Cleaning brass fireguard

hi,
I've been given an old brass fireguard, which I want to use as fireguard and not an ornament. It's been in a shed for years and is in a mess covered in dust and grime.
What is the best way to clean it? It's beyond a quick rub with Brasso
Bearing in mind that it's going to be used as a fireguard, and will therefore get hot, what will prevent it tarnishing too quickly?
I would like to acheive a finish that is not highly polished, just old and clean looking.
It is constructed from top and bottom rails, with steel ( I think, but may be brass too) rod uprights threaded on each end, the nuts are brass knobs small on the top (about 10mm diameter) and larger on the bottom acting as feet (about 30mm diameter). The mesh is fastened to the uprights with twisted wire.
A couple of the small knobs are missing; anybody know where I could get a couple of replacements? I'd make them but don't have access to a lathe.
Chris
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My Aunt used to clean her copper fire surround every year by soaking in Coke for a day (or so?). Neil
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Niel A. Farrow wrote:

Never thought of that, but yes coke used to be used for lots of cleaning, de-siezing and de-rusting things. not sure if the new ingredients still work. I will try it one one of the bits.
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Snipped

Do not leave it in too long - Coke will dissolve a nail in 4 days.
It will also clean vitreous china in toilets in an hour
YorkieDave
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Yeah, yeah - have you ever actually tried it, or are you just an urban myth perpetrator?
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geoff

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Paul Mc Cann wrote:

Did that; lots of stuff on polishing with brasso, boiled linseed etc..,which would be good for a door knocker or something small, but nothing that pointed me in the direction of a magic solution or solution :-)
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wrote:

Use dremel with polishing felt, and some brasso, it'll clean it further than you wanted to go at first, then wait a week or three and it'll calm down again. Sure this all takes time, there probably aren't any "instant" fixes. A little time and effort will work fine.
Take Care, Gnube {too thick for linux}
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wrote:

Strange.
I did this some time back and turned all sorts of esoterica including walnut shell as I recall.
Lots of the sites seemed to be aimed at the gun-toting (Merkin) community and the care of brass shell cases
Paul Mc Cann
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