Looking after your brass jewellery

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Some of my 3D printed and handmade jewellery pieces are made out of brass, because I love the warm gold tone look of the material, and also it is a relatively inexpensive material, meaning I can keep my pieces more affordable.
 
Brass contains copper, which means it will oxidise over time when exposed to air and moisture. Sometimes this can be great - over time the pieces will 'age' and the colour will change and grow with you, but sometimes you will want to keep the finish clean and bright, especially on items that have close contact with skin (for example the Pyramid Ring). When copper and brass comes in to contact with the sweat on your skin, it can make your skin turn green and discolour the metal. This colouration is not at all harmful, and can easily wash off, but you will still want to avoid it.
 
Here are my tips for keeping brass looking great:
 
Firstly, never sleep with your brass pieces. Always remove them at night, and give them a gentle wipe with a lint free cloth to remove any sweat or residue.
 
Secondly, there are two main choices - give them a go and see which works best for you:
 
1. Keep it waxed - the piece will come with a protective layer of wax applied by myself. This creates a barrier between the brass and your skin, however it will rub off over time. You can re-wax the piece yourself, I personally use and recommend Renaissance Wax which is a micro-crystalline synthetic wax and is non acidic (unlike your regular beeswax or carnauba). Museums use it too restore and keep objects in pristine condition. Other people have luck just using a car wax like Turtle Wax. Just wipe a small amount on, wait a minute for it to dry, and buff it off. If you want the ring to still age and tarnish, you can just apply the wax to the inside rim, where it contacts with the skin. How often you will need to do this, depends on how often you wear the piece, and your skin type (some people sweat more than others!)
 
2. Keep it clean - this is pretty self explanatory , wash it when you wash your hands, and shower with it if you are wearing it that day. By washing it with water and a gentle soap, you are washing away all of the sweat and stuff that will discolour it. It will still dull and tarnish over time, but keeping it clean should keep the green discolouration under control.
 
If you every need to clean your ring to get it back to it's original shiny luster, there are many different ways to do this (have a google) however I prefer lemon juice (or vinegar) and salt. Just mix the two together and make a paste (or sprinkle some salt directly onto a lemon wedge) and rub over the brass. It will start working immediately, then you can just wash with water (and reseal with wax when dry if you are keeping it waxed).
 
I hope this is helpful and you enjoy your AskForOompa jewellery!

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