How to Clean Heavily Corroded Brass

Brass corrosion happens when brass, a yellow metal mix, gets damaged and changes colour because it reacts with air and water. It’s like when a shiny penny turns greenish-blue over time.

How to Clean Heavily Corroded Brass

Maintaining brass items becomes evident as regular upkeep is essential to prevent corrosion, preserve the metal’s shine, and ensure the longevity of both decorative and functional pieces.

Top 5 Ways to Clean Heavily Corroded Brass

Below are the top five ways to clean heavily corroded brass.

1. Ketchup or Tomato Paste

To clean heavily corroded brass using ketchup or tomato paste, apply a layer of either condiment to the affected area, let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub with a soft cloth or brush. The natural acids in ketchup or tomato paste help break down corrosion, restoring the brass’s shine.

2. Lemon and Salt

First, to clean heavily corroded brass using lemon and salt, create a paste with equal parts lemon juice and salt. Then, rub the paste onto the corroded areas and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth.

3. Vinegar, Salt, and Flour

To remove corrosion from brass with vinegar, salt, and flour, create a paste with equal parts vinegar, salt, and flour. Apply the paste to the corroded areas and let it sit for an hour before scrubbing it off with a brush.

4.  Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

To clean corroded brass using Baking Soda and Lemon Juice, mix equal parts of both ingredients to form a paste. Then, apply the paste to the corroded areas and scrub gently with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly with water afterwards for best results.

5. Cream of Tartar Paste

To clean heavily corroded brass using Cream of Tartar Paste, mix it with vinegar, apply the paste, let it sit for about 30 minutes, then scrub and rinse. This method effectively removes tarnish and restores the brass surface’s shine.

Note: If dealing with ornate designs or engravings, use a soft brush or a cotton swab to access intricate details. Exercise caution to preserve the fine features while effectively cleaning the corroded areas.

Causes of Brass Corrosion

1. Exposure to Air and Moisture

Brass corrodes when exposed to air and moisture. This exposure forms a greenish layer, verdigris, on the brass surface, compromising its appearance and structural integrity over time.

2. Chemical reactions

Chemical reactions between the metal and environmental factors initiate brass corrosion. Oxygen and moisture in the air react with the copper and zinc in brass, forming corrosion products such as copper oxide and zinc oxide. These chemical reactions accelerate the degradation of the brass, resulting in visible and often undesirable changes to its surface.

How to Avoid Corrosion of Brass

To prevent brass corrosion, ensure thorough drying and storage, apply a protective coating regularly, establish a cleaning routine with mild solutions, use non-abrasive polishing compounds, shield from harsh environments and chemicals, and handle with clean hands.


ACS Commercial Cleaning recognises the importance of safeguarding brass items in commercial spaces to maintain longevity and aesthetic appeal.

We ensure brass possessions’ sustained durability and visual appeal in diverse commercial settings through systematic cleaning practices, using industry-standard equipment and eco-friendly agents.