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Unlacquered Brass Care Guide

March 30, 2023

Care Guide

What is Unlacquered Brass?

Unlacquered brass is a type of metal that has not been coated with lacquer or varnish. It can be used for many applications, including plumbing fixtures and hardware. Unlacquered brass has a golden color that will tarnish over time and require regular polishing to maintain its luster.

Cleaning Unlacquered Brass

Cleaning products:

To clean unlacquered brass, you can use a soft cloth or a dampened sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners like steel wool or scouring pads, as they may scratch the surface of your fixture.

Cleaning techniques:

If you’re cleaning a large piece of unlacquered brass (such as an entire bathroom faucet), start by removing any debris from its surface with a soft brush or cloth. Then apply a small amount of mild metal soap and water to the cloth or sponge, and wipe away any loose dirt before drying off excess moisture with another clean towel or rag–this will prevent water spots from forming on your fixture when it dries.

Polishing Unlacquered Brass

If you’re looking to polish unlacquered brass, there are many products available on the market that will help you achieve your desired results. You can use metal polish or metal cleaner, but we recommend using a combination of both. The metal cleaner (we like Bar Keeper’s Friend) will remove any grime or dirt from your fixture while the polish gives it an extra shine. We recommend using an old toothbrush and applying small amounts of each product directly onto the surface of your fixture. Then gently rub until all visible signs of tarnish disappear (you may need more than one application). Once finished with this step, wipe off any excess residue with a lint-free cloth.

If you’d prefer to use an all natural product for cleaning brass, you may have luck with lemon juice or ketchup although these methods require a lot more elbow grease.

Protection for Unlacquered Brass

There are several ways to protect unlacquered brass. You can use a product like Renaissance Wax, which will provide a matte finish and protect against tarnish. This is the most common method of protecting unlacquered brass fixtures because it’s relatively easy to apply and remove, but there are other options as well.

A second option is to use oil-based products like mineral oil or olive oil. These have less shine than Renaissance Wax and may not be ideal for all fixtures, but they’ll still help prevent tarnish from forming on your fixture over time. Finally, you can use waxes made specifically for unlacquered brass that provide an even more durable layer of protection than regular polishes or oils do.


The information in this article is meant to be a helpful guide for the care of unlacquered brass fixtures. It’s important to keep in mind that you should always check with your fixtures’ manufacturers for the products or methods they recommend. Ultimately, the level of maintenance your brass fixtures require will be based on how much patina you like to see/live with.

Not sure what finishes would be best in your home? We’re here to help.

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