If you’re sick of dealing with grubby fingerprints on your metal appliances, forget about spending a small fortune on commercial cleaners. They’re expensive, they’re corrosive, and they’ll introduce a ton of chemicals into your home. Home-made cleaners can make light work of even the dirtiest metals for a fraction of the price of commercial products. The best bit? They’re all-natural, meaning you can keep your appliances looking shiny and new without coating them in toxins in the process. Before we start looking at some of the best natural cleaners you can make from ingredients in your pantry, a quick word of caution. Metals might look as tough as old nails, but some can be incredibly sensitive. If you’re at all concerned about using a new product (homemade or otherwise) on your precious metals, always patch test on a small, inconspicuous area first. If you’re dealing with a cherished heirloom, skip the DIY route entirely and leave it to the professionals. Advise over, here’s everything you need to know about how to clean metal, the natural way.
How to Clean Silver
Over time, silver can oxidize, leaving it looking as dull as dishwater. Put the sparkle back in your silverware with the following method.
- Step 1 – Wash the items thoroughly in warm, soapy water.
- Step 2 – Add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda to a pan that’s been lined with aluminum foil. Add water, place the pan over the heat, and bring it to a boil.
- Step 3 – Remove the pan from the heat, add the silverware and leave for five minutes. Agitate the items gently with a spatula as they soak.
- Step 4 – Once the silverware looks clean, remove the items from the water and polish them with a soft cloth to restore their luster.
How to Clean Stainless Steel
Stainless steel appliances may look stunning when they’re new and shiny, but over time, they can lose their gloss. To restore their gleam, try the following method.
- Step 1 – Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. As The Spruce notes, vinegar is a mild acid that will cut through any oil and grime left by fingerprints, allowing them to be lifted easily with a cloth rather than smeared around the surface like some other cleaners. In addition to its grease-cutting abilities, vinegar is nonabrasive and an effective sanitizer, making it a very useful product to add to your cleaning arsenal.
- Step 2 – Spray the vinegar generously over your stainless steel surfaces before gently wiping them dry with a soft cloth or paper towel. Wipe in the direction of the grain for the best results.
- Step 3 – Once all the grime and fingerprints have been lifted away, wipe the surface again with a damp cloth. This will remove any last traces of vinegar that, left to linger, could eventually start interacting with the metal in a less than desirable way.
How to Clean Gold
Although specialist cleaners are available for gold, you might be surprised at how many regular household products can be used to bring its glow back. Although you might want to leave precious gold items that contain jewels (engagements rings, etc) to the professionals, the following method will successfully restore plain gold items.
- Step 1 – Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the surface of the gold item to be cleaned. If you’d rather, you can substitute the toothpaste for a paste made from a combination of flour, vinegar, and fine salt.
- Step 2 – Gently scrub the toothpaste into the surface using a toothbrush.
- Step 3 – Rinse the item before gently buffing the surface with a soft cloth.
How to Clean Aluminum
As WikiHow notes, one of the most effective ways to clean aluminum is with a regular household acid like lemon or vinegar. If you’re cleaning aluminum kitchen pans, remember to remove any burned-on food first by adding some water to the pan and leaving it to boil. After 5 minutes, remove it from the heat: the burned-on food should lift easily away with a rubber spatula. Avoid trying to remove the food crusts with steel wool or anything similar: the course material can lead to irreparable damage.
- Step 1 – Clean the interior of the pan by washing it with warm, soapy water. Once it’s clean, rinse it out then refill it with clean water and 2 tablespoons of either lemon juice or white vinegar. Place the pan on the heat and leave it to boil for 15 minutes. Once the pan is clean, rinse it out and dry thoroughly.
- Step 2 – Now the inside of your pan is gleaming, it’s time to tackle the exterior. Cut a lemon in half and dip the cut side in salt. Rub the lemon over the surface of the pan. To finish, wipe the surface with a damp cloth before drying.
How to Clean Copper, Brass, and Pewter
As Clenipedia writes, copper has made a big comeback in recent years, and little wonder. But while it looks fabulous when it’s shiny and new, it can become dull and discolored over time. If your copper items are in need of a refresh, try this easy cleaning method. It also works well on brass and pewter.
- Step 1 – Halve a lemon and sprinkle the exposed side with coarse ground salt. Gently rub the lemon over the surface of the appliance.
- Step 2 – Rinse the appliance before buffing it with a soft cloth to restore its sheen.
Tip: You could also try mixing lemon juice with baking soda into a paste. Aim for the consistency of toothpaste. Buff the mixture into the surface and leave to sit for five minutes. Rinse, then wipe with a soft cloth to finish.
How to Clean Chrome
Hunker has some great hacks on how to clean metal, including this easy way of dealing with chrome.
- Step 1 – Apply a small amount of baby oil to a soft cloth.
- Step 2 -Use the cloth to gently clean and shine your chrome fixtures and trims.
How to Clean Cast Iron
Cast iron cooking appliances are great to work with, but they can easily lose their gleam over time. Give them a refresh with this easy method.
- Step 1 – Run the cast iron under warm water. Use a plastic scrubber to remove any burnt-on food.
- Step 2 – Blot the pan or pot dry. Apply a small amount of olive oil to a dry paper towel then use it to lightly coat the interior of the pan.