Brasso is one of the most widely-used and well-known metal polishes in the world. It is a light brown, opaque liquid which smells of ammonia (the label of Australian Brasso claims "Liquid Hydrocarbons 630g/L; Ammonia 5g/L).
Brasso has been in use for over 100 years, and originated in Britain in 1905, after a representative from the company Reckitt and Sons brought a sample of liquid metal polish from Australia. The polish grew in popularity in England, eventually replacing the previous paste-style polishes. It has undergone very few changes in both composition and package design over the past century. Cans are often collected as a typical example of classic British advertising design.
Brasso is also used to polish CDs, DVDs and other optical discs in order to repair scratches. It is a mild solvent and a mild abrasive, so when applied to the reflective surface of the disc and rubbed radially (in straight lines between the edge and center), it can smooth scratches and reduce their effect. Although the effect is invisible to the naked eye (and often makes the surface look more opaque), it can tremendously improve the ability of many disc drives to read the disc.
Brasso has also been used to polish out scratches on the reverse side of iPods and similar MP3 players.
Because of its usefulness for CD and iPod restoration, there is now significant demand for Brasso in the USA.
Brasso can be spotted in the blockbuster movie An Officer and a Gentleman, where the cadets use it to polish belt buckles.
Brasso can also be used on Lego minifigs to take markings off minifigs.
Brasso was seen in the 2007 Doctor Who Christmas Special at approximately 50 seconds in on the left of the screen. It is a can, seen from the side.