How To Clean Vintage Brass Buttons

Know how to clean vintage brass buttons to make them shine like new. Brass buttons are beautiful when they are clean and shiny. Many vintage brass buttons were worn on military clothing and other garments like jackets and shirts. Some contain intricate designs and these cracks and crevices can get dirty. To get dirty vintage brass buttons back to their original luster, use the following tricks.

To clean vintage brass buttons, you will need:

  • Warm water
  • Cloth
  • Old toothbrush
  • Glass or ceramic bowl
  • Lemon juice or vinegar
  • Salt
  • Brass cleaner
  1. Make sure the vintage brass buttons are all one piece. Examine each button carefully. If any of the brass buttons have two pieces, a top and a bottom that contains the shank, set these aside. You will need to take care while cleaning these because water can get inside the buttons.
  2. Wipe off the brass buttons. Use a clean cloth dampened with warm warm. Gently scrub the buttons to remove surface oil and dirt.
  3. Make a paste to deep clean the buttons. Mix a paste in a small glass or ceramic bowl using lemon juice or vinegar and salt. The lemon juice and vinegar are both acidic and make great brass cleaners. The salt is abrasive.
  4. Apply the paste to the vintage brass buttons. Apply the paste to the buttons, and let it sit for several minutes. For the vintage brass buttons that have two pieces as mentioned earlier, hold each button so the paste does not drip.
  5. Scrub the buttons. Use an old toothbrush and gently scrub the brass buttons to remove set in dirt. The toothbrush will get into the crevices.
  6. Use brass cleaner. If you'd rather buy a good brass commercial cleaner, use it according to directions to shine up the vintage brass buttons.
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