oo, shiny objects!

The Maas polishes finally arrived! They’d been backordered, and the Maas UK office very kindly refunded my postage fee for the delay. But I was very happy to see them, and began the grand brass cleanup immediately.

Knobs and pulls first! The knobs and pulls on the kitchen cabinets, along with the taps on the sink, were so tarnished that I originally thought they were copper to match the tarnished and corroded decorative copper pots hanging in the kitchen. But they’re brass. (The test is to grab a fridge magnet off the fridge and apply it to the piece — if it sticks, it’s probably plated. If it doesn’t, it’s probably brass.)

I tried taking a few swipes at a knob and quickly realized (when nothing at all happened, more or less) that the knobs were lacquered. So off they all came, and into the pot with them.

You can get lacquer off brass pieces in two ways with boiling water: you can either boil them until all the lacquer comes off (which takes a while), or you can boil them until the brass heats up and expands, and then let them cool, at which point the lacquer turns a waxy color (it expands with the brass, but doesn’t contract when it cools), and is easily taken off by peeling it off with your fingers and fingernails or by brushing it briskly with a nylon bristled brush, the kind you use for scrubbing floors.

With the knobs and plates, I opted for boiling them to death, as there’s some curves and crevices on them that would make it harder to get a brush into all the nooks and crannies. This took a while, not least because I wanted to make sure the pot didn’t get ruined, so I kept pouring the water out, replacing it with cool, scrubbing off the ring around the inside of the pot, and bringing it to a boil again.

After this (which took up the longest bit of the cleaning job), I grabbed some soft cloths and the Maas metal polish and got to work. The Maas polish is made up in part of a very fine grade jewelers rouge, which helps to take the tarnish off quickly and shine the piece up. There’s also something magic in it that causes the tarnish to transfer onto the cloth really quickly — with this much tarnish that’s this old, it took a bit of effort, but a great deal less than it would have been without the Maas. (I’ve done it, and it wasn’t fun.) I went through a lot of cloths.

And the difference really was like magic!

Next were the pulls. More magic!

I didn’t boil the pulls for ages; since they’re relatively simple in shape, I just got them good and hot in boiling water, and then cooled them, then brushed them vigorously with a nylon scrubbing brush. Simples.

It’s amazing how much brighter the kitchen looks with clean cabinet hardware! (Apparently it’s called cabinet furniture over here, by the way.)

So then I cast an eye over the sink, which is a white porcelain butler sink in rather poor condition — I don’t have a picture of this, but the polish really got rid of some of the dirt in the hairline cracks and made it shiny and smooth again, if not like new.

And last but not least, I Maas’d one of the copper pots, just to see how it would do. I don’t know when the last time these pots were cleaned, they’ve been hanging there since this was our landlord’s flat, years ago. They’ve all developed that hideous and dreaded black spot problem that copper pans get, in this case in the exact pattern of someone running a wet sponge over the metal. You can compare the shined up pan to the others for yourself:

I never thought I’d say this, but I actually think I won’t mind having copper pots in my kitchen. Not once they’ve been cleaned, anyway.

All in all, I have to say that I highly recommend the Maas polishes. Anything that can make polishing a highly tarnished copper pan that fast is worth almost any price in my book! Part of the Maas promise is that the shine stays for much longer than any other polish. I’m looking forward to seeing if that’s true, too.

I’m planning on attacking the chandeliers next.

In the UK you can buy Maas polishes at their UK site. Their US site is here.

1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Zina #

    P.S. You actually need very little of the polish – surprisingly little, actually.

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