Cleaning brass has been one of my greatest pleasures. What was dull, dirty and neglected is suddenly transformed into something shining, brilliant and cared for. What other activity can display such obvious progress so quickly? My understanding of the benefit of brass cleaning started at school when we would huddle in the boot room cleaning the brass fittings of our cadet corps belts and gaiters.
Japan does not use brass. Indeed has never used brass it would appear. I do not know why not, but there it is. Therefore it is impossible to find brass cleaner of the likes of Brasso in Okinawa. I finally track down a product that is used for polishing trumpets and other, er, brass instruments. It is hopeless.
My boat is infested with brass, all of which is much tarnished. Let’s look at the lamps. The boat has two archaic paraffin lamps which are clearly catering to the romantic. Notwithstanding I can imagine the pleasure of being at anchor on some obscure Japanese island reading to the light of paraffin lamps.
So I try to clean up the lamps. My big breakthrough comes with the use of very fine wire wool.
Not wonderful but my lamps are looking much better. Alladin?