How to Clean Unlacquered Brass Faucet

The use of brass material in our kitchen finishes started centuries ago. But the discovery of nickel-plated and silver-toned stainless steel hardware replaced them for a while. Today, brass faucets are back. It is not a mystery to find gold-toned pulls, knobs, and faucets in most homes.

If you love things with a natural touch and lasts long, then unlacquered brass faucets will excite you. But to enjoy the optimum user experience, you must know how to clean them. No need to fret if you have no idea. This guide will illustrate step by step how to do it.

What is Unlacquered Brass Faucet?

Brass is a mixture of zinc and copper. When coated to prevent its tarnishing, it’s referred to as lacquered brass. When left uncoated, it becomes unlacquered brass and gets exposed to elements found on air, making it evolve with time.

Its authentic patina that develops with time pleases the eyes. Combined with its ease of care and durability, it has won the hearts of most homeowners. No wonder it got used in making bars and boats in the olden days. Most items used in those places got also made with unlacquered brass.

Unlacquered brass faucet, therefore, means it’s made of uncoated brass. The sight of it comes with a certain softness that leaves you relaxed and excited. Some manufacturers may mix other things when making brass. As a result, unlacquered brass faucets change color differently and at different times.

The surroundings also affect the patina hue. Unlacquered brass faucets installed in an environment near the ocean turn green with time. Those in dusty areas will turn gray or brown. Soft and hard water also influences the faucets differently.

Your brass faucet may not have stayed long for them to start tarnishing. It, therefore, becomes hard to discover if the taps are lacquered or not.

How to Clean Your Unlacquered Brass Faucet:

You can clean the faucet in your home using a metal cleaner or ingredients found at home.

Method 1: Cleaning Using a Metal Cleaner

Items required:

  • Metal cleaner
  • A clean, soft cloth
  • Cleaning pad
  • Wax Paste

Step 1: Put Metal Cleaner in a Cleaning Pad or Soft Cloth

The market is flooded with excellent metal cleaners like Brasso, Copper Cleaning Kit, Twinkle brass, Wright’s Brass, and Blue Magic. Choose what you can access in your area and what fits your budget. They come either in liquid or powder form. Go for what suits you.

Put some on a clean piece of soft cloth or cleaning pad and scrub the faucet’s entire surface until all tarnish is gone. You have to clean the faucet with water after removing tarnish with some metal cleaners like Blue Magic. Remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions before use.

Step 2: Put Polish on the Faucet

After cleaning the faucet, apply the wax paste on its entire surface and buff it using a soft cloth. The brass faucet will attain its original brightness and shine, looking pleasing to the eyes.

Not all cleaning chemicals react well with brass. Others may harm it. Carry out a patch test on your faucets before using the cleaner.

Method 2: Cleaning Using Homemade Remedies

As illustrated earlier, you can wash your faucet using ingredients found in your kitchen or cleaning cabinet. Ketchup, salt, and lemon are excellent brass cleaning ingredients. If you can’t find any in your house, you can quickly get one in your store next door.

You can use ketchup alone or a mixture of salt and lemon. Here is the procedure;

Technique 1: Cleaning with Ketchup

Most people consider ketchup ideal for food only, but it also has other uses. Because of its mild acidity content, you can use it to remove dirt and tarnish from unlacquered brass. It makes it shine and look better. Use the following steps in cleaning the faucet using ketchup.

Items Needed;

  • Ketchup
  • A soft cloth or cleaning pad

 Step 1: Apply Ketchup

Put some ketchup on a clean piece of soft cloth or cleaning pad and use it to smear it all over the faucet. Then leave it for approximately 15 – 20 minutes to dry.

Step 2: Clean the Faucet with Water

After the sitting time has expired. Use clean water to wash out the ketchup and tarnish. Rinse until all dirt is gone. Then use a soft cloth or towel to dry all the moisture.

If you can’t access ketchup, you can use tomato juice as an alternative. Dip the faucet inside the juice for approximately 5 – 10 minutes, then rinse it with warm water.

Technique 2: Clean Using Lemon and Salt

Item Required:

  • Lemon
  • Salt
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Clean water

Lemon’s acidic nature makes it ideal for cleaning out tarnish on brass. When mixed with some salt, the results are remarkable. Here is how to carry out the procedure;

Step 1: Mix the Lemon and salt

You can mix them using either of the following two methods;

  • Cut the lemon into two. Then sprinkle some salt on it.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice in a small container or cup and add salt. Then stir until the salt dissolves to make a paste.

Step 2: Apply the Paste

Use a soft cloth to apply the lemon and salt mixture to the entire brass faucet’s surface. If you prefer sprinkling the salt on the lemon, use the lemon to rub the surface. Scrub using the raw side with salt. Then allow it to sit for around two minutes.

Step 3: Buff it With a Clean Soft Cloth

After applying the paste on the whole faucet, use a clean cloth to buff it up. When through, use clean water to rinse the entire surface. If your faucet is heavily tarnished, mix an equal quantity of lemon juice with tartar cream.

Then apply the mixture on the tap and leave it to sit for around 30 minutes. When time is up, use warm water and a soft cleaning pad to rub the cleaned area until clean. Then dry it using a clean, dry, soft cloth.

The above cleaning guides will have your unlacquered brass faucet as clean as new. All the methods are fast and straightforward. But before doing the cleaning, you should take some precautions as follows;

Precautions to Take When Cleaning Unlacquered Brass Faucet

  • Chemicals may harm your skin and other items. Always wear protective gear like gloves while using them. Cover the surfaces around the faucet to protect them from any damage from the chemicals.
  • Brass shouldn’t get cleaned with thick steel wool as it will scratch it. Use a ball of steel wool thinner than grade 00.
  • Olive oil prevents tarnishing on brass. Apply some on the faucet after cleaning.

If you take care of your unlacquered brass faucet, it wouldn’t tarnish quickly nor stay dirty. Here is how to maintain your tap for a better look and easier cleaning.

How to Care for Unlacquered Brass Faucet

  • Always cleanse it after use with a clean, soft cloth or towel.
  • Ensure you don’t allow water spots to settle on the brass faucet for long. Wipe it dry immediately
  • Use soaps with neutral pH balance to clean the uncoated brass faucets. High pH or colored soaps will harm the metal.


The unlacquered brass faucet’s changing with time look makes it appealing and improves the room’s appearance. When well taken care of, as discussed above, it also gives service for many years.

If you have installed such faucets in your home and have no idea how to clean them, the above guides will help.

Choose a cleaning method that you are comfortable doing and can afford. To avoid quick tarnishing of your uncoated faucets, maintain them as described above.

Always take safety measures while cleaning as some chemicals may harm your skin or other surfaces.

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