The Ultimate Guide to Restoring the Shine of Your Brass Landscape Lights

Brass landscape lights are a charming addition to any Canadian home, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal. However, exposure to the elements can cause these fixtures to tarnish over time, diminishing their shine and beauty. Fear not, as this comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to restore your brass landscape lights to their former glory.

Understanding Your Brass Landscape Lights

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s important to understand the type of brass your landscape lights are made of. Brass fixtures can either be lacquered or non-lacquered. Lacquered brass has a clear, protective coating to prevent tarnishing, while non-lacquered brass does not. The cleaning method will vary depending on the type of brass.

Cleaning Lacquered Brass Landscape Lights

Cleaning lacquered brass is relatively straightforward. You won’t need any special cleaning products. Simply take a clean cloth, dampen it with warm water, and gently wipe the surface of the light fixture. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers as they can damage the lacquer.

a sprinkler system with brass landscape light

Cleaning Non-Lacquered Brass Landscape Lights

Non-lacquered brass requires a bit more effort to clean. Here are some effective cleaning solutions you can prepare at home:

Lemon and Salt Create a paste by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and kosher salt. The acidity of the lemon juice helps remove tarnish, while the salt acts as a gentle abrasive to scrub away dirt.

Vinegar and Baking Soda Combine equal parts of white vinegar and baking soda to form a paste. This mixture is particularly effective for removing stubborn stains.

Dish Soap and Warm Water This is a gentle cleaning solution suitable for all brass surfaces.

Cleaning Process

Apply the Cleaning Solution Apply your chosen cleaning solution to the brass surface of your landscape lights. If you’re using the lemon and salt or vinegar and baking soda paste, let it sit for about 10 minutes to break down the tarnish.

Scrub the Fixture Using a soft, clean cloth, gently scrub the brass surface of your landscape lights. Be sure to reach all the nooks and crannies to remove any dirt or tarnish.

Rinse and Dry After cleaning, rinse the fixtures with warm water to remove any residue from the cleaning solution. Dry the fixtures thoroughly to prevent water spots from forming.

Maintaining Your Brass Landscape Lights

Maintaining your brass landscape lights not only ensures their longevity but also keeps them looking their best. Here are some additional tips to help you maintain your brass landscape lights:

Regular Cleaning Regular cleaning is the most effective way to maintain the shine of your brass landscape lights. Depending on the environmental conditions, you may need to clean your lights every few months. Use gentle soap and water to clean the fixtures and remove all debris.

Polishing Polishing your brass fixtures can help maintain their shine. Use a brass polish like Brasso and apply a small amount directly onto a sponge or cloth. Scrub the fixture’s surface until the desired shine is achieved. Remember, always use a soft cloth to avoid scratching the surface.

Protective Coating If your landscape lights are non-lacquered, consider applying a protective coating to prevent tarnishing. This can be particularly useful in areas with harsh weather conditions.

a garden brass light in a grassy area.

Natural Weathering Some brass and copper lighting fixtures are designed to weather naturally to create a lovely, easy-to-maintain patina. This natural patina can add a rustic charm to your outdoor space. If your fixtures are designed to weather, you won’t need to polish them.

Addressing Oxidation and Corrosion If your brass lights show signs of severe oxidation or light corrosion, you can use steel wool and elbow grease to remove it. However, this should be done carefully to avoid damaging the fixture.

Regular Inspection Regularly inspect your landscape lights for any signs of damage or wear. This includes checking for loose fixtures, frayed wires, or burnt-out bulbs. Regular inspection can help you address any issues promptly, preventing further damage.

Professional Maintenance If your landscape lighting system is extensive, it might be beneficial to hire a professional for regular maintenance. They can ensure all components of your lighting system are in good working order and can address any issues promptly.


With the right care and maintenance, your brass landscape lights can continue to add charm and elegance to your home for years to come. Cleaning them might require some effort, but the results are well worth it. So roll up your sleeves and restore the shine of your brass landscape lights today!

Curb Wise