What are you folks using to keep the brass on your cars in tip top shape? I'm a new brass car owner would like to use something that doesn't leave that white paste film behind. Thanks!
I use Prism or lemon juice. https://www.modeltford.com/item/PRISM7.aspx
Keep cover made for brass lamps and radiator on when not in use. You can get them for other items. I didn't looks to see if Lang's had a set.
We used Brasso when I was in the army, but that was half a century ago and apparently the formula has changed. I was VERY disappointed with the current version. After a big brass polish discussion here on the forum last year, I tried Cape Cod and Prism. Both are good, but Prism seems to work faster. I haven't done a careful long term comparison, but brass parts I polished with Prism on February 12 and March 2 are starting to yellow a little but still look pretty good. Some folks attempt to preserve their polishing with clear lacquer. It may keep the shine longer, but when you finally do have to get it off for another polishing job, then it's trouble right here in River City.
Mothers BILLET contains something like a wax that prolongs the gloss. I use Brite boy polish first from the janitorial supply which cleans it very easily and quick but then a quick once over with Mothers gives it a deep gloss. I have not tried the Prism but heard some like it. I've used and have many, many bottles and cans of brass polish.
Blue lustre or magic is what Brass Works uses on their radiators. I've tried it as well.
We'll probably hear about some more. Buy the silverware material online and make your own covers. The brass will stay clean for most of the year. We always get rained on when on tour and live in the salt / fog zone so it's a love it or hate it chore.
Krylon #7 Brash color High Gloss spray paint. Still $2.99 a can at K-Mart.
Polishing brass the traditional, spit & polish way is for young Marine recruits, not old, arthritic guys like me. _I was reminded of that a couple of years ago, when doing a rush-job of polishing the brass on my '15 Touring to make a car-show deadline. _I got out the Brasso and Simichrome and Nevr-Dull (and several others) and went into a buffing frenzy. _Now, for me, using one brand of polish right after another always yielded better results and when one type stops working, another brand will purge some of the tarnish the previous polish left behind. _Maybe that's because some polishes contain ammonia and some don’t; some use abrasives and some don’t; some are volatile, etc. _We’re all familiar with the various brand-names and most are tried and true products that have been around forever—but share the requirement of copious quantities of elbow grease to work.
Well, I got the polishing job done in one day and the result of all the burnishing and buffing exertion was a lot of screeching-bright, radiant brass—and three appointments on consecutive days with my chiropractor. _Man, I sprained everything.
Out of frustration, I did an internet search of "Best Brass Polish in the World" and came up with the kind of extravagant claims you'd expect. _I read the ads, e-mailed some inquiries and made a few phone calls.
Now, I was in advertising for about thirty years and I know all the marketing buzz-words and phrases which indicate the slicing of baloney. _By the same token, I can also recognize the genuine article. _One who scored high on my sincerity-meter was Jerry Baltes, of "Prism Polish." _He took the time to give me an impromptu telephone interview, so I decided to do some practical testing. _For that, I needed access to a handful of tarnished Brass-Era automobiles, so I called on a few local members of the Horseless Carriage Club of America at one of our monthly meetings and passed out four jars of Prism Polish. _Well, the four individuals involved were suitably impressed and had only the most complimentary things to say about the stuff—and they all said the same thing about how it worked without much effort and how little was needed to do an entire brass car. _As for my own experience, Prism Polish works with about the same effort as Windexing plate glass, which is to say that it's pretty easy. _For very far-gone brass that's tarnished to a dark, dull brown, of course more effort is required, but it's nothing like what you've become used to and the results are dazzling.
Prism Polish comes in various sizes, the smallest of which is a 6-ounce jar costing about twelve bucks. _That’s fairly inexpensive, especially considering a little goes a long way—and it comes with a money-back guarantee, so there’s pretty much no way to get burned. _Prism Polish has the consistency of cold cream (You want the paste, not the liquid) and because it’s non-toxic, it can be applied with a bare fingertip. _With very little ammonia component, it shouldn't strip the zinc out of brass and, as it is non-flammable, there’s no safety issue with the pile of dirty paper-towels and polishing cloths left over after the job is done. _The paper towels go in the trash can and the dirty polishing cloths go in the washing machine.
No, I don't have stock in the company (and neither do I have stock in Lang's, Star-Tron or Hagerty, but I sing their praises, too).
Just say "no" to polished brass.
Let it patina like Grandad did.
I am curious how the Brass cars were in the old day's. I have seen some hundreds of pictures off Jay, and none of them was polished !!!!
Toon : My Dad said the brass was polished when it left the show room, and in Florida it was usually green in about 6 months and didn't get polished again until the 50's
Oh Toon & Burger...say it aint so!!! LOL...to each his own, but I love polished brass. And it gives me something to do on those "off days".
