Super Secret Trick for Cleaning Brass and Copper – Jewelry Tutorial HQ

Super Secret Trick for Cleaning Brass and Copper – Jewelry Tutorial HQ

Hey everyone! I’m Jessica from
and Bespangled Beads on Etsy. I have a neat trick for you today – I’m going
to show you a way to clean copper and brass without using any harsh chemicals or without
a lot of scrubbing. Now what I’m going to be demonstrating this
technique on today is some old bullet shells. I like to use these for making pendants like
the one that I’m wearing and I actually have another video where I show you how to make
this very same pendant if you want to check that out. But anyway, that is why I am cleaning up these
old nasty bullet shells. The coolest part about this trick is that
what you need is probably something that you already have in your fridge. We’re just going to be using some regular
old tomato ketchup! Now I learned this trick when I was a kid
because I used to clean my pennies for fun (Judge if you want!) Anyway, so you want to make sure you start
with a plastic or glass container. I’m just using an old tupperware container, and go
ahead and just put your items in the container. And it’s ok to mix copper and brass and clean
them at the same time, that’s no problem. We’re just going to squirt out a layer of
ketchup just enough to cover whatever’s in there. And if you want you can add a splash of water
just to make the ketchup a little easier to settle over everything that’s in there and
make it go a little further too. And then you can just swirl it around
until everything is nice and covered all over
and nothing is sticking out. And then you just have to let it sit for about
10-20 minutes – you can check on it after 10 minutes and see if it needs to stay in
longer. For extra dirty stuff sometimes I leave it
in there up to 30 minutes, but it usually doesn’t need much longer than that. So after about 20 minutes, I’m just going
to wash these off in the kitchen sink under warm water, making sure I rinse inside and
shake out the extra water. Now as you can see on this bullet, there is
a little bit of discoloration on the end, so I’m using some #0000 ultra fine (super
fine) steel wool to take care of that in a jiffy. Now after your metal is all rinsed off you
just want to make sure you dry it thoroughly and in the case of these bullets, I like to
use a Q-tip and get down in there inside so that there’s not any extra water in there
that can maybe make them rust. So just dry the inside and the outside of
whatever you have cleaned. And you should be left with some nice shiny
metal!! Thank you so much for watching! I hope you
enjoyed this video and that you might be able to use this neat trick for cleaning up some
copper or brass someday! Don’t forget to check out the video where
I show you how to make these cool bullet shell pendants and drop by and see me sometime at! See ya next time!


  1. I give a huge thanks to you Jessica! I had a few tarnished copper rounds that I had tried to clean over and over then I found you video, it worked so well!!! Thank you

  2. when I found your video I was in reference to live ammunition that has been sitting on the shelf for a while and has tarnish in pits this is live ammo with copper jacketed bullets and the brass of course is brass that holds the gunpowder I would not want to submerge this and catch up and water all the ammunition is 100% waterproof I choose not to take a risk because it is for a hunt of a lifetime at any rate do you have anything a little more user-friendly? sincerely, Dave

  3. Hi, Thank you for the tutorial!! I just tried it on my copper necklace, and it worked really well on the most part, but there is some part that turned red-ish, and I cant get rid of that. Do you know why is that and what to do? Thank you!!!

  4. Nice!But this is the question:I have a small(about 10inches high)table top water fountain and is brass.This is going to take a lot of ketchup.Can I use tomatoe juice instead?Thank You

  5. can you use vinegar as a substitute? I ask because I know ketchup is mostly vinegar. Does ketchup have other helpful cleaning "chemicals" that will do a better job?

  6. Does this work for old pennies? I have real old ones that I want to look back to proof condition if that's possible.

  7. Thank you so much for making this it worked a treat I used it to clean some of my pennies from my coin collection!😄

  8. My friends take hours to polish their brass and this technique took less than 15 mins and is just as effective

  9. iam not judging my mother taught me the same thing when i found a coin at school and brouth it home and it cleaned it

  10. i count my pennies too and try to clean them too but this just saved my back and neck by trying to read the date

  11. Love to have you come by our Old Marines Gun n Brass cleaning Camp …….You R a Very Improvise , Adapt , Overcome Lady , and Bet Your Dad is one helluva guy …..S/Fi …….Bubba ( Mustang O-5 67-88 Retired ) …….RVN 69-71 . p.s. I am proud of you n your simplicity .

  12. Sorry ……it's for my Marine Corps duty buckles as I do Not throw them away , and save them all , but the NEVR-DULL Does Not work as well as your simple method because I have tried white vinegar saly flour paste to a Non Shine to a D.I. for a young boot would have to impress in 2nd phase on that sandbar in S.C. ……..Thanx Again Kiddo !

  13. very interesting..will keep this in mind.was looking for something to clean the brass on my 1866 rifle.I am not ready to cover it in ketchup but will try some other things..thanks!

  14. Just use vinegar and salt as those are the active ingredients that does the cleaning. Save the ketchup for your hot dog.

