Diwali is all about new beginnings – whether it is making new purchases or giving things a new lease on life by scrubbing them clean. Everything has a fresh, new glow. Most puja accessories, including idols and lamps are made from brass and require more care and attention. Even your old school candelabras can look spanking new – read below to know how:
1. Identify brassware correctly
A simple test is to see if a magnet sticks to the item. If it does, then it’s brass-plated, which needs merely a gentle cleaning with some water and detergent to avoid damaging it.
2. Lacquered and un-lacquered items
If the item has a glossy coating, this means it is lacquered and only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth.
There are several ways in which you can clean un-lacquered items. These include:
· Cleaning liquid
The easiest way to clean your brassware is with store bought liquid and cloth.
Squeeze a dash of it on a soft, clean cloth and rub hard to remove dullness. Use another clean, damp cloth to wipe off and finish by buffing it with a soft, clean dry cloth.
· Dish soap
To remove simple dust and grime, soak it in warm water with a drop or two of mild dish soap, then clean with a soft cloth or a toothbrush for intricate areas.
· Vinegar, salt & flour paste
Combine a teaspoon of salt, half a cup of vinegar and enough flour to form a paste, which you apply to the item, leave for 10 minutes and rinse off. Wipe dry.
· Salt, vinegar & water solution
Add two tablespoons each of salt and vinegar to a cup of warm water to rinse the items, and then dry with a soft cloth.
· Pure lemon juice
Use freshly squeezed lemon juice on the items to clean them; you can also rub the cut lemons directly on the items. Rinse and wipe with a damp cloth, then buff with a dry one.
Note: If your item is an antique, polishing it might affect its sale value so avoid polishing the patina off completely for such accessories. Sometimes, old is gold, when it comes to brassware.