Recently, it has become easy to purchase brass tableware, cutlery, accessories, etc. through mail order, and brass products have become more familiar.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc with a zinc content of 20% or more. Although it is a metal with an excellent balance of flexibility and strength, if it is exposed to air or left with moisture, it will develop rust such as darkening and patina.
Darkening occurs when copper oxidizes and the surface changes to a blackish color due to an oxide film. This film covers the surface and brings softness and expression to the shine of brass, so many people enjoy it as it changes over time and tastes.
Patina, a type of rust, occurs when copper reacts with salt and moisture and oxidizes. Accessories in particular are said to be more likely to develop a patina because they are in contact with the skin for a long time and come into direct contact with moisture and salt from sweat.
The speed at which darkening and patina occur and change depends on how the brass is handled. By knowing how to care for and deal with brass, you will be able to continue using it for a long time while enjoying the changes in brass.
Use detergent made specifically for brass
Clean and polish using a detergent specifically designed for brass and copper. Special detergents are available at home centers and online stores, and are very convenient as they can remove dirt with just a light polish.
use baking soda
Baking soda is widely used in eco-friendly detergents and sweets, but it is also effective for darkening metal. The official name of baking soda is "sodium bicarbonate," and it is also called "bicarbonate" or "baking soda," and is also included in hot spring ingredients.
Baking soda has been used for cleaning since before detergents were as popular as they are today, and it is environmentally friendly because it does not contain surfactants. Baking soda, which is currently used for various cleaning purposes such as removing stains, removing dirt from pores, and removing mold, can also be used to remove stains from brass.
How to use baking soda
First, mix baking soda and water in a ratio of 2:1 to make a paste, and use your fingers or a cloth to polish it. As you polish, the white paste will gradually turn gray, and the dirt will come off. You can see it by looking at it.
In addition, we recommend using a cotton swab or toothbrush to remove dark spots or other areas that are difficult to clean with a cloth. When polishing, please be gentle to avoid scratching the surface.
If you don't have baking soda at home, you can also use vinegar to remove stains.
It's easy to use, just put ordinary edible vinegar in a container so that the entire brass item is submerged and leave it for about 3 minutes. When the time is up, take it out, thoroughly clean it with water, and wipe it dry with a soft cloth.
Can be substituted with citric acid or lemon
If you are concerned about the smell of vinegar, you can use citric acid or lemon juice to get rid of the smell.
Citric acid is a weakly acidic powder made from sweet potato starch powder, and like baking soda, it is widely used as an eco-friendly detergent. Since it is weakly acidic, it is effective against alkaline stains, making it ideal for cleaning brass.
To use, add 1 teaspoon of citric acid to 100ml of water, dissolve, and then polish in the same way as vinegar.
If you are concerned about stains, add the same amount of baking soda as citric acid and mix together. Carbon dioxide bubbles will be generated due to the neutralization reaction, which will lift the stains, so it is recommended for cases where dark stains are thick.
The cause of darkening and patina on brass is oxidation that occurs when the copper contained in brass is exposed to air or left with moisture.
There are special detergents available for cleaning brass, but you can also use baking soda, vinegar, or citric acid instead. These products do not contain surfactants, so they are kind to the environment and people, and can be used for tableware. After cleaning, we recommend that you wipe off any moisture and store it in a place with low humidity.
At Konohino Dogu Shop, we produce stylish and practical brass plates and cutlery that complement your dishes. The pieces created by cutlery artist Hiro Kashihara have a shabby chic finish with a unique surface treatment, and are attractive with a classical and elegant shine.
Brass changes little by little as it is used every day, and its texture becomes more unique the more you use it.
You can view the works of Konohino Dogu Store, created with the concept of ``cultivating cutlery'', on the website.