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    • April 17, 2020 10:11 AM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Brass cleaner

      The question comes up from time to time on how to clean tarnished brass. While rebuilding my Tyco 10 wheelers, I need to clean up the brass domes on these things, so I thought I would show you how I have been cleaning the tarnish off of those brass domes.

       

       

      The United States Navy used to polish the brass fittings, railings and such on their ships with an effective polish, so I got some some and put a thin layer of it on the brass dome

       

       

      After letting it sit for half an hour, I rubbed the stuff off with a napkin.

       

       

      I know, napkins are for drawing plans on, so forgive me for using one to polish up brass.

       

      This super secret brass cleaner? Its common household Ketchup (catsup).

       

      It seams the vinegar and salt in the Ketchup will remove tarnish from brass. And the best part, for me, is that its cheep. In fact, it is even free at most fast food restaurants. I like free.

      This post was edited by David Maynard at April 20, 2020 10:26 PM EDT
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      Shannon car Shops
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    • April 17, 2020 1:30 PM EDT
      • Holt, MO
         
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      Back in my Coast Guard days, we used a product call "Never Dull".  Easy to use and worked great. 

    • April 17, 2020 2:07 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      After a landlord saw my freshly polished copper and brass spittoon, he offered a suggestion. Seems he owned a set of Knights Armour, use clear shoe paste wax to prevent tarnishing. I used Brasso to clean it.

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 17, 2020 5:58 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Peter, I used Never Dull in the past. But it left my hands all greasy, and it took more rubbing then I thought should be necessary. Ketchup will do most of the work for me (I am lazy), if I let it sit for 30 minutes or so.

       

      John, I have Brasso, and it too requires too much effort on my part. You see, since I had Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, my hands cramp pretty quickly when I am polishing by hand. I put up with the cramps at work, I am getting paid to do the job, but at home I look for easier ways.

       

      Clear shoe paste wax? Now that is a good idea, I will have to "borrow" that one.

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    • April 18, 2020 10:08 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      I've used Flitz in the past and it works wellflitz

    • April 18, 2020 1:00 PM EDT
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      Flitz is recommended on many websites for cleaning/polishing HO nickle silver track. I haven't tried the stuff.

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    • April 19, 2020 8:16 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      I think it would leave a lot of residue.  I'd just use a "Bright Boy".

      This post was edited by Ric Golding at April 19, 2020 8:17 AM EDT
    • April 20, 2020 7:40 AM EDT
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      Ric Golding said:

      I think it would leave a lot of residue.  I'd just use a "Bright Boy".

      I do. I have lost a few at the shows, and I have one that looks like its almost ready to be discarded. For some reason its been my job to clean the rails on the clubs' set ups at the shows.

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    • April 20, 2020 11:05 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Flitz works great but has to be washed off, I second what Ric uses polishes and cleans, PS if using a chemical cleaner such as vinegar or acid type it will turn the brass a pinkish color as it dissolves the zinc out of the brass and leaves the copper, Bill

    • April 20, 2020 11:28 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Bright Boys scratch. an abrasive impregnated rubber.

      Polish is another step.

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 20, 2020 1:45 PM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Yep, but everything scratches even polishing compound, it's the size of the scratch that matters

       

    • April 20, 2020 9:25 PM EDT
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      Bill, maybe if I soaked the brass in Katsup for a long time, that would be true. But I haven't seen the brass turn a copper colour the way I use it.

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    • April 20, 2020 10:41 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Bill Barnwell said:

      Yep, but everything scratches even polishing compound, it's the size of the scratch that matters

       

      Yup, so why not go finer?

      Eve Square Edge Pumice Wheels 22 x 3mm High Luster Polishing Wheel ...

      High luster polish wheels....

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 21, 2020 8:25 AM EDT
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      John, why not? Um, I just want to clean track on the clubs' set up, so I just use the brite boy. I don't need to go for a mirror finish on the rails. And I just want to de-tarnish the brass parts on my locomotives, so I use ketchup. Both are the easier and less expensive option for me.

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    • April 21, 2020 9:30 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      At the time nobody was talking track and as a battery guy I never think of track cleaning ....

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 21, 2020 10:24 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      How about a bigger "Bright Boy"  that would be easier to hold.  On the large scale stuff, the LGB track cleaning pad works great!  Get one of those and cut it in half.

    • April 21, 2020 6:59 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      John, I wasn't initially talking about track. And HO track that the clubs use is nickle silver.

       

      Rick, I clean my gauge one track with a drywall sander pole, with a rag on it dampened with water and a touch of Dawn dish soap. My gauge one track is stainless steel. I don't think an LGB pad would be easy to use on HO track.

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    • April 21, 2020 8:24 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      David Maynard said:

      John, I wasn't initially talking about track. And HO track that the clubs use is nickle silver.

       

      -snip-

      Nobody was, you had a chemical cleaner, catsup. 

      Somebody suggested the Bright boy.

      I objected to scratches to remove oxidation.

      Captain Obvious said everything scratches ...but

      Those blue silicone pumice wheels polish without scratching ....

      Just a suggestion, then you mentioned aches and pains ... I quit.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • April 22, 2020 8:13 AM EDT
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      Sorry John. I wasn't trying to make anyone quit. I didn't intend to frustrate anyone. I was just trying to offer a useful trick that I use. But you know, thread drift, and other factors, sometimes make me regret trying.

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      Shannon car Shops
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    • April 22, 2020 9:59 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      John Caughey said:
      Bill Barnwell said:

      Yep, but everything scratches even polishing compound, it's the size of the scratch that matters

       

      Yup, so why not go finer?

      That is the trick

      Eve Square Edge Pumice Wheels 22 x 3mm High Luster Polishing Wheel ...

      High luster polish wheels....

       

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