I unexpectedly learned a lot about polishing brass over the last several weeks. Having decided to try and remove some of the tarnish from the beautiful candlesticks and altar cross we acquired from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, I researched how to clean and polish brass on the Internet. There are everything from commercial products to home made formulas - at this point I have tried just about all of them. It is important to use the right polish and technique, but nothing substitutes for elbow grease. The dogs evacuated the kitchen when I started boiling a soupy mixture of water, vinegar, salt and dishwashing detergent in an oven roasting pan one night. (It's one of the methods to strip lacquer from brass and it worked very well.)
So far, our new brass altar cross, four brass candlesticks and one of the brass sanctuary lamps have been cleaned and polished. I'll post up some pictures of the new shiny appointments soon, and they will be available for viewing after the masses in the gymatorium and for memorials in the new church.