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Cleaning Brass with KoolAid!

Today on the Happy Garden list, one of our list members, Nanette, mentioned a way to polish brass she learned from her husband. After she had been working on some brass handles for a while here husband told her a tip he'd learned in the Navy. Soak them in KoolAid. She tried it and it worked like a charm.


I just finished cleaning a very large brass candlestick (5 feet tall) that unscrews into sections. I soaked the pieces in the kitchen sink with 4 packages of KoolAid for two hours (I'd imagine you could use 1 package for smaller items, but this was a lot of brass). It saved me a lot of rubbing, polishing, and brass polish. The only drawback I can find is that it turned my hands red (stained by the dye) so it would be best to wear rubber gloves. Also, wash the pieces with soap and water before soaking so they will be free of dirt and grease. For stubborn spots, use a little very fine 00 steel wool.

It is supposed to work on silver also. I haven't had time to test it though.


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June 13, 20010 found this helpful

I'm interested in the brass cleaning procedure using Koolaid. Is the Koolaid prepared accordingb to package directions? - Duane

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June 13, 20010 found this helpful

I bet if you use Koolade Lemonade your hands wouldn't get stained.I have to try this, just for the fun factor. - Linne Dodds

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June 13, 20010 found this helpful

I used the KoolAid straight from the package. It was the old style kind. The kind which you need to add sugar to drink. I doubt if the sugar would add or detract to the process except to make it much stickier. I'd leave the sugar out and just pour the KoolAid powder into the water. About 1 pkg. per gallon of water would work.


Yes, it would be best to pick a color that won't stain so badly. My hands have come clean by this morning and are no longer red. I wanted to try it and red colors were the only ones I had on hand.

I've used other things and there is usually a smell associated with cleaning brass, even with natural products. I didn't notice the smell using KoolAid, it just smelled fruity. - Susan

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By Marlene Partridge (Guest Post)
May 31, 20060 found this helpful

I going to try it! I have some huge brass candleholders that probably came from a church and I've tried everything else.

Thanks for the hint!

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By Don (Guest Post)
July 9, 20070 found this helpful

That little trick for cleaning metals has been around for a long time, courtesy of the US Navy

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