The wire brush is primarily an abrasive implement, used for cleaning rust and removing paint. It is also used to clean surfaces and to create a better conductive area for attaching electrical connections, such as those between car battery posts and their connectors, should they accumulate a build-up of grime and dirt. When cleaning stainless steel, it is advisable to use a stainless steel bristle wire brush, as a plain carbon steel brush can contaminate the stainless steel and cause rust spots to appear. Brass bristle brushes are used on softer surfaces or in potentially flammable environments where non-sparking tools are required.
After velvet has been cleaned it should be brushed lightly in the same direction to restore it to its original luster. A fine wire brush should be used with non corrosive metal bristles. By holding the brush on an angle the brush will glide easily over the velvet.