  15. Thanks so much! I found a 1941 british world war 2 coin and wanted it nice and shiny once again this has helped a lot after 25 mins looks brand new! 😀

  16. In the Philippines during the Aquino Administration it is illegal to bring a bullet casing as a necklace now in DU30 administration … well don't bring one just to be safe 🙂

  17. I have no idea why someone would dislike this video. They must be from the , FREE THE BRASS, movement or something weird like that. Great tip!

  18. I do ammo reloading, and all I use is a splash of Windex and a splash of water with dish soap and it polishes them like gold. no scrubbing needed just let them sit in it

  19. I frigging love this….I work at a costume jewelry business would I be able to use this on brass plated jewelry covered in gold, rose gold and silver?

  20. Nice video. How should I do this in order to clean a guitar input jack that's still soldered to the guitar? (I don't want to unsolder and later resolder it in place).

  21. so I had some dirty ends of shells (took a saw and chopped the ends of) and tried cleaning them with this tactict. 30 minutes wasn't enough, so I put them to a jar with ketchup and will check results in the morning

  22. I was using toothpaste on my brass and copper and it did a good job, but it sticks everywhere and makes it difficult to remove in the tiny crevices. Thank you so much for this much easier method.

  23. I just cleaned my dolphin sculpture and the difference is amazing. My mom has to be smiling down at me. Thanks a million. Mahallo

  24. Thank you so much for the awesome tip! I used this to polish up some old military buttons that I purchased for my uniform. They only make anodized buttons these days and they just don't look nearly as good so this was a much needed trick!

  25. That is the coolest thing ever! I have a question for you – I have a copper jug with a very high lip which I want to cut away. How can I do that simply and easily without expensive equipment? thanks for any tips!

  26. I am so sorry, I didn't hear a word you said. Except for calling the casings "bullets", but that really doesn't matter. Great video. wow. [compliment].

  27. Is ketchup that cheap? Vinegar for sure. By the way , you should be in movies with your looks and voice!


    1.) I have already been schooled on the fact that these are not called 'bullets' and that even 'shells' is apparently incorrect terminology. Now I know – "casings!" Got it. Thanks! I'm all learned up 👍

    2.) YES! I know that brass doesn't 'rust' – I should have said 'oxidized'. I just said the wrong word; I paid attention in science classes and I remember that 'rust' specifically refers to 'iron oxide' and that brass does not contain iron so therefore cannot produce iron oxide. Mistakes happen (- have you ever made a mistake? No? Good for you – you should make a video and share it on YouTube to celebrate that fact! Just hope that you don't make any mistakes in that video or you will never live it down ☠️ – ) and I didn't feel like reshooting the whole video because (silly me!) I thought people would let that one slide. HAHAHA!

    3.) YEP – vinegar and salt can also clean brass and copper. I prefer 🍅ketchup🍅 because it ALSO contains citric acid and malic acid (from those juicy tomatoes) in addition to the acetic acid (from the vinegar) and salt, which makes for a super awesome cleaning combo. PLUS – you can easily spot-treat with ketchup (use a q-tip or a tiny paintbrush) or slather it on a larger object if you can't submerge it in anything. And anyway – who can stand the smell of straight vinegar? WHO??🦉

    4.) Did you read all of this? Comment '🍟🍟🍟' below!

    Thanks for watching 🙂

  29. Good call. I bet ketchup and baking soda will work much faster. I got some 44 mag ammo that needs polishing ill get back to you in a jiff 😁

  30. i prefer mustard. Of course you can't debate about taste.
    Btw you can use the verb rust as well as to oxidize All rusting is oxidizing, but not all oxidizing is rusting.

  31. Also .. as far as I know ,copper and brass do not trust. So either those casings are copper or brass plated or if they are solid brass there is no need to worry about rust . Another thing , I am not sure which is cheaper , ketchup or vinegar . But I am pretty sure that is the ingredient in the ketchup that takes on the reaction with the metal . Other than that , great video !

  32. Idk why but I love your voice! You could totally whisper and do ASMR videos. I could fall asleep like a baby Zzzzzzz lol

  33. Nice pendants. I don’t know if your aware, but the black dust in those cases contain lead residue from the priming compound. Touching them and then your ketchup will contaminate the bottle then your fridge when you put it away. Please be careful and wash your hand in between.

  34. Am trying it and it works. I don’t think it has as much of a shine or good of color as when you first get it but it cleans a lot off. Wonder if it harms the copper at all cause I have been letting it sit for like two hours

  35. Couple spoonfulls of vinegar with salt do the same…and work better actually…simple chemical reaction…not so "super secret" 😉

  36. Awesome thanks as I have brass everything on door handles, light fittings, wall socket plugs etc. So I will use a paintbrush to apply the ketchup and then wipe clean with water, as Brasso makes such a black mess everywhere when cleaning with it.

  37. Thank you you lovely gorgeous woman! You have helped me to clean my knobs and they've come up so shiny and with minimal effort 🙂

  38. I gave you a thumbs up for the ketchup idea but I like my ketchup for my fries and burgers haha. When I clean my cases for reloading my last step is to use a little bit vinegar, I don't leave it on for more that 30 seconds as it is very acidic but my goodness it works well.

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