How to Clean Unlacquered Brass Faucet

Cleaning your unlacquered brass faucet helps you sustain that “out-of-the-box” look it leaves in every space, be it a kitchen or bathroom.

Yes, unlacquered brass faucets have top-notch qualities like high durability and bacteria resistance. However, when you leave them uncleaned, you subtly contribute to their rapid aging.

Brass being a soft metal is highly prone to all sorts of surface build-ups, which in turn causes them to tarnish. The risk is even high for unlacquered brass wares.

Unlacquered faucet patina is an issue you’ve got to learn to deal with. I know this is a big challenge for most users. Their concern is true, though. You can’t apply every metal cleaner that comes your way and expect it to age gracefully.

There are several ways to clean unlacquered brass faucets. However, all can be categorized under two categories—first, the use of metal cleaners, and second, applying household ingredients. I will explain how to use both.

How to Clean Unlacquered Brass Faucet

What is Unlacquered Brass?

To start with, brass is a metal made of copper and zinc. By and large, every piece of hardware made of brass can either be lacquered or unlacquered.

The lacquered types have an extra coat of lacquer, a purpose-made paint for preventing rapid aging on wood and metal. When without the lacquer paint, brass is called unlacquered.

How to Clean Unlacquered Brass Faucet Using Metal Cleaners?

Several cleaners work well for unlacquered brass faucets; however, I’ll be recommending Brasso and Blue magic cleaners. Both brands are well-known for their mild reaction on brass hardware surfaces.

Brasso comes in two forms: liquid and cleaning pad, while Blue magic is sold as a wax paste. Whichever one you want to use, below are the materials needed and the steps to be taken.

Materials Needed

Metal cleaner (Brasso or Blue magic), a bowl of water, and a soft cloth.

Step 1 – Damp a clean & soft cloth

Damp a clean & soft cloth

Fetch some clean water in a bowl, dip the cloth inside and squeeze to remove excess water from the material.

This would help soften the cloth further before the next step – wiping with the metal cleaner.

Step 2 – Wipe with the metal cleaner

Wipe with the metal cleaner

If you’re applying the Brasso liquid cleaner, add some drops to the damp cloth and rub gently on the faucet.

However, for Blue magic, you’ll need to polish the faucet first before applying the wax paste.

WARNING: Apply the cleaners sparingly, and don’t be hard when scrubbing.

How To Clean Unlacquered Brass Faucet Naturally

Using a chemical cleaner is not a must. If you can’t get one, here are three household materials that’d do good jobs too.

With tomato ketchup, you can clean your brass sink and unlacquered brass faucet, making them look shinier in incredible ways.

Tomatoes have a mild acidic content which can solely remove dirt and tarnish from your unlacquered brass faucet. Does this sound too good to be true, right? Well, now you know.

Using Tomato Ketchup

Using Tomato Ketchup

Step 1 – Rub some tomatoes on the faucet

Apply tomato ketchup to the surface of the unlacquered brass faucet.

Allow it to stay for about 15 or 20 minutes before proceeding to the next step – cleaning and drying.

Step 2 – Clean and leave to dry

Once the 20 minutes is over, rinse the faucet with water and dry it with a soft cloth.

If you don’t have tomato ketchup at your disposal, you can also make use of tomato juice. Here’s how to prepare tomato juice in less than three minutes.

Get some tomato fruits into a juice extractor, put it on and collect the juice in a bowl.

This time, you’ll leave your faucet in the juice for about 10 or 15 minutes, rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Using Lemon and Salt

Using Lemon and Salt

Lemon and salt, when properly used, also can help you get your faucet shining again. The real game-changer here is the mild acidic content of lemon.

Trust me, if the tarnishing is not that intense, a single scrub of the mix will fix things up completely. Follow these steps to use lemon and salt on your unlacquered brass faucet:

Step 1 – Mix lemon juice and salt

Squeeze out some lemon juice and add some salt to it. Alternatively, you can cut the lemon in half and sprinkle salt on it.

