Cleaning An Antique Brass Bed


An antique brass bed at some time or other will start to appear somewhat grubby and tarnished. This is inevitable over time, due to contact with the body’s skin and sweat.

In this post I’ll share some ideas on how to restore you bed to it’s old glory and get it looking great once again. Before we start, you need to know that some methods for polishing brass can be harmful, therefore be sure you take the appropriate safeguards to guard yourself, with a mask and rubber gloves.

Some brass beds are solid brass and some are simply brass plated so before we start lets find out therefore what you have and make sure you really know what you are dealing with.

The primary reason people do this is because brass plated beds should not be cleaned with abrasive products. You don’t want to take the chance that you might damage or rub the brass plating off. If your bed is brass plated then we’ll have to a much more milder remedy.


What is Brass ?
“Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc ; the proportions of zinc and copper can be After extensive antimicrobial testing according to the


Tarnished Brass BedThe simplest way is to test the brass is by making use of a magnet. If it is attracted to the brass parts of the bed then you know that it really is plated, since brass doesn’t have any magnetic characteristics.

However the trouble with this technique is when the magnet doesn’t stick. This is not really a hundred percent fool proof test which will guarantee that your bed is brass, it’ll only tell you that there is also iron.

There are also other metal alloys which look like brass. A far more conclusive test requires you to scratch the bed where it won’t be seen, for example on the inside of a leg. If the metal under the scratch is still brass after that, then it really is a solid brass bed, but if not you’ve got a plated brass bed.


Warning: This method below requires white vinegar which may tarnish brass if it isn’t applied correctly.


  1. Put on rubber gloves to prevent getting fingerprints on the brass while cleaning.
  2. Mix about 5 table spoons of salt plus a cup of flour together. Add white vinegar (cheap household vinegar) and make it into a paste. Then fill warm, soapy water into a bucket.
  3. Use a cloth or brush to apply the paste working it well into the brass. Let the paste dry, perhaps over night then, using clean warm water and a new clean cloth clean off the dried paste.
  4. Finally using a little brass polish and a new dry clean cloth buff your brass bed up to a glorious shine. Apply the polish to the cloth and start at a corner and work over the whole bed. Frequently change your cloth to make sure you always have a clean one other wise you could transfer tarnish to other areas of the bed.


The easiest method to dry off the intricate parts off is with a swift wipe using a dry cloth after which use a hair dryer.

Some brass will tarnish the instant it becomes directly into exposed to vinegar therefore in the event that this might be the situation you will need to buy some tarnish eliminator from your local hardware or furniture store to remove any staining to your brass bed. Brasso works just fine for this.