This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
In some recent laboratory experiments the following solution was found to cleanse brass very quickly without harm to the hands or the metal. An ounce of alum was put into a pint of boiling water and the solution rubbed on the brass with a cloth. Stains as well as tarnish were quickly removed. The solution is inexpensive and easilv prepared. - Contributed by Loren Ward, Des Moines, Iowa.