August 24th, 2023
Let's talk about brass!
If you like the look and feel of metal plugs and tunnels, brass might be a good option for you. Why brass? Either you just like the look, or you have really sensitive skin, or both. You should know that stainless steel is actually an alloy that contains nickel. Our standard steel grade is 316L which can be made of up to 13% nickel. For most people that's just fine. For highly nickel sensitive people, that could be unwearable. For those people we would recommend glass, stone, silicone, or brass. Our brass plugs and tunnels are made from uncoated nickel-free brass imported from Germany and Italy.
Won't brass turn my skin green???
Well, yeah maybe. Brass is made from a copper and zinc alloy that oxidizes. The oxidation creates a layer of "crust" that can be blackish, green, or blue. The color and time to develop really depends on your own skin's chemistry and the environment you live in.
In the image below, the plugs on the right are brand new and shiny. The plugs on the left have been worn for two weeks without a proper cleaning.
For this person, the oxidation process created a grayish residue on the skin which was easily wiped away with daily lobe care. You can see the plugs have started to develop a patina and the green is oxidized dead skin cells and sebum reacting with the brass material.
Cleaning this and restoring your brass is a lot easier than you might be thinking. Mix together 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 tablespoon of salt. That's it! Just drop your brass plugs in the mixture and let soak for 10 minutes, rinse and dry thoroughly. You might need to use a qtip or toothbrush to clean any extra crusty but from inside tunnels or intricate designs.
In the next picture you'll see the same pair from the last picture, one still soaking and one after the cleaning. It is no longer dark and nasty looking, but it is also not as shiny as when it was brand new. This is completely normal for brass and what well-worn and maintained brass jewelry should look like.
How often you have to deep clean your brass plugs is going to depend on you. Your skin chemistry and how often you wear them will play a big role. At the very least you should wipe them off every time you take them out or once daily if you like to wear the same pair for a stretch of time.
As a reminder, clean your jewelry!