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How to clean metals and give them their sparkle

Copper maintenance.

Credences, door and cupboard handles, crockery, jewels, etc.: metals, whether they contain iron or not, are everywhere in the house. Prized just as much for their aesthetic qualities as for their hygienic properties, they require an adapted maintenance. The challenge is as much to preserve them as, sometimes, to restore them.

Maintain ferrous metals

Ferrous metals oxidize and rust over time. It is possible to renovate these metals with a suitable treatment.
The iron
Rusty or oxidized iron can be recovered by being rubbed with a steel wool pad previously loaded with paraffin. More rustic, the technique of onion sprinkled with sugar also works very well.
The cast
To remove rust on cast iron, rub the surface with emery cloth or steel wool. Then rinse and wipe the surface, then oil it gently withvegetable oil. To minimize the appearance of rust on the cast iron, its surface should be regularly coated with vegetable oil and dried immediately after use.
steel
Steel is present in our homes mainly in the form of'Inox, an alloy of steel and chrome which makes the metal stainless. Inox (especially when it is mirror or brushed) is the darling of contemporary furniture. At the same time elegant and hygienic, it is very present in the bathroom and the kitchen, as well on the furniture as on the faucets. Whichever method of cleaning is used, abrasive products and aggressive utensils are to be banned, otherwise they will permanently scratch their beautiful smooth and shiny surface.
Steel cleans itself relatively easily. When it is tarnished, sometimes attacked by verdigris, different products and techniques can be renovated.

  • Baking soda in the form of water-based paste is very effective to clean the stainless steel (or steel) and restore its brilliance. It must be rinsed quickly and the stainless steel surface must be dried. Then polish the stainless steel surface with a soft cloth.
  • The charcoal ash (or even cigarette), less known, is very effective for cleaning steel. It must be impregnated with a rag and rub the surface (this technique also works with edible oil).
  • A cut potatoFor those who are more sensitive to ecology, they will do just fine.
  • Soapy water and white vinegar are very effective too, but it is necessary to quickly rinse the treated object with clear water to leave no trace on the surface. It can then be polished with a chamois or a soft cloth.
  • The essence of turpentine will be very effective in removing rust stains on steel. It is applied to a cloth before gently rubbing the surface, then rinsing and polishing with a soft cloth.

Important: some objects in stainless steel are covered with a varnish. The use of certain products may alter the latter.

Maintain non-ferrous metals

Copper, brass, tin and aluminum, which are non-ferrous metals, are widely used for kitchen objects or decoration. Very present in the house, they also ask for a soft and non-abrasive maintenance.
tin
Tin degrades very little, but tarnishes in the long run. It requires a gentle cleansingwarm soapy water, followed by careful rinsing and adrying in good standing. A hay infusion is also very effective. Do not put it in the dishwasher.
The copper
Copper tends to tarnish quite easily. There are many products dedicated to its maintenance in DIY stores (including the famous Miror) and Grandma's remedies also work very well. So, a mixture of coarse salt and lemon will restore its brightness, taking care not to take a coarse grain salt to avoid scratching it. Rinse with warm water and polish with a dry cloth. The copper is also polished by rubbing it with newspaper.
Brass
Brass can be maintained in the same way as copper. Just like this one, it will react very well to a delicate friction at newspaper or with a cloth soaked in ketchup (It's the acidity of this condiment that does all the work). The brightener can be made by rubbing it with a solution of salted white vinegar (which is then rinsed).
The bronze
Bronze does not really clean, at the risk of damaging its patina. You just have to dust and rub gently with a cloth lightly moistened with linseed oil.
aluminum
Once it is stung, aluminum is unfortunately permanently damaged. It is therefore better to anticipate, wash and dry the surface regularly. If it is very dirty, the white of Meudon is very effective. This traditional drugstore product can be used on many other metals.
ImportantIt is always better to test the product and method chosen for cleaning on a small surface before using it on the entire object or accessory.

How to clean metals and give them their sparkle: clean

On the same topic

  • DIY tips
    • Pewter: restoration and glossy patina
    • Copper: deoxidation and maintenance
    • Maintenance of silverware
    • Maintenance of objects in various alloys
    • Maintenance of silver and silverware
    • Maintenance of copper objects
    • Maintenance of tin objects
    • Maintenance of iron objects

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