Steel belt buckles can become tarnished and dull over time. It is best to prevent these problems by taking a proactive approach and properly caring for the buckle. If it does become tarnished, it can be easily cleaned with some commercial jewelry cleaner and a few basic household items.
Place the cleaning supplies and the belt buckle on a table or work surface. Place a large, dry towel on your lap and sit within reaching distance of the table.
Place a cloth over the top of the jewelry cleaner bottle and turn the bottle upside down to wet the cloth. Make sure you do not saturate the cloth because too much cleaner can make it difficult to clean the buckle. Use a small amount of cleaner on the cloth and add more as needed.
Place the moistened cloth on the buckle and rub in a circular motion. Rub the entire front surface of the buckle. Place a piece of the moistened cloth over your fingernail and use your nail to push the cloth into crevices and hard-to-reach areas. Turn the buckle over and repeat on the back side. Dip the toothbrush in the jewelry cleaner and clean any crevices or hard-to-reach areas that were difficult to reach with your finger.
Dip a toothpick in the cleaning solution and use it to clean any tiny detailing in the belt buckle. Dip a cotton swab in the cleaner and rub it over the surface area that was cleaned with the toothpick to remove any of the debris that the toothpick dislodged.
Buff the cleaned buckle with a dry cotton cloth. Rub the cloth in a circular motion along the surface. Use the cloth over your fingernail to buff the crevices and hard-to-reach areas. Use a clean cotton swab to buff any tiny detailing. Allow the buckle to dry completely.
Place the dried buckle in a cloth bag or old tube sock to keep it clean and protect it from scratches and tarnish between uses.
You can also buff the buckle with a cloth and then apply a layer of wax or mineral oil if you notice any rust.
Never use water to clean your buckle.
Avoid any chemical dips or rust removers.
Never clean with steel wool or anything abrasive that may damage the buckle’s finish.