Cleaning Metal

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 101 Feedbacks
December 2, 2011

Cleaning MetalIf you want to paint something metal or paint concrete, wipe it down with white household vinegar first, and your paint job will last much longer.


My dad once rescued a beautiful and ornate wrought iron shelving from the dump. It was rusty and looked like it should have stayed in the dump. I previously read where if you wipe it well with vinegar, you won't have the rust come through. He used my advice and 30 years later, the shelving is as good as new.

By Elaine S. from Near Cedar Rapids, IA

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 297 Posts
December 2, 2010

To clean brass, silver, and copper, mix 1 teaspoon tartaric acid with 5 pints of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Stir till tartaric acid dissolves. Use plastic gloves to protect your hands.

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February 16, 2006

Do you have metal that needs cleaning, brass boxes, hair clips, ear rings? Try wiping it down with rubbing alcohol.

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9 Questions

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August 1, 2011

How do you take the sticky stuff from tape off metal?

By Jared


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 113 Posts
August 2, 20111 found this helpful

I use hand sanitizer to remove sticky tape residue from a surface. Place a dab of the hand sanitizer onto the sticky residue. Let stand about 5-8 minutes. To remove; scrub with a coarse cloth or if it is on a surface that can tolerate a scouring pad, use the scouring pad to remove it.


This method has worked well. I learned this tip from working as an educational assistant and had to remove tags from the student's desk.

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

Try using Goof Off.

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

Soften with a hair dryer then rub with fingers.

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August 3, 20110 found this helpful

Use "Goo Gone". It works great and a bottle will last forever! There are many other uses for it also.

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July 21, 2007

I bought some ancient, as in really old, metal fighting gloves. When I received them they are covered with rust. I cleaned them with paper towels, then used olive oil. There must be something better to clean and preserve. I had to scrub the rust off my hands. I didn't want to wash the metal because I thought it might hurt them. I've attached a picture.

T Lehew from Dallas, TX


July 22, 20070 found this helpful

I have not tried this but a friend told me about this site see what you think. You have a great find. Good Luck!

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By Ann (Guest Post)
July 26, 20070 found this helpful

OK. Those are weird!

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Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 87 Requests
July 26, 20070 found this helpful

from watching antiques roadshow and others like it they always say leave the antique as it is. if you must get them cleaned i would take them to a reputable antique dealer and ask them.

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By CAROL (Guest Post)
July 26, 20070 found this helpful

iNTERESTING, but creepy.

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
July 28, 20070 found this helpful

Call a museum and talk to the curator. I'm sure he'll refer you if he cannot answer your questions.

I think they're really a neat peice of history.

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August 2, 20070 found this helpful

Those ARE some scary looking gloves! What about using a dab of some 3 in 1 oil and rubbing it in with a soft cloth?

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March 23, 2017

My mum has given me a silver coloured metal lamp shade, but unfortunately she is a heavy smoker hence it has stains on it. I don't want to immerse it in water as it would go rusty. Any ideas?

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January 19, 2011

I have metal tins that contain solvent based inks and metallic flakes. I want to clean and reuse these tins. Any ideas?

By Michael from Cape Town


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
January 20, 20110 found this helpful

You can use them to keep nails, screws, thumb tacks, craft supplies, etc. in. If you can't find a use for them for yourself then donate them to a retirement home or a school for the folk to make craft projects.

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January 21, 20110 found this helpful

Clean them with the solvent for them. Depending on what the solvent is, that could be water, paint thinner etc.
Try nail polish remover also, as that is a common solvent.

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June 21, 2007

I have a conveyor that uses a metal type screen to carry pastries and sugar has burnt on it. I have tried using a HEAVY degreaser and a type of steel pad which tore my hand up, is there an easier method? Like boiling or soaking? Even with the pad it took a lot of elbow grease.

Laura from Tallahassee, FL


By Dragonfly (Guest Post)
June 22, 20070 found this helpful

If the screen can be removed and placed in a large plastic garbage bag, add about 1/2 cup of amonia and seal tightly. Leave overnight. The next day, burnt on food/sugar can be virtually rinsed away -- a bit of scrubbing or rubbing, but nothing like the elbow grease that might otherwise be required.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
June 25, 20070 found this helpful

Isn't there a way you could spray Oven Cleaner on it and let it work for about six hours before rinsing If it's aluminum metal, I'd leave it on only for about ten minutes, but if stainless steel, I'd leave it on 3-6 hours, checking one edge often to see if it's lifting? Use plenty of newspaper beneath and cover/mask any plastic it might drift to. Use in good ventiliation only. That should clean it. Good luck. God bless you. : )

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July 25, 2005

I live in a fairly old apartment, but love my little home sweet home. I am trying to figure out how to clean the front of the heater in my bathroom. It is one of those built in the wall heaters. I have noticed that there are four screws in the front that could probably be taken out. It is chrome, or at least I think it is, and really corroded. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Tonya from Texas


By suzi homemaker (Guest Post)
July 28, 20050 found this helpful

Take it off, clean it well with a degreaser, dry, spray paint it silver (or whatever other color you would like it to be), and put it back on. I did this for a lady I clean for. Hers was a flat brown and I used flat brown camoflage paint that we had laying around.

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July 28, 20050 found this helpful

Suzi - Thanks for the idea with the degreaser. The one I have is not painted. I think it is just the chrome. What kind of degreaser do you recommend?


Do you think like a foaming oven cleaner or one of those bathtub cleaners would work? Thanks for the information. I will keep it in mind for sure.

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