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Caring for brass jewelry | minusOne jewelry

Caring for Brass Jewelry

Apr 4, 2023 | jewelry materials, minusOne jewelry FAQ

Brass has been used for jewelry since the beginning of bling. As long as you understand what’s important when caring for brass jewelry, you’ll enjoy your pieces forever.

First off, what’s so good about brass jewelry?

Advantages to wearing brass jewelry

  1. Brass shows fine detail like Victorian-style engraving.
  2. Brass is durable and doesn’t break or bend easily.
  3. Brass is lightweight, so even large, statement-sized Boho earrings can be comfortable to wear all day.
  4. Brass is affordable. There’s no point in even comparing the cost of brass to the price of gold.

Although minusOne jewelry offers brass bracelet cuffs designed to be worn against the skin, brass earrings from the shop are always hung from hypoallergenic earring backs – either 14K gold fill or 925 sterling silver. Read more about minusOne jewelry’s hypoallergenic earring back options.

What is scrubbed brass?

Scrubbed brass is a natural, unfinished brass that has been buffed with steel wool, polished with radials, or tumbled with steel shot to create a flat matte but textured appearance on the metal, and to reduce the brash brightness of the brass. Unfinished brass jewelry from minusOne jewelry is scrubbed using one or more of these techniques.

5 simple tips to protect brass jewelry

Brass will darken with time and use. It can gain a patina like sterling silver, which can be considered a benefit of brass jewelry. However, it can also tarnish or oxidize. It can even turn some skin green depending on a person’s natural chemistry.

Here are five easy ways to protect your brass jewelry:

  1. Store in an air-tight container like a jewelry box or ziplock baggie.
  2. Remove jewelry before bathing or swimming.
  3. If brass becomes wet, dry it with a cloth or towel before it dries naturally.
  4. Keep hair spray and perfume away from brass. The chemicals can tarnish or stain the metal.
  5. Don’t exercise while wearing brass. The salt from sweat can cause a reaction.

A small sample polishing cloth and a small ziplock storage bag are included with all natural brass items from minusOne jewelry. Use both for care and safe-keeping.

Is brass jewelry waterproof?

Brass doesn’t respond well to water left to dry on its own. If brass becomes wet, dry it with a cloth or towel before it dries naturally. Brass jewelry can get wet without ruining it. But the best way to protect brass is to remove it before bathing or swimming.

What do I do if brass is stained or tarnished?

Don’t worry! If brass is tarnished or stained from water, just use any of the following ways to clean your brass jewelry.

How to clean brass jewelry

  1. A silver polishing cloth like the widely-recognized brand Sunshine Polishing Cloth will buff brass to a shine.
  2. A cleanser like Comet – or the natural but less well-known Bon Ami – cleans brass jewelry quickly and easily. Just add water and cleanser, clean with a paper towel or cloth, and rinse. Be sure to dry your brass jewelry completely.
  3. Steel wool can be used to scrub brass clean. Steel wool comes in a variety of grades like sandpaper. Try the finest steel wool available first. I use #0000.
  4. The old-school (aka toxic) chemical cleaner Brasso works wonders on brass. Letting brass soak in Brasso even for ten minutes will make brass shine again.
Sunshine polishing cloth before and after | minusOne jewelry

A silver polishing cloth like the widely-recognized brand Sunshine Polishing Cloth will buff brass to a shine, just like it does with silver.

What do I do if brass turns my skin green?

It may be that your body naturally produces chemicals that react with the metal. However, it also may be preventable.

This Is Why Your Skin Turns Green After Wearing Certain Jewelry

Here are steps to determine if brass jewelry is an option for you, even after it’s turned your skin green once.

  1. Wash your skin. The stain should come off with simple soap and water.
  2. Clean the jewelry piece using one or more of the above Ways to Clean your Brass Jewelry.
  3. Avoid perfume, lotion or other chemicals near the skin where the brass jewelry is worn.
  4. Avoid getting your skin wet while wearing your jewelry; for example, remove your ring when washing your hands.

Although minusOne jewelry offers brass bracelet cuffs designed to be worn against the skin, brass earrings from the shop are always hung from hypoallergenic earring backs – either 14K gold fill or 925 sterling silver.

Is brass hypoallergenic?

Brass is not considered a hypoallergenic metal. Hypoallergenic is a description used for non-reactionary metals. Metals used in the medical field and in kitchens like stainless steel are non-reactionary. Niobium is another definitively hypoallergenic metal.

Gold, gold fill, and sterling silver are also considered to be hypoallergenic. However, every person’s chemistry is different, and allergies develop in each person differently.

Read more about minusOne jewelry’s hypoallergenic earring back options.

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minusOne jewelry logo of a pink Art Deco scallop | Trumansburg NY
minusOne jewelry | Trumansburg NY

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