BADA is the leading trade association for the fine art, design and antiques community. Read our guide to caring for antique brass and antique copper.
Cleaning antique brass and copper
To keep antique brass and copper items in best condition it is a good idea to hand polish your pieces regularly with a proprietary brand of brass and copper polish.
Make sure to always use soft materials for polishing. BADA recommends cotton wool to apply polish and a soft yellow duster to remove.
Traditional household solutions, such as baking soda or lemon juice, are harsh abrasives. They will damage your item's patina and should be avoided at all costs.
Never immerse your antique brass or copper items in water. Water can seap into flaws in your object's solder which can cause corrosion.
When cleaning items it is wise to avoid abrasive products such as emery cloth or wire wool.
These products can be extremely harmful to fine metal surfaces.
The damage caused may can render a piece virtually worthless.
Heavily tarnished or damaged objects require the attention of a professional craftsman.
A BADA member who specialises in brass or copper will be happy to recommend a suitable tradesman.
Applying a lacquer coating to your items is harmless and can help preserve your object's shine.
This is a personal choice and is more suitable for some items than others.
Always seek professional guidance before undertaking lacquer coating.
Copper cooking utensils
It can be hazardous to prepare food and drink with antique copper cooking ware.
If you are planning to cook with antique copper ware, always ensure your utensils have a perfect tin lining.
For peace of mind, London based specialists Leon Jaeggi and Sons offer a professional tin lining service.
It is a good idea to clean copper cooking utensils as soon as possible after use.
This is most important when cooking with corrosive items such as salt, fruit juices or onions.