Tim W , If you have some extra "off days" Come over, and go on !!!
I bought some of the Prism polish at Chickasha this year. It is OK but the Mother's polish is faster and easier and lasts longer between needing to do it again.
Did I mention Mother's is great!
Polishing brass is easy, I've done it a thousand times! Seriously, it is a tough job and nothing short of having someone else do it will make it easy. I live in Florida and it is hell on brass. Use a good polish, don't let it get too tarnished between polishings and keep the brass covered. Whenever I have some down time I go out to the garage and polish a little brass to keep things looking good. That way it isn't too much like work!
After a full day of working on the farm, how much time and more necessary, how much Energy and Desire was left to expend on something as frivolous as polishing brass? My two cents worth, perhaps over valued. Bill
The car in the photo has Minnesota 1912-13-14 license plate 11703.
The owner is Samuel Gibeau of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota.
The serial number for this car is 15480 which puts production at the end of January 1910.
Because the 1910 Ford in this photo has a Minnesota 1912-13-14 license plate, the car is at least two years old yet the brass has been polished/maintained and the car is quite clean and presentable. There were owners who washed and polished their cars including the brass 100 years ago (or hired someone to do it for them).
PS: grandpa and great grandpa never uttered the word "patina." If it weren't for Antiques Roadshow, most of the American public would have never had heard of that tiresome word.
I had some free time once ....
Can't remember when, it was so long ago.
Seriously, ... there is a big difference between a "left to rot" patina, and a "well
used and cared for" patina. Like with my brass tools. They have a warm look and
feel to them, but they are not glimmering gold.
Bright gold and sparkly is only historically correct to brand new vehicles and
the .0000174% that might have been owned by those wealthy enough to employ
chauffeurs and butlers to while away their hours keeping the silver and brass
polished. The notion that this stuff was always sparkly and glowing is a cutesy
and contrived one from the 50's and later. I guess it boils down to: Do I subscribe
to this old stuff interest as a matter of history and historical representation, or do
I do it for the false and contrived "Disney" twist of "cutesifying" historical stuff -
like painting steam locomotives bright red.
We can do whatever we please with our cars. Mr. Disney chose to paint his
locomotives bright red. I just find it contrary to the whole notion of historical
preservation and representation. Kinda makes them look like clowns should
come pouring out at any moment.
Harumph! Some of them well heeled city folk with time on their hands and money to spend.
I like Wenol the best because it leaves a wax film to coat the brass for a time.I think out cars are as much a reflection of US as anything!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
My brass is so tarnished that there is no reflection.
And in a related vein: As the Bikers say "Chrome don't getcha home".
I purchased a set of brass light covers from Langs. Dons sister Nancy makes them, and they work. I only need to shine my brass twice a year using them, and I live 3 miles from the ocean! I believe they are under $100. Nancy is a sweet lady, and has made several custom ones for me.
The wax featured in some polishes don't yield much benefit to brass car owners. _When wax gets hot, it melts and gets cloudy, and our brass radiators, acetylene headlamps and kerosene lanterns do tend to get quite hot.
Toon, if it weren't for the fact that I'm petrified of flying, I'd love to come over there and meet you and yours in person, AND polish your brass!
I certainly don't pass judgement on anyone's "patina preference" (or lack of), I just love seeing the brass shine out over the front of the car driving down the road. My dad was a "clean car freak" when I grew up, so I became that way honestly.
Polishing Brass, Gilbert and Sullivan in the The First Lord's Song have the solution to keeping brass polished - find an apprentice attorney who has ambition - "When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an attorney's firm, I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor, And I polished up the handle of the big front door, He polished up the handle of the big front door, I polished up that handle so carefully, That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navy, He polished up that handle so carefully, That now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navy."
Well Fellows, thanks for everyone's input, looks like several good products have been mentioned. I have to purchase a few of these & see what works best for me!
**I was hoping there was one that left no residue, so it wouldn't get in the seams & cracks of everything! Thanks again for all your replies.
Toothbrush and ear swabs and don't overdo the polish. I agree nothing looks shabbier than a sloppy polish job.
About 10 -15 years ago, "Purple Polish" arrived on the scene here down-under.
It was great for polishing aluminium and Brass...much quicker than Brasso, Neverdull and a few others I used to use. Left them for dead.
From memory, it was made in the States but was difficult to import because of its contents.
Back then I had a lot of brass on the farm engines I used to restore and show. It was excellent for that job.
Does anyone know if you can still get it?....especially here in Australia? I'll be purchasing the brass bits for my latest project soon and would love to have some "Purple Polish" at hand.
Rob do you mean this stuff?
That's the stuff.
I like the warning. And its true, I might add.