How to clean tarnished brass Buddha statues at home?

We all love the royal and sophisticated look that a brass Buddha statue gives to an ambience. A shiny brass statue has all the features that can make them a show-stopper art piece. Many times they are made by skilled craftsmen which adds up to their value and significance.

But when not taken care of properly, they can get tarnished. Many times, the brass statues are left unattended which after a long time results in the formation of a dark layer on the brass Buddha statue.

In this article, we will talk about the different ways by which you will be able to clean the tarnish off the Buddha statue. And how to keep it shiny for a long time. 

What is the black layer on a brass item?

The black layer is Copper Sulphide and zinc sulphide which is formed when the brass comes in contact with the Hydrogen Sulphide. As Brass is an alloy which is made from copper and zinc. Both of these compounds react with the air and form a green and/or black layer.

How do we clean tarnished brass Buddha statues?

Now that we know the what and why of the green and black tarnish on the brass. We will talk about some methods that you can use to restore the shine of your Brass Buddha statue. Down below, we will talk about the ways through which you can do so.

  1. Salt, vinegar and flour

In this method, take a bowl and pour vinegar into it. Take one tablespoon of the salt into it. You can use a spoon to dissolve them, you will notice that the solution has formed bubbles, at that time add enough flour to make a paste out of it.

Now the paste is made, apply a layer of it on the statue and let it dry for 10 mins after that you can wash the statue and pat it dry.

  • Lemon and baking soda

For this method of cleaning, you will need a lemon and baking soda. Take a bowl and add one tablespoon of baking soda to it. Cut the lemon in half and press it on the soda, now you have to gently rub and squeeze the lemon. Then, due to the acidic nature of lemon will help to remove the tarnished layer.

  • Brass Polish

If the tarnish is too thick, you can use a cleaning agent like brass polish. Take a little product on a cotton cloth and rub it on the statue. After you are done cleaning it wipe it with a clean cloth and you are done.

  • Toothpaste

In this method, you will need toothpaste but make sure it is not a gel one. Take a new toothbrush, put some toothpaste on it and rub it on the brass Buddha statue. Then after cleaning rinse the statue and wipe it clean.

It is important to notice that you should not use an old used brush to clean the Buddha statue, as it is considered disrespectful to him.

  • Citric Acid Powder

You can easily find citric acid in any grocery shop. Citric acid is found in juicy fruits like oranges, lemons etc. Their acidic nature helps with cleaning the tarnished brass.

To use this method follow these directions :

i)  In a big bowl, take 500 ml of water and add 1 ½ tablespoons of citric acid.

ii) You can use warm water to speed up the process.

iii) Submerge the statue in the bowl and wait for 30 mins if the tarnish is too tough keep it for 1 hour and 30 mins but not more than that.

iv) Then you can take out the statues and rinse them in clean water.

v) Wipe them dry with a soft cloth.

  • Tamarind

Tamarind is a fruit that is found in South Asia. This fruit is used by them for centuries. It is considered the best method to clean the corroded brass items.

To  use this method, follow the steps given below: 

  1. you will need some tamarind. Add them to water to soften them.
  2. After 10 to 20 mins, the tamarinds will get soft. Squeeze them so that they release their pulp.
  3. Take a sponge and use the pulp-like soap to gently scrub the Buddha statue.
  4. After some scrubbing, you will find that the layer is removed. Leaving you with a shiny statue.
  5. Wash the statue properly in the water and pat it dry with a soft fabric like microfiber or cotton.

How to keep the brass Buddha statue shiny?

In the previous section, we talked about many ways in which we can clean brass idols and keep them shiny. As many of these methods are laborious, it is a smart move to protect them by applying something that will keep their shine intact for a long time without worrying about cleaning them over and over again

One thing that we must remember is that it is difficult to get rid of a thick layer of tarnish on the brass but regular cleaning will not let the chemical deposits on the surface of the brass Buddha statue. 

There are many ways to make sure the brass retains its shine for a long time. In the market, you will find many things that will help you to solve this problem. Things like lacquer and wax are used to keep the items shiny.

To use lacquer, you need to clean the statue properly. You can use some of the methods that we have talked about in the above sections. Lacquer is usually found in a spray bottle. As we need to cover the statue, you can do so in outdoors so that it does not get messy inside the house. Place a brass Buddha statue and spray it with lacquer from a distance. Make sure that it gets a thin layer all over it.

Le the layers dry and reapply them again. You can repeat this method 2-3 times. Make sure you have covered every corner and part of the statue. Let it dry properly.  

And you are left with a shiny brass artefact.


In this article, we talked about the different ways to clean a tarnished brass Buddha statue at home along with that we talked about how we can keep the clean Buddha statue safe from getting tarnished again.

Also, we have talked about how this reaction takes place as well as the why of it.

We hope that this article was informative and helped you to find the solutions that you were looking for.

Thank you for reading !