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topic 6384

Removal of oxidation specs from brass


I am trying to remove oxidation (greenish specs) or tarnish from old brass andirons. I am killing myself with the usual products and I am ready to dump them in the trash. where can I buy what I need, and what do I need? I am just a homeowner trying to clean this up.

thanks so much

Linda Klingensmith
- Chantilly, Virginia USA


Haven't the faintest idea what an andiron is; however, I know a little about material finishes. Quick and dirt answer is to get some liquid brass clean from a gun reloaders shop and soak. This should work unless there is an etched effect, then you will have to consider mechanical abrasive methods.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
Nova Finishing Systems Inc.
Hatboro, Pennsylvania


Andirons are the log holders in open fireplaces.

Linda, you can try the brass cleaner that Mr. Kenton suggests, but a consumer cannot buy truly aggressive brightening agents because they can only be safely used in an industrial environment with chemically protected floors, double containment vats, exhaust ventilation systems with fume scrubbing equipment, material handling equipment that allows proper rinsing before anything drips, and so on.

You can also dry to clean them with sandpaper, followed by buffing with a hand held electric drill, or find a local plating shop that can chemically dip them for you.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


I just bought an old used brass andiron set that is tarnished and has some rust spots. Any ideas on how I can clean it? Not sure if there are special requirements because it will be exposed to heat and flames. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Not sure if the items are lacquered or not. I bought it at an antique store and all they could tell me is that it was old.

Thank you

Susan Hartwell
homeowner - Billings, MT, USA

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