I have an old brass bed frame with 15 years of tarnish and I've been trying to use Brasso, but the process is long and tedious. Does anyone know of an easier way to remove tough tarnish from brass?

  • I was going to say Brasso, but I guess your looking for a solution that involves less work. – Tester101 Feb 3 '11 at 13:17

drill buffing ball + Brasso

A drill mounted buffing ball or disc should eliminate most of the elbow grease needed for the job.


I've never compared the two head to head, but you may want to look for a product called bar-keepers friend. I know they have a brass polish, but you it will probably involve lots of elbow grease too. I believe they have buffing wheels that fit into drills, that may be a solution for speeding the process up. Good luck.


For really bad tarnish, you may consider getting a little more aggressive with your polishing cloth. I have a bed that was in the garage for the past 10-15 years. We eventually ended up using the green abrasive pads (with Brasso) to get the tarnish off and then progressively finer steel wool pads to bring back the polish and shine.


I once used either acetone or lacquer thinner first before applying the Brasso. My thought was that if I first broke down the finish on the brass it would be easier for the Brasso to make direct contact with the brass. It worked well. I used extra fine steel wool (either 00 or 000 or finer--the finer the better) dipped (use something the size of a mixing bowl made of metal or glass) in the thinner or acetone. Wear rubber gloves and this is best done outside away from kids and pets. Then apply the Brasso as directed. After trying to polish my brass bed by using only Brasso...it almost killed me...I decided to try this, as I had already done less then 1/4 of the bed...it had to be finished!!!


We stripped the lacquer with gel paint stripper. Then used Rubbedin Metal Magic on fine steel wool. Even resorted to stainless steel curly kitchen pot scrubber. The bed looks amazing. We aren't going to get it relacquered. Just enjoy the less bright look and do the Metal Magic once a year. The four poster King brass bed looks fantastic now. I am in Perth Western Australia


I still do it the old fashion way using Brasso. It's tedious and grueling. My bed is a massive 50 year old brass poster bed with huge legs and tubing. The underneath material is cast iron. I'm a fairly strong guy and it's quiet an effort to even lift one end of it. I doubt they even make them like this anymore. I have matching night stands as well. I've tried all sorts of things but it still comes down to Braso and days of hard elbow grease. I let it tarnish because I like it better that way but about to shine this baby up to its natural beauty. I know that years of tarnish can eat into the brass itself and I don't want this to happen. Get the pads, steel wool and gloves on because here I come.

JocDocenter image description here


I have just tried a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar and lemon juice, and it works beautifully! With only a quarter of the effort used to clean with Brasso and far better results!

  • 1
    Can you provide the proper proportions of each ingredient? – Tester101 Feb 14 '14 at 15:34
  • I would also love to have the correct mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar and lemon juice mentioned above. Could you pleASE LET ME KNOW? – user34609 Mar 14 '15 at 1:22

1:3:3 Mayo vinegar lemon juice

Works beautifully - just tried it!

  • How much exactually is 1:3:3. Is it more mayonase, 1/3. Vinegar and 1/3 lemon juice. Will the vinegar and lemon juice pit the brass? – Marilyn Nov 5 '17 at 19:24

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