Authoritative Answers, Fun, & Aloha -- no cost, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub     mobile?
Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


Brass Candle sticks re-tarnish after polishing

Q. I have several brass candle sticks from 9" to 40" tall. I polish with Brasso [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] and in no time at all they are tarnished again. What can I do or use to make the finish permanent? Taking them to a professional finisher is out of the question as their fees are so high and even more than I paid for the candle sticks when they were new.

Ken Z [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Chula Vista, California, USA

Brass Lacquers
on eBay or


(affil links)

A. Hi Ken.

Yes, one of the downsides of mass production is that it is indeed often cheaper to buy new than to have something refinished. Professional finishers have to charge as much for their time as plumbers and auto mechanics.

But what you may want to use to protect the finish yourself is simply a spray can of brass lacquer.

Best of luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
February 2012

Remove red candle wax stains on brass candleholders

Q. I have brass candlesticks stained from red candle wax. The wax was easily removed of course, but I'm left with these very unattractive red stains. Any suggestions on how to remove them?

Sara Davis
- Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Q. I have a proud brass stag which I want to illuminate for the yule season. Last year, I burned regular votive candles w/o any protection. ANYWAY ... Wax is dripped over my stags back and I want it removed. Any HELP? Typo.

Cathy Lee
- Beloit, Ohio

Q. Did anyone try Mothers' polish?
I have the same red unattractive stains. I took off the wax with hot water. Now the brass candlesticks have red stains pretty much all over. Any ideas? Did the Mothers' polish work? Thanks. ASAP please: holidays ahoy!

alex gross
- sherman oaks, California usa
November 3, 2012

A. Hi. It's best to put the item in the freezer for a half hour before chipping off the wax, as it comes off easily and more completely. Then put it under hot water and wipe off whatever remains with paper towels. Then wash with warm water and soap.

If you can't get the red stains out of deep pores, there is always "Aircraft stripper".

-- this is methylene chloride which won't hurt metal but will hurt humans. It's very toxic; so do it outside, upwind, wearing goggles and gloves. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
March 2014

Brasso never stops turning tissue black

Q. I used Brasso [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] on a brass candle holder and each time I use a clean kleenex and put some Brasso on it and then wipe hard. The kleenex is black after awhile and I get a new kleenex and apply more Brasso. I can repeat this over and over again... When does the kleenex not get black? I feel that I can never come to the end.

Lonny Dagostini
n/a - Edmonton, AB, Canada

A. You should be trying to get the candle holder looking good, Lonny, and stop when it does. Brasso has chemicals that will react with brass, and you should not be unhappy that it continues doing so indefinitely. Good luck.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. The black you have on your kleenex is oxidized brass, it's supposed to look like that. You're never going to get it to remain the same color, and generally Brasso gets that color even when it's used on clean surfaces.

Marc Banks
Blacksmith - Shawboro, North Carolina


We have a product called 'MIRACLE CLOTH" which is impregnated with oils and wax which quickly removes the tarnish while depositing a light film of these to retard oxygen from causing the tarnish. Our reusable cloth will replace a quart of any of the popular metal polishes. Contact us for more info.

Barry Feinman
Barry Feinman
supporting advertiser
Carlsbad, California

How to protect brass candleholder

Q. Hello. I am interested in purchasing a free-standing brass candleholder, but was told by the seller that it is unlacquered as hot wax tends to remove the lacquer of the brass anyway. Would a clearcoat or other commercial style finish protect the brass adequately so I would not have to constantly polish it? Also, is there a difference in brass quality depending on the country of origin?

Thanks so much.

Kathy Nolton
hobbyist - Seattle, Washington
March 2, 2014

2K Clearcoat

(affil links)

March 2014

Hi Kathy. One of the advantages of brass lacquer is that it is easily removed with or lacquer thinner [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] for periodic replacement. But there are a good number of clearcoats available, from simple wipe-ons like Everbrite [a supporting advertiser], to two-component automotive clearcoats. Best of luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"