With the holiday season approaching, every individual goes on a cleaning spree. While cleaning wooden and plastic items in a household is an easy feat, the real challenge lies in cleaning objects made of metal.
Whether it’s your metal furniture or decor objects in your house, you can take care of your metal pieces to keep them new and fresh. Here are some effective tips to take care of your metal pieces based on their properties and retain their luster for a long time.
Brass is commonly used on furniture and decorative items. While not everyone is a fan of the tarnish that develops on the surface of brass, it can actually increase the value of the metal. To enhance their value and beauty, you can keep them as they are or do minimum cleaning and polishing. For this, you should first figure out the protective layer or finish that is applied to the brass pieces. For lacquered finishes, wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth. Brass pieces without a protective coat can be polished and scrubbed with a mild chemical cleaner.
Stainless steel objects usually comprise your utensils, decorative objects, and metal fixtures around your house. The best way to clean stainless steel and retain its shine is by using a soft cloth and clean water. Use a mild detergent and be gentle when scrubbing the metal pieces to remove spots. Be as gentle as possible as harsh scrubbing movements can create additional spots. Invest in cleaners specifically made for stainless steel as they are milder and will suit your needs.
Metallic accents and blends that are intricately made or mix two or more metals will need specific cleaners that are milder than the traditional formula. When metals are exposed to humidity and oxidation, they start developing a thin brown film, which is why 50% of all welding processes end up in corrosion. To avoid this, the metal must be prepared before and after the welding process. You can take your stainless steel objects to professional cleaners who use electrochemical cleaning to remove rust and prevent further corrosion.
Silver photo frames and silverware on the table are a popular sight in most homes that follow a luxurious decor theme. Irrespective of whether you keep them outside or packed until the holiday season arrives, every silver metal piece should be cleaned and polished on a regular basis. This will retain their shine and keep them from tarnishing. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with boiling water in a pot that is lined with aluminum foil. Place your silver pieces into the water and keep them immersed for a few seconds. This process will automatically scrub off the tarnish or black deposits on the surface. If the tarnish is stubborn, you can clean it using a mixture of water and baking soda.
Gold, which is a precious metal, is often used to make jewelry, intricate antiques, and certain delicate accent pieces that have a higher value. Even though pieces made with gold should be handled by experts, you can take consider certain maintenance tips to do the bare minimum at home. Place your gold pieces without stones in boiling water for a few minutes and use a soft brush to scrub the surface. You can also keep them immersed in a mixture of water and soft dishwashing soap. Once you scrub the surfaces with a gentle hand, use a soft cloth to pat them dry. Lastly, you can also use detergents made to clean gold or apply toothpaste.
A popular malleable metal alloy, pewter, is commonly used to make utensils. Metal scourers and abrasive cleaners should be avoided when cleaning pewter utensils as they can damage the metal surface. If the dishes get any acidic or colorful staining, remove them immediately as it can cause discoloration.
Mix 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup vinegar in boiling water and mix it well. Leave your copper pieces in the mixture and let them sit for a few minutes. You can also use mild soap and water to polish the surface. Wipe it clean and make sure that no polish residue is left as it can deteriorate the quality of the copper finish. If you fail to clean it thoroughly, your copper items may develop green stains that can be extremely difficult to clean later.
If you are still ambiguous about your cleaning needs and results, you can consult a metal expert or a local jeweler to gain insights on the best way to clean your metal pieces. To clean any metal, using a sable brush is highly recommended as they thoroughly clean the surface without causing any scratches.