Cleaning Brass Plates

An Englishman’s home is his castle. Surprising it isn’t then, that we always want to keep it spic and span. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of things that can get dirty and matted as time goes on. It is a manifestation of the sin in our world that things of order will gradually descend into chaos, such being the Law of Entropy, with brass plates and other products not least of all.  As such it becomes necessary to clean these objects and see to it that they are kept looking squeaky clean. Being as nice as we are, let’s give you a brief guide on how this can be done.

First and foremost, before cleaning anything of brass, you need to make sure that it actually is brass. After all it could easily just be an imitation metal, or else merely brass plated. If it’s the latter, then chances are trying to clean it as you would ordinary brass plates would wear through and damage it. You can check the metal is brass or not simply by holding a magnet to it. Brass is not magnetic, so if it sticks then something isn’t quite right. You should also work out whether the brass even needs cleaning. Sometimes tarnish produces a rather handsome patina that can enhance the appearance of the piece, and as such should be left as it is. Ultimately, that decision is yours and yours alone.

Most important is when considering the cleaning of antique pieces. The last thing you want to do, after all, is damage the object, so it may be wiser to have particularly old and fragile pieces cleaned by a professional.

Cleaning Brass

You can wash any brass plates by gently rubbing it over with warm, soapy water and a soft flannel, while solid brass objects can be washed in a basin. Wipe the piece down gently, so as not to rub away the finish. When you’ve dried it off, carefully remove the lacquer with a paint or varnish remover. Ensure you lay down newspapers or some other covering to protect your work surface, and be sure to follow the instructions given with the remover. When the lacquer is dealt with, apply a brass polish and carefully rub it into the metal with a clean rag, using small, tight yet gentle movements.

Use a second dry rag afterwards to give the product a brilliant shine. Once that is done, use a paintbrush or cotton balls to reapply the lacquer. Always ensure the layer is thin and even, wiping away any excess and drips before they can dry. Always ensure you let the lacquer dry before you touch it again, or else you’ll be left with unsightly fingerprints and smudges. Once all you’ve finished and the object is dry, wipe it over once more with a dry, clean cloth to give it the final finish. Afterwards you should only need to lightly dust to keep it shiny.

Especially with brass plates rather than solid brass, always ensure you do not clean too vigorously or too frequently - excessive cleaning can damage the metal.

For more information about brass plates, or to purchase them yourself, please visit the website of Click Metal, or else contact them directly by phoning 07958 541165.

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