Brass spray and misting nozzles have applications in all industries and can be used for various purposes, including gardening, landscaping, agricultural applications, industrial plants, and cooling systems.
While durable and resistant, mineral deposits from hard water, residue from chemical solutions, and other debris can clog brass nozzles over time and prevent them from evenly spraying, making them ineffective and damaging the nozzles over time.
You can clean your brass nozzles by first detaching them from the system, soaking them in a cleaning solution, and scrubbing them thoroughly. You should then rinse and dry the brass nozzles, before flushing them and re-installing them back on your system.
While it may sound tedious, these steps will ensure that your brass nozzles will last for years to come. Make sure to follow our step-by-step guide below and feel free to read through our final section where we share some best practices and important tips!
Cleaning Brass Spray and Misting Nozzles
As brass nozzles are weatherproof, corrosion-resistant, robust, and can withstand extreme temperatures, they remain a popular choice over their plastic counterparts. They are also easy to clean. When maintained well, brass nozzles can last over 10 years and are still commonly found in various applications.
Fortunately, cleaning brass spray and misting nozzles is a straightforward process that we’ve summarized in just 5 simple steps for you to follow. All you need are some simple household products.
Items You Need
- Bowl or a bucket (depending on how many nozzles need to cleaning)
- A small flat screwdriver or needle-nose plier
- White vinegar or a dedicated brass nozzle cleaner
- Steel wire brush or wire wheel
- Pipe cleaner
- Microfiber cloth
1. Detach the Nozzle From the System
The first step is to remove the brass nozzle attachment from the sprinkler head, hose, or pipeline (depending on how you’ve set up your system). You should also make sure that you remove the O-ring as well.
You can do this by simply unscrewing the nozzle and then using a small flat screwdriver or a needle-nose plier to pry out the O-ring. After you’ve detached the nozzle, you can proceed to the next step.
2. Soak the Brass Nozzles in a Soaking Solution
To clean the brass nozzles, place them in a container that can comfortably fit them with plenty of extra room for the soaking solution. For a handful of nozzles, you can reach for a large bowl, and for a large number of nozzles, consider using liter-sized buckets.
Depending on your preference, you can either create a vinegar solution to soak the nozzles or submerge them in a dedicated brass nozzle cleaner. Both options work well, but if you prefer a hassle-free option, a misting cleaner may be your best option.
Here, we recommend the Orbit Arizona 10103 Misting Cleaner, as it’s a safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly product that effectively removes mineral deposits without damaging the nozzle. It’s also designed to treat various nozzle materials, including brass.
If you’re looking to take products that are readily available at home, you can opt for a vinegar-soaking solution. Start by mixing equal parts of water and white vinegar to sufficiently cover the nozzles well.
White vinegar is very effective in dissolving mineral deposits and cleans brass very well, giving it a nice shine at the same time. Soak the nozzles for at least 30 minutes, and give them a shake or swirl occasionally to dislodge any loose pieces of debris or mineral deposits from the nozzles.
These mineral deposits will slowly fall to the bottom of the pail or bowl, which you can then discard when cleaning your equipment.
3. Scrub the Brass Spray or Misting Nozzles (Optional)
After 30 minutes of soaking, inspect the brass nozzles to see if they are completely clean and clear of any debris. If not, you can soak them for a while longer and shake them about from time to time. Alternatively, you can also give the nozzles a good scrub to dislodge any stubborn debris.
If you are using white vinegar to soak the nozzles and have sensitive skin, consider using protective gloves so that the acetic acid won’t irritate your skin when you scrub the nozzles. You can also wear a face mask if you dislike the smell of vinegar.
Using a steel brush or brush wheel, scrub the nozzle clear of any stubborn mineral deposits that haven’t been dissolved or any other foreign objects that haven’t been dislodged.
For more in-depth cleaning, you can also make use of an orifice cleaning tool, which has a diameter of 0.007 inches and is made of stainless steel. This fine wire can be inserted into a 0.008-inch orifice to get rid of any foreign obstructions clogging the brass nozzles.
After you’ve thoroughly brushed them, proceed to place the nozzles back into the vinegar or cleaner-based solution for a couple more minutes and give them a good shake.
4. Rinse & Dry the Brass Spray/Misting Nozzles
Once the nozzles are clean, rinse them with water for a thorough flush and remove any residue from the vinegar or dedicated cleaning solution. Now that they’re spotless, it’s time to let them dry!
Dry your nozzles by using microfiber cloth which will help polish the brass as well and give it a nice sheen. You can consider using a suitable pipe cleaner to dry the inside of the nozzle tip as well. This additional step helps to remove any remaining debris from the nozzle.
5. Flush the Spray or Misting System & Re-Install the Nozzles
One step that is often overlooked is the misting lines and water systems that your brass nozzles are connected to. It is important to flush them before re-installing the nozzles to your system.
This will help rinse out any dirt, debris, or foreign object in the system that might clog the nozzles again. If you remove the O-rings, insert the O-rings back into the nozzles before re-installing them.
To do that, grease the O-rings a little and pinch them between your thumb and forefinger. Place one side of the ring on the groove of the nozzle, hold the nozzle tightly in place, and then pull down the entire O-ring over the top and into place.
Now that your nozzle is free of dirt and debris, your spray or misting system should work perfectly well, and you shouldn’t experience any disrupted or distorted sprays.
Best Practices & Helpful Information
Brass nozzles are durable, corrosion-resistant, and can last for many years if they are well-maintained and cleaned properly. To ensure that you’ll get the most out of them, we’ve created a section where we share some best practices and additional information that you should consider.
Don’t Soak Brass Nozzles in CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover) or Similar Solutions
CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover) is a powerful cleaner that can quickly and efficiently dissolve stubborn calcium, lime, and rust deposits from household appliances. However, this formula is very aggressive and potent, which can deteriorate brass components.
Even though brass is known to be robust and resistant to corrosion and rust, it can get damaged if you use incompatible cleaning solutions. The manufacturer of CLR also warns that it should not be used on brass, copper, or aluminum as that can lead to etching.
For brass, copper, and aluminum products, CLR and similar products don’t just strip off the finishing but can also cause pitting in the metal, leading to a shorter life. Therefore, stick to cleaning products that are compatible with brass, like the ones we mentioned in our guide.
Clean the Brass Spray and Misting Nozzles Occasionally
When brass misting nozzles are frequently cleaned, it helps to maintain not only the nozzles but the misting system as well. When the nozzles are cleaned and the system is flushed occasionally, there is less of a mineral deposit build-up.
Frequent cleaning also leads to less effort required for regular maintenance, as there is less of a build-up compared to infrequent cleaning practices. It is advisable to clean brass nozzles every few months to once or twice a year, depending on the usage of your misting system.
Cleaning brass nozzles regularly and thoroughly also ensures that they are most effective. Even water, especially hard water, can create a significant mineral build-up and needs to be removed regularly.
Don’t Forget to Flush the Nozzle Lines
It is important to exercise caution when changing or opening up the component of your misting system to ensure no foreign objects or debris finds its way into the nozzle lines.
When changing the water filters, opening up or replacing the nozzles, changing the drain valves, or opening up the system in any way, flush the nozzle lines of any debris in the system to make sure that the nozzle lines are clear.
Sirinan is a self-proclaimed cleanaholic and the editor-in-chief of Cleaney. Apart from coming with up creative ways to keep her living spaces clean and tidy, she loves to read on rainy days.