Having invested in a metal product or appliance, it’s only natural that you would want to keep it looking clean and shiny. Like most materials, metal can become stained and smudged. The good news is you can keep it looking its best simply by following some simple cleaning tips that we’ve listed below.
While stainless steel is one of the most hygienic metals that doesn’t mean to say that it can’t get dirty. Over time oil smudges can cause the metal to look dull. Stainless steel can also corrode but this is less likely to happen if you keep it clean.
You can clean stainless steel with water and a mild cleaner. You can also use white vinegar and olive oil to remove those pesky streaks you often find on stainless steel surfaces. If the stains are more stubborn, you may need to purchase a commercial stainless-steel cleaning product.
Aluminium can be found in a wide range of products from sidings and paint to appliances and cans. Practically all aluminium products will turn dull over time as layers of aluminium oxide gather on the surface.
This can be easily removed with an aluminium cleaner or soapy water but avoid using baking soda, as it may damage the metal. If you prefer to make your own cleaning products, then try mixing white vinegar with a little cream of tartar.
Many people use cast iron for cooking purposes in appliances such as Dutch oven. One easy way to clean cast iron is with cooking oil and salt. Don’t use water on this metal, however, as it may reduce the product’s ability to preserve flavours as you cook.
Similar to stainless steel, by keeping cast iron clean, you can help prevent corrosion.
If you use harsh chemicals on copper, it will tarnish quickly. While this doesn’t necessarily damage your product, it will make it look dull.
A safer way to clean copper is with a shop bought cleaning product designed for copper. If you want to go down the home-made route, then ketchup or salted lemon halves rubbed gently onto the copper will remove dirt and smudges.
Chrome is found on products like car bumpers, bike parts, car rims, and pans. It’s best cleaned with white vinegar or soap and water. Vinegar contains just enough acidity to remove tarnish and stains from chrome without causing corrosion. If you notice corrosion on your chrome products, use vinegar and aluminium foil to gently rub the rust off the products surface.
Silver is found in many products and looks stylish, luxurious, and shiny which is why many people enjoy wearing silver jewellery. If this is worn frequently against the skin, then you probably won’t need to clean it. However, silver does tend to tarnish when it’s stored for any period of time.
As well as shop bought silver cleaning products you can also use non-abrasive toothpaste.
Be aware that metals aren’t always as resilient as you perceive them to be so avoid using cleaning methods and materials which could scratch or corrode the surface.
If you’re trying out a home-made cleaning product or commercial cleaning product that you’re unfamiliar with, then always try it on a small patch in an inconspicuous area first.
If you’re still unsure about the best way to clean your metal product after reading these tips, then you can always contact the manufacturer for advice.