Cleaning metal is something we all should do from time to time. There are a lot of options out there for us to choose from when we clean metal. One easy option is to go to the store and buy some kind of metal cleaner for what ever metal project you want to clean. But metal cleaners from the store are usually full of chemicals. Which is ok if you don’t have a problem working with chemicals? But here’s some ideas for you to use when cleaning metal.
Here are a couple of metal cleaning ideas that you may want to try. For cleaning metals like copper or brass you can try to use just plain tomato juice, catsup, hot vinegar, or a mixture of equal parts of vinegar and salt. All these items make a effective cleaners for non-lacquered brass and copper. Put it on the metal you want to clean and let it soak for about half and hour. Then rinse and if you missed some spots you can repeat the process.
For tough tarnish you can cut a lemon in half and dip it in a solution of equal parts of salt and vinegar and rub it energetically. If you want to make a paste to clean with you can heat ten ounces of a liquid soap in a double boiler and add 1 and a half tablespoons of cream of tartar and magnesium carbonate. Some powdered chalk can be added too. Then allow the mixture to cool and use it to polish your metal.
Ornamental copper that is coated with lacquer should be rinsed in warm soapy water and wiped dry. IF you want to remove the lacquer you can submerge the pot into boiling water and allow it to cool until the lacquer peels off easily.
If you have some silver to clean you can take a cloth moistened in ammonia and then dab it in some whiting and polish the silver. You can also take 2 cups of warm water and add four ounces of whiting and mix them together. Then add one and a half tablespoons of ammonia to the mixture and use it to polish silver. You can store this mixture in an airtight container.
If you have some aluminum to clean you can restore it by immersing the aluminum in water and adding a few tomatoes or stalks of rhubarb and bring it to a boil. Wipe the aluminum dry with a soft cloth.