The brass, vintage feet from a mid century chair, was in desperate need of polishing. Now I’m sure everybody is thinking, ummm she is going to write a whole blog post about how to use brasso?! And my response is simply no. Brasso is great, don’t get me wrong. It will polish brass quickly and remove the grime, the patina….and the look of 70 year old brass. So I used my own advise I give customers…polish them with Ketchup.
Sounds gross I know, but the acid in Ketchup works wonders on cleaning the tarnish off brass (and silver). Having never used the ketchup method on anything but faceplates (and didnt want to stain my carpet) I went about it a little differently. Poor Dan watched in both awe and horror.
Step 1: Using warm soapy water, gently clean the brass. It might be that you like the look of the piece once the dirt layer is removed.
Step 2: Lay the dry brass on a rag (I would use a dark colored one since the ketchup will stain) and goop on the ketchup.
Step 3: Practice the P-word (patience) and let the brass and ketchup sit and “marinate”. The longer it sits, the more the acid will break down the patina (my feet which probably had never been cleaned/polished/loved took over being soaked over night, but I’ve seen it work in as little as 10 minutes)
Step 4: After the ketchup has sat on the brass and helped break down the dirty, tarnished patina, rinse it. Grab a clean lint free rag and start polishing.
Polishing took a while; even if i’d used Brasso, polishing would have taken awhile. They were REALLY bad!! But the end result was great!