Brass dulls easily, and brass should shine. The following formulas, in the book "Natural Cleaning for Your home" by Casey Kellar will help bring back the life in your brass, says an environmental Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, IL.
Brass Polish for Solid Brass: 1/2 cup ammonia: 1/4 cup water.
Combine the liquids, then dip your brass in the solution. Rise with water and dry thoroughly. If you're not sure whether the piece is solid brass, do not use this recipe since it may be too harsh for a brass-coated item. Shelf life is up to 6 months.
Polish for Brass-Coated Items: 1/2 cup liquid castile soap: 1/4 cup white vinegar: 1/4 cup liquid whiting
Follow the mixing and cleaning directions in the Solid Brass cleaning recipe. Shelf life is approximately 3-4 weeks.
Pewter needs special handling. The liquid whiting and the alcohol in the recipe below will clean and clarify the pewter, while the ashes will help make your pewter shine.
Pewter Polish: 1/8 cup whiting: 2 tablespoons ethyl alcohol: Enough fine wood ashes to make a paste, approximately 1/4 cup
Mix together to make paste. Rub the paste onto your pewter with a soft cloth. Rinse and buff dry with clean, dry cloth. Discard any remaining paste by diluting it with running water and letting it go down the drain. The alcohol and the whiting are water soluble. The ashes won't cause drain problems as long as they were fine.
Ivory family treasures should also be cleaned periodically.
Ivory Polish: 1/4 cup of plain yogurt: 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix the yogurt and lemon juice together. Rub the mixture onto the ivory, let it sit for 1-2 minutes, then rinse off. No shelf life.
Ivory Cleaner: Peroxide: Water
Mix the peroxide and water together in equal amounts. Rinse well, then follow with the Ivory Polish.
When your Brass, Pewter, and Ivory pieces are cleaned and polished, says an environmental Residential Cleaning Service in Evanston, Il., they are a joy to behold