vintage brass bookend on white tea towel next to glass apple shaped bowl containing white paste and teaspoon, sitting on a wooden coffee table

How to Clean Brass Thrift Shop Finds For Your Cottagecore Home- DIY Recipe

Do you love vintage pieces that add a touch of nostalgia to your space?

I don't know about you, but our house is full of old, vintage and sometimes antique décor items that have been passed down or acquired over the years. These pieces hold memories and value that mass produced items can never have. In fact I didn't even realise that our home was #cottagecore until I stumbled upon the term on Instagram one day. Our home has just always been cottagecore.


Personally, I do not like to use the harsh chemical cleaners from the stores if I can find a way using basic cupboard ingredients to make a cleaner from scratch. In our little cottage, we prefer to use natural where possible. When I recently came across this gorgeous little brass sailing ship for Cygnet Studio's Coastal Cottagecore Collection, I couldn't pass it up. However it did need a little bit of a clean! It is old. Very Old.

vintage cast brass ship bookend on wooden coffee table

 Firstly, in order to clean your brass you need 3 simple ingredients. White vinegar, flour and salt.

bottle of white vinegar behind a plate containing small piles salt and flour, decorated with fruit

Next step is to measure out the ingredients and mix to a paste.

hand holding a teaspoon mixing a paste in a glass bowl shaped like an apple, next to a plate decorated with fruit

Now apply paste to the brass object. I choose to use an old toothbrush for this, however you could also apply it with a rag. 

hand applying paste to a vintage tarnished brass ship bookend

Next step is to let it sit for about 5 minutes.

vintage brass ship covered in white paste sitting on a tea towel next to a glass apple shaped bowl filled with white paste and a teaspoon on a wooden coffee table 

After 5 minutes, wash the paste off under cold running water and dry. Repeat the process if you need to.

hand holding vintage brass ship under running water in a stainless steel sink

Once you have the desired cleanliness, you can choose to polish your ornament with brasso if you desire, or leave it as is!!

cast brass sailing  ship bookend leaning on decoupaged block on white table


 As you can see, it has come up much better than before, however it will need to be cleaned slightly more, depending on whether you want the piece to be super shiny or have a slight patina. Remembering that this piece is very old and has not been cared for for years, I think this recipe works rather well! and it also saves a bit of elbow grease!! 

If you have any great DIY cleaning recipes to share, leave a comment below!




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