FASHION ADVICE cleaning-buckles-01

Published on July 25th, 2014 | by Irev

How to Clean a Belt Buckle

Belt buckles are essential if we want our belts to hold our pants in place. Like other accessories, constant use can cause a belt buckle to lose its shine and tarnish due to sweat, dirt, heat, and other factors. When this happens, do you simply get rid of the buckle or the entire belt and purchase a new one? Hang on to that as you can actually easily clean a belt buckle, depending on its material.


For cleaning silver belt buckles, you’ll need water, baking soda, a pot, pan, and a sheet of tin foil. Line the pan with the shiny side of the tin foil facing up and then place the buckle on top of the foil. Boil water in the pot. Once boiled, place the pot on your sink and add baking soda. This may cause frothing so to avoid any spill-overs, the sink will help. Pour the mixture into the pan until the buckle is completely submerged. The tarnish will almost immediately begin to decrease. If the tarnish is light, it will take only a few minutes to be fully cleaned, while it will take longer for heavily-tarnished silver buckles (maybe more than just one treatment).

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For bronze belt buckles, prepare a bowl with water, soft-bristled brush, lint-free cloth, and soap. Detach the buckle from the belt if possible. Use the brush to rub between the crevices of the buckle to get rid of dirt and dust. Mix in a few drops of plain, non-scented dish soap into a bowl of water and swirl it around until bubbles form. Dip the lint-free cloth into the solution and begin wiping the buckle with it. Rinse the buckle to get rid of the soapy solution and then make sure that it is totally dry before re-attaching it to the belt.

To clean a brass belt buckle, you’ll need a flathead screwdriver or coin, ammonia, abrasive brass cleaning cream, and some non-abrasive cloths. If you don’t have the last item, mixing vinegar, salt, and flour will do. If possible, remove the buckle from the belt. If the buckle is held in place by rivets, use the screwdriver or coin to remove them. If you cannot separate the buckle from the belt, just make sure to limit your polishing to the buckle only. Remove the remaining clear-coat lacquer of the buckle by soaking it in ammonia for around 10 minutes. The coating can be peeled off by that time. Rinse the buckle thoroughly with water and use a soft non-abrasive cloth to dry it. Apply the brass cleaning cream or the alternative vinegar mixture on the full surface of the buckle using another non-abrasive cloth. Allow the buckle to air dry and when the cream becomes chalky, rub it away with another cloth then rub it again with cloth dampened with a bit of brass polish until the buckle becomes shiny again.

Buckles made from nickel are the easiest to clean as you’ll just need some toothpaste, water, and a dry cloth. Just polish the buckle with a tiny amount of toothpaste by using the cloth. The cloth can be dampened with some water before putting on the toothpaste. This cleaning method will also work for brass buckles.

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About the Author

I am a twenty-something blogger living in the Philippines. I love blogging about fashion and beauty and learning about new cultures and languages. A self-confessed tv series addict, I love watching GoT, Arrow and Once Upon a Time.

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