Brass has a similar appearance to gold and is an alternative for those who cannot afford expensive jewelry. However, brass jewelry does entail some extra care and responsibilities. Like silver, never get your brass jewelry wet and be sure to wipe away any traces of water that makes contact with the surface. Even a bit of moisture can cause a brown patina to form though this is not necessarily a bad thing if that is the type of look you prefer.
Even with stringent care, most brass jewelry will eventually show signs of tarnish over time. Even if you keep it dry, it can still absorb moisture from air and from your sweat. However, you can restore its original look by using a polish cloth or steel wool, which is available at any hardware store.
You can also gently clean the brass with a toothbrush. To get a deeper clean, you can create a cleaning agent using a mixture of baking soda, lemon juice and warm water. This is the only time it is acceptable to expose the jewelry to liquids. Be sure the brass is completely dried afterwards.
It also helps to know if your brass jewelry is lacquered. This is a polymer coating that protects the surface from tarnishing. If the brass is lacquered and still shows signs of tarnish, then the coating has likely worn off and air moisture is leaking into the brass. If this is the case, then you can take the jewelry to a professional to have the existing coating stripped and reapplied.
When not in use, store the jewelry in an anti-tarnish bag; be sure to completely remove the air from the bag before sealing it.
Brass jewelry is among the finest when it comes to design and affordability. With just a little maintenance, you can retain its natural appearance and prevent tarnishing and visible scratches.