics of cleaning your brass jewelry and keeping your items looking shiny.
- What Is Brass Jewelry?
- History Of Brass Jewelry
- Does Brass Jewelry Get Dirty?
- What Do You Need For Cleaning Brass Jewelry?
- Things To Keep In Mind When Cleaning Brass Jewelry
- How Often Should You Clean Brass Jewelry?
- How Can I Prevent My Brass Jewelry From Getting Dirty?
What Is Brass Jewelry?
As the name suggests, brass jewelry is jewelry made from brass. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, the proportions of which can be varied to create different types of brasses with varying properties. It’s an inexpensive material that looks similar to gold, silver, or bronze jewelry.
History Of Brass Jewelry
Brass has been used throughout history to make bells, pottery, utensils, and jewelry among other things. The ancient Egyptians and Romans were among the first people to use brass. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was built with an estimated 22-ton brass statue that sat at the entrance.
The metal was not only used in the construction of buildings but also for decoration purposes as well. Egyptians wore gold, silver, and brass jewelry to show off their wealthy status. This practice continued throughout history since it symbolized power, prosperity, and authority.
In ancient Rome, brass was used to make jewelry, brooches, vessels, and other tools. The Celtic people also made their brass jewelry, some of which can be found in modern-day Ireland.
Today, however brasses are made with copper or zinc or both metals alone. The level of zinc used in the brass alloy can determine if it looks similar to silver or gold. This makes them popular materials for jewelry that look expensive but cost relatively less than other precious metals like platinum and diamonds.
Does Brass Jewelry Get Dirty?
Like any other jewelry piece, brass jewelry can get dirty due to the accumulation of dirt and oils. This is especially true if you wear them often during daily activities or exercise. The oils from your skin mix with dust which results in a dark residue on the surface of your metal pieces.
It might seem like it’s a good idea to clean your jewelry in an instant by submerging it into a solution. However, this is not the best way to clean them since you might end up damaging or tarnishing them instead.
What Do You Need For Cleaning Brass Jewelry?
There are different ways that you can use to properly remove dirt and oil from your brass;
Soap And Water
Basic ingredients like water and a soft cloth can do the trick without having to use expensive jewelry cleaning solutions. The first thing you need is a bowl of mild soap and warm water. Mix these two in your container until it forms bubbles or lathers.
Dip your brass item into this mixture for several minutes, making sure that all parts of the jewelry are soaked. Once you’re done, rinse your piece with lukewarm water and pat it dry using a soft cotton cloth or towel.
Vinegar And Flour Solution
Another solution that can help clean brass is a homemade solution made of vinegar and flour mixture. All you need is a small amount of salt (teaspoon), a cup of vinegar, and some flour.
You will be required to mix these ingredients until you get a thick paste. Rub this on your jewelry (or dip the jewelry in it) using a clean soft cloth and allow it to dry for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and air-dry the piece completely before wearing or storing them away.
Due to its acidity, lemon juice is also a popular choice for cleaning brass. It can be used as it is or diluted with water before using it on your jewelry. In either case, you will need to soak the pieces in this juice for about 15 to 30 minutes for it to be effective.
Then, take a soft brush and scrub the jewelry with it gently before rinsing it in lukewarm water. Be sure that you pat dry all parts using a clean cloth or towel before storage.
Surprisingly, tomato ketchup also works well for cleaning brass jewelry. Just like lemon juice, ketchup contains acidic properties which are useful in cutting through the dirt and grime on your metal
Simply apply it directly to your jewelry using a cloth, or your fingers before letting sit for about 10 minutes. Use a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the piece before rinsing it with lukewarm water. Using a soft cloth, dab the jewelry until dry before putting it away for storage.
Vinegar And Baking Soda
When combined, vinegar and baking soda work magic when it comes to cleaning brass. The acid in Vinegar and the presence of Sodium Bicarbonate in baking soda serve to accelerate the chemical reaction between them. This makes it easier to get rid of any dirt or grime that has accumulated on your jewelry.
To make this cleaning solution, combine a cup of vinegar with one tablespoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Soak the jewelry (fully emerged) in the paste for about 15 minutes. Use a soft brush on it to scrub off any dirt from its surface while rinsing under warm running water.
Pat the jewelry dry with a soft cloth before storing it away for later use. If you are still not satisfied with how clean your brass pieces appear, make an effort to repeat this process once more. Keep in mind that by using baking soda and vinegar solution on your metal accessories regularly, they will become less likely to form dirt.
Things To Keep In Mind When Cleaning Brass Jewelry
- Avoid using abrasive chemicals or tools on your metal jewelry, especially when cleaning it.
- Avoid applying excessive force on your metal accessories as this might cause damage to its surface.
- Make sure that you are rinsing your jewelry with lukewarm water after cleaning, so avoid using hot or cold water on them.
- Do not clean your brass pieces with salt and lemon juice at the same time. This can cause corrosion instead of removing dirt from its surface.
- Make sure the pieces are fully dry before storing them away for later use. If possible, store each piece separately in a dry, air-tight container or bag to prevent moisture from settling on its surface.
How Often Should You Clean Brass Jewelry?
It’s highly recommended that you clean your brass pieces every few days or weeks if they end up getting dirty faster than anticipated. If you fail to take care of them this way, the dirt and oils will pile up over time. This will cause corrosion on your metal accessories and a shorter life span.
This might result in some parts of the jewelry turning darker while leaving them looking dull and lifeless overall. If this is not something you want to happen, make sure that you clean your brass pieces regularly for the best results.
How Can I Prevent My Brass Jewelry From Getting Dirty?
Preventing your brass jewelry from growing dirty is as easy as keeping it clean regularly. There are several ways to keep your metal accessories looking fresh and new-looking for longer. They include:
- When storing away the pieces after wearing them, make sure that you put each one in its bag or container.
- Store them in a dry place that is free of moisture to prevent corrosion from taking place.
- When wearing your jewelry, avoid contact with anything oily or greasy so they will not pick up dirt or stains easily. This also means avoiding direct exposure to sunlight over long periods. The sun can cause the metal components to turn yellow due to oxidation.
- When doing household chores, make sure that you remove the jewelry first before getting started.
- If possible, have several jewelry pieces made out of different metal types to prevent them from getting damaged at the same time.
- Avoid wearing your jewelry during contact sports or strenuous exercises as this can cause damage to its surface due to excessive force exerted on it.
Cleaning your brass jewelry regularly will help prevent dirt and grime from accumulating on its surface. However, it is also important to know how you can avoid having them grow dirty in the first place. By following these simple tips mentioned above, you can keep your metal accessories looking brand new for longer periods. With them at your fingertips, you won’t have to worry about cleaning.