You must ensure you add enough salt before the application, which is the next stage.

Step 2 – Apply on the unlacquered brass surface

Pick the mixture, apply it to the faucet surface, and leave for a couple of minutes. The mixture needs a little time to dissolve the stains, so don’t rinse away immediately.

Step 3 – Rinse and dry

Finally, rinse with clean water and wipe with a soft cloth. For both household ingredients, it is good that you follow up with a metal polish. That’s something you can easily get to but in a local hardware shop or order online.

For me, I will recommend Flitz or Maas. The two products are German-made and have given outstanding results over the years. They are pretty good!

If it takes some time before you can get a polish, you can make use of dental cream or any whitening toothpaste you have at your disposal. Their abrasive content is enough to brighten up your faucet without leaving any scratch on it.

To clean unlacquered brass faucets, remember to only scrub gently.

Unlacquered Brass Faucet Patina Care

Unlacquered Brass Faucet Patina Care

Do you know what patina is, to start with? Well, it is that colored layer of corrosion you see on brass faucets. You can also find patina on copper sinks.

That said, unlacquered brass faucets are expected to tarnish more quickly than lacquered types.

However, if you prefer your faucets unlacquered, you can still extend their lifespan if you care well for them. Cleaning an unlacquered brass faucet is straightforward. Let’s take a peek at how.

First of all, know this: you can’t use any chemical cleaner on your unlacquered brass faucet.

Make it a routine to clean it daily. A gentle wipe using a soft cloth will suffice. Get some clean water in a bowl, sparingly add some dish soap, and dip the soft fabric inside. Squeeze the cloth to remove excess soapy water and wipe upward.

Please note that rubbing with hard fabrics can hasten the tarnishing of your faucet. Also, be gentle with rubbing as much as you can.

Afterward, apply some polish. It would help if you polished your unlacquered brass faucet once in a while. And if you can do it daily, all is well and good.

But here’s a warning: if you’re not sure of which type to buy, inform the seller what material you want to polish with it. A wrong selection could backfire in a big way.

After cleaning with either soapy water or polish, it is good to apply. Finally, you can apply some oil to the surface using the same soft cloth.

Lacquered Brass vs Unlacquered Brass

Lacquered Brass vs Unlacquered Brass

Both lacquered and unlacquered hardware leave a good sense of elegance everywhere they are used. However, they are not exactly the same. Here are the five major differences between them.

Surface coating

This property is probably the biggest difference between them. Lacquered brass has an additional surface coating of lacquer paint that helps it resist corrosion and tarnishing better. Unlacquered, on the other hand, does not.

Color change

Unlacquered brass tarnishes with time. However, because of the extra finish on lacquered brass, you can enjoy its elegance for a longer duration without worrying about any form of color change.

Anti-bacterial resistance

Unlacquered brass has a natural resistance against bacteria. Lacquered brass does not.


Only unlacquered brass can be polished. The best you can do for lacquered brass is to clean with a soft cloth.


Lastly, the prices aren’t the same. In malls, brass hardware that is unlacquered will be more expensive than similar hardware that is lacquered.


Unlacquered brass faucets are such a phenomenal piece for every space – residential and industrial alike. As you already know, you cannot stop patina from building up on your unlacquered brass faucet.

After cleaning, air oxidation and hand touch would bring more stains. So, you’ve just got to be on edge with the cleaning. You could either use gentle metal cleaner or a combination of some household ingredients.

I have exhaustively explained how to apply lemon and salt, and tomato ketchup. These are materials you can lay your hands on any time, any day.

Please remember that it is good to polish unlacquered faucets to remove the patina. Mind you, you must be careful to use the right polish.

Lisa Burks

This is Lisa Burks, the Author. I provide free informative sink and faucet guides. I hope you love your time here.

Recently Published