It’s interesting how decorating styles change, go out of fashion and reappear again. I remember when brass was out of design favor and either ignored as a viable design option or covered in various colors of spray paint. Brass is now the comeback kid.
Of course, brass knick knacks never really left the scene. (They were just taking a design break shoved in a closet somewhere or still proudly displayed on great grandma’s doily covered end table.)
A rustic bathtub or a sophisticated horse trough? (I’m beginning to wonder if it’s even brass.)
I embraced my own inner brassiness when I found this serving tray at Goodwill. It had definitely seen better days but had potential. I used it in this tarnished condition for a while until I decided to see if I could clean it. I didn’t have any brass cleaner on hand so I researched how to clean brass naturally. Apparently a paste like solution of lemon juice and salt would do the trick.
First I did a basic test to see if my tray was in fact brass and not another metal coated in a brass veneer. All I did was take a magnet and tried to see if it would stick to any part of the tray. Brass is a combination of copper and zinc so magnets will not stick to it. It confirmed that the tray was real brass.
Then I washed the tray with soap and water (rinsing well) and dried it immediately. (Brass shows watermarks like nobody’s business.)
I mixed up a paste of regular salt and lemon juice and started rubbing it on the tray with a clean rag. I actually started on the bottom first to make sure it would work before I started on the front.
I did half the tray at this point. It made a remarkable difference.
The lemon juice seemed to evaporate while I was rubbing it on the tray. I had to keep adding more juice so it wouldn’t be just wet salt. It also was very messy.
I love how it turned out. So shiny! You can see where somebody left something on the tray that corroded it in places but over all I’m very happy with it. (Would this techinique work on brass knuckles, I wonder…)(photo credits in order: lamps-pinterest (youhavebeenheresometime); knick knacks-pinterest (ourworkshop-shop); tub-pinterest (wetbehindtheears)