You likely have tens, if not hundreds, of metal items in and around your home. From your draining board and taps to furniture legs and curtain poles, metal is a feature of every home and often looks sleek and beautiful unless you don’t look after it properly.
Metal – with the exception of those that have gone through the annealing process to become less hard and more malleable – is a solid material, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged or tarnished through poor management and bad cleaning. If you use the wrong products or cleaning materials, you risk making your metal rust or scratching it.
Different metals need looking after in different ways, and your home probably has many types of metals in it. To help you keep your fixtures and fittings looking sparkling, we’ve put together this guide on keeping metals looking their best.
Brass won’t be the most common item in your home, but it might be found on things like doorknobs, locks, and doorknockers. If you have an old bed frame, that might also be made of brass. If not cleaned or looked after properly, it can tarnish quickly. Prevent tarnishing and extend the life of brass by cleaning it with hot water and soap.
Once cleaned, polish it with a lemon wedge that has been dipped in salt. Finally, add a paste wax layer to prolong the life and prevent further tarnishing. You don’t need to clean brass too often, but once every month or two should be sufficient.
In recent months, copper has really taken off in terms of interior design. The signature orange color can be seen on everything, from cutlery and pans through to side tables and vases; almost everyone has something made of copper in their home. It’s one of the easiest metals to clean and can easily be done using nothing more than salt and vinegar.
First, mix one tablespoon of salt (table salt is fine) and combine it with one cup of white vinegar. Next, combine the salt and vinegar mixture with three cups of hot water. You can either submerge the copper item into the mixture and wait for the grime to loosen, or you can use a soft microfibre cloth to gently wipe the copper clean using circular motions.
Aluminum is likely the most prevalent metal in your home. It can be found on everything from sinks and window frames to pots and appliances. It’s the metal you’re most likely to need to clean, but it can easily get scratched or tarnished if not done properly.
You can use a generic soap and warm water solution to clean aluminum, but take care not to use a rough sponge or a scouring pad as this could scratch and dull the metal. Instead, use cotton or microfibre cloth and go in a circular motion.
As aluminum is commonly used on appliance fronts and near taps, it can easily get dirty, and grime can get built on rather quickly. Avoid having to use harsh scrubbing by cleaning your appliances once a week.
In addition to aluminum, stainless steel is another common metal found in the home. It’s typically used for appliances like toasters and kettles, cutlery, and pots and pans. Stainless steel is a shiny metal which means you need to care not to scuff it when you’re cleaning it.
Avoid scuffs by adopting the same approach as with aluminum. Use warm soapy water and frequently clean to avoid a build-up of dirt and grime.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful and are now better placed to keep your metal items looking beautiful and new. Do you have any tips to share?