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How to Clean Brass with Bar Keepers Friend

January 27, 2021

Brass is beautiful, especially when it’s bright and shiny. Whether it’s a brass bed frame, doorknob, fixture, or handle, it’s essential to know how to clean brass, how to make it shine without diminishing its luster, or dulling its surface. That’s where BKF comes in.

What’s the Difference Between Brass and Brass Plated? 

The first step in how to clean brass is knowing whether it’s brass or brass plated. Brass is an alloy derived from copper and zinc. Brass plating is an electrochemical process where a thin layer of brass coats a metal, most typically nickel. Only a thin layer of brass is applied with plating, so be careful when trying to polish any brass plated item because it doesn’t take much to damage or remove the plating.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Brass and Brass Plating? 

“Telling the difference between brass and brass plated hardware is relatively easy. Brass is heavy, while brass plated items are light. A sure way to tell the difference between the two is to use a kitchen magnet. If the magnet sticks, then the hardware is brass-plated. You will need to be extra gentle with brass-plated items. If the magnet does not stick, then the hardware is solid brass.” — How to Clean Door Hinges and More

What You’ll Need to Clean Brass

How to Clean Brass 

  • Wet the brass using a damp cloth or sponge
  • Apply BKF Powdered Cleanser or Soft Liquid Cleanser to the sponge
  • Let it sit for one minute
  • Clean the surface using a soft sponge
  • Rinse
  • Use a soft dry towel to dry and polish
  • Repeat as needed

Pro Tip: To reach hard to access areas, gently use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Don’t just take our word for it

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“I am kicking myself, y’all. Kicking myself. I’ve spray painted and Rub’ N Buffed so many pulls and knobs over the years – I had no idea how to clean them. Don’t get me wrong – there are sometimes when you want a bold colored knob, but sometimes I just want that hardware restored to its former glory. The hardware in the photo above is what was original to the vintage radio that I just turned into a bar cabinet. I almost spray painted them but decided first to give Bar Keepers Friend a try. And it took less than 5 minutes to clean it up!” — Jenna











Here are a few photos from some BKF Facebook Fans 

Vintage items are fun to spruce up. Discovering their original beauty can be truly amazing! BKF fan, Ashley M. found the shiny potential of her brass treasure, and we love that she shared it with us!

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Megan at the Copper and Gold Project is at it again! Check out this awesome little brass elephant she cleaned up using BKF!

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Just when we thought we couldn’t be any more impressed by your progress photos, we’re immediately proven wrong. BKF fan Melanie submitted these Before & After photos of her candle holders, and the results knocked us for a loop. Thanks for sharing with us, Melanie!

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Put some Class in your Brass with BKF

Whether you’re doing a weekly wipe down of your brass doorknobs or bringing a 100-year-old brass bed frame back to life, BKF is your answer. It’s easy to use, safe, and it works. BKF is the answer to how to clean brass. So, before you give up on those old, tarnished brass trinkets, give us a try. Believe me. You’ll be happy you did.

About the Author

Randy Clark - Headshot

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek and on weekends (after COVID-19) he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook: A crash course in effective management.

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