Brass Cleaner

diver7325

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Mar 4, 2016
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A friend of mine who restores antique guns found this Brass cleaner at a gun shop the other day. It seems to do really well on old brass. I was just wondering if anyone else has ever used it?? I just want to make sure it is safe to use on clock parts. I don't want to use it and damage anything. The picture is of an old movement that I tried it on and it really cleaned up nicely.

Any thoughts??

IMG_8453.jpg IMG_8452.jpg
 

tracerjack

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Is that a liquid or paste type brass cleaner? Liquids tend to seep into tiny crevices, which is why I only use a liquid type if I can rinse the part in water. If I can’t, I stick with a paste type.
 

diver7325

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Is that a liquid or paste type brass cleaner? Liquids tend to seep into tiny crevices, which is why I only use a liquid type if I can rinse the part in water. If I can’t, I stick with a paste type.
It is a thick liquid...but not as thick as a paste...I put it on a cloth and rubbed it on...I did not pour it on it directly.
 

Elliott Wolin

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I'm guessing, but I suspect this and similar cleaners are based on some of the following: ammonia, a very mild abrasive, any of a number of soaps, maybe some petroleum-based solvent, and maybe oleic acid. I further suspect they all are mostly the same.

It is possible some may contain some ingredient harmful to old brass, other than the ammonia, which I understand can leach out zinc if left on too long. A pro near me says he never uses ammonia-based solutions in his ultrasonic cleaner.
 
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tracerjack

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If the instructions say to rinse after polishing, like Brasso instructs, and you can rinse the part, your cleaner seems like a good product. If you don't need to rinse with this one, even better. Some parts where I don't want to separate say the brass trim ring from the ceramic dial on a 400 day, I use a brass polish that doesn't need to be rinsed, because I'd always be wondering if I really got the residue out from under the ring.
 

JimmyOz

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It say's Industrial strength on the bottle, looking at the movement with the quite deep scratches, it sure has a heavy duty cutting agent in it. I would not use it on any movement that is seen such as 400 day clocks. Better look for one or two products with a finer cutting agent, may take a little longer, however the end result is a lot better.
 

shutterbug

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The only issues I know of with ammonia is on old plates that were hammered to shape instead of the modern rolled plates. Ammonia can weaken those old plates and cause cracks.
 

tracerjack

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It say's Industrial strength on the bottle, looking at the movement with the quite deep scratches, it sure has a heavy duty cutting agent in it. I would not use it on any movement that is seen such as 400 day clocks. Better look for one or two products with a finer cutting agent, may take a little longer, however the end result is a lot better.
I didn’t take notice of the words on the bottle. I agree “industrial strength” sounds too abrasive for clock polishing.
 

Fitzclan

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I’m with Elliott on this one. Probably no more “Industrial” than something like Brasso which works quite well also. The thing is that these, while they may have some polishing qualities, are generally cleaners. They easily remove old oxidation and can even, given a little time, dissolve old compromised lacquer finishes. However, if you want a deep polished shine, a polish such as Simichrome applied and rubbed according to instructions AFTER cleaning with the above, will give you what you are probably looking for. Of course, after all that work, unless you dip in fresh lacquer, you will be back to point A in no time. Most people, self included, are not willing to go through this process on plates for a movement that is hidden in a wooden case. Definitely worth doing on crystal regulators and brass accents, dial pans, finials etc. My 2 cents.
 

wow

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I’m with Elliott on this one. Probably no more “Industrial” than something like Brasso which works quite well also. The thing is that these, while they may have some polishing qualities, are generally cleaners. They easily remove old oxidation and can even, given a little time, dissolve old compromised lacquer finishes. However, if you want a deep polished shine, a polish such as Simichrome applied and rubbed according to instructions AFTER cleaning with the above, will give you what you are probably looking for. Of course, after all that work, unless you dip in fresh lacquer, you will be back to point A in no time. Most people, self included, are not willing to go through this process on plates for a movement that is hidden in a wooden case. Definitely worth doing on crystal regulators and brass accents, dial pans, finials etc. My 2 cents.
I have used King Midas metal polish for almost 50 years. I still like it better than anything else.

304DD954-D9B2-4973-BE41-1158DEF6DCAA.png
 

JTD

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Not sure it's made anymore, the supplier in the earlier post is out of stock and no one else seems to sell it.
Which polish are you talking of? Captain Brassy or Midas? (I can't find either of them on sale).

JTD
 

shutterbug

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I really like Maas polish. No abrasives and it does a great job.
 

wow

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WOW, is this where you get it or do you buy it from some outlet? It doesn’t look like they sell direct and I can’t seem to find anyone who sells it either.
I buy it from a local specialty store but I did call the company several years ago and bought it directly from them.
 
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bangster

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It depends on how fine a polish you want. If you don't want to spend a lot of time rubbing, and don't mind the scratch marks, I suppose Col. Brassy would do. If they bother you, you'll want something less aggressive. The smoothest shine I know comes from Simichrome, but it takes some elbow grease. At the risk of being stoned, I'll say: there's nothing the matter with Brasso.
 
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Swanicyouth

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I usually use Blue Magic metal polish. I have a ton of various “polishes” for metals, car paint, wood, etc… Blue Magic is very similar to Flitz, which is very good, at a fraction of the cost. It’s also available at any auto parts store. Works good on brass via machine or hand.

I have not had great luck with liquid dip type brighteners. TarnX works pretty well but it’s probably too aggressive
 

lwalper

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Or vinegar (mild acetic acid) and a soft brush. Works great if your'e not really looking for a highly polished shine and just removing the light tarnish. The parts need to first be thorughly cleaned and oil free, but that's easily done with ammonia mixed with a little detergent and that same soft brush. Rinse well and a final dip in denatured ethanol. The parts come out free of rust, finger prints, and water spots.
 

Keith Doster

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This is beginning to look like the cereal isle at the grocery store! I never knew there were this many legit options. I guess I need to get out more.
 

demoman3955

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This is beginning to look like the cereal isle at the grocery store! I never knew there were this many legit options. I guess I need to get out more.
legit? Is that even possible? lol
 

shutterbug

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Yes, indeed, toothpaste is very good for removing small scratches from plastic.

JTD
Yep. Works on your eyeglasses too ;)
 

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