Those old candlesticks you inherited could use a good cleaning, but is it necessary to reach for the synthetic commercial cleaner that may have toxic ingredients? No it’s not.
There is a better way to clean brass.
Most commonly used kitchen cupboard or refrigerator ingredients that
contain a natural acid, such as vinegar, Tobasco Sauce, ketchup, tomatoes,
milk, and lemon or lime juice, will remove tarnish.
The tarnish washes away
with an acid rub or soak. You might have to remove the lacquer cover if the
brass is new.
Do this by submerging the brass in boiling water with a few
teaspoons each baking soda and washing soda (available in the laundry section
of the supermarket). Once the lacquer has peeled off, polish dry.