Sugar and Lemon Juice to clean tarnished brass! Coat with sugar and add lemon juice by the dropful until sugar is saturated, let sit for a while. Wear gloves and use some kind of scrubby pad . . . will also use LOTS of elbow grease! When it is clean of all tarnish, use a SMALL amount of brass polish to finish it. To keep the shine, you will need to put on a clear varnish coat.