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How To Clean Your Metal Surfaces

You may not think about them too often, because they blend into the backgrounds of our lives, but our homes are full of metallic surfaces and objects. From stainless steel hob tops to chromed taps, brass doorknobs and golden jewellery. For many of these surfaces, you’ll probably just be wiping them down with a multi-surface cleaner and leaving it at that, and while this can work for general day-to-day cleaning, metal surfaces sometimes need a little bit of extra love and care. To ensure they truly shine and last, try out these more in-depth, but still super easy cleaning methods every now and then.

Stainless Steel

One of the most common metals found in our homes, stainless steel is found on ovens, many kitchen appliances, garden tools, and even some furniture. With ‘stainless’ in its name, it's pretty obvious that it's designed to be pretty resistant to dirt and rust, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t dull or tarnish at all.

For general cleaning, washing it with hot soapy water and a microfibre cloth should be enough. But if you need to get rid of some super tough marks, dilute water and white vinegar (2:1) and use a soft cloth to wash it, before rinsing.

You can also get specialised stainless steel sponges, designed to clean and buff without the risk of scuffing.

Aluminium

Aluminium is used across a wide variety of home objects including cooking accessories and patio furniture frames. First, you’ll want to wash it with warm soapy water. For something like a sauce or frying pan, you can soak it in boiled water with added lemon juice or white vinegar. For larger surfaces, simply cut a lemon in half and rub it over the surface before rinsing off and drying. Make sure you avoid using a scourer, even for burnt-on food, as this will cause scratching.

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Chrome

Chrome is a very common finishing metal that coats our taps, showerheads, sometimes doorknobs, or other kitchen appliances. With a super shiny look, its perfect at creating a high-class finish to our homes, so you want to make sure you treat it right to keep that aesthetic.

As always, wash first with warm soapy water. To remove stains, use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, and rub away with a microfibre cloth. You can remove any rust build-up by soaking a crumpled up piece of aluminium foil in vinegar and gently scrubbing away at the rust. You can also buy polishes designed specifically for chrome to ensure it stays protected.

Brass

Brass is commonly used on more decorative items in the home, especially vintage doorknobs and curtain finials. To keep brass clean, wipe it down with a wet, soapy cloth, and then buff it with a lemon juice and baking soda combo. Finally, to make sure it really shines, use a cloth to rub a little olive oil over it.

Copper

Copper is found on many decorative pieces such as metallic ornaments, finials, or even cooking utensils. A naturally antibacterial material, copper doesn’t require much maintenance, and juts needs the occasional buff and shine to keep it looking fantastic. As always, wash with warm soapy water to rid it of any solid grime. Then mix together one part salt, three parts white vinegar, and one part flour into a paste, and smear it across the item. After wiping it away and drying it, shine it with a polish.

Gold

Gold jewellery might seem difficult to clean; it is, after all, small, delicate, and fiddly. You can’t scrub it with a sponge or use harsh chemicals, but you can soak it! All you need to do is let it rest in some warm, soapy water for fifteen minutes to half an hour, and perhaps use a soft toothbrush to scrub away at any super persistent dirt. This should dislodge any grime, leaving it glamorously shining.

As you can see, cleaning and maintaining metals can be very easy, and you won't even need to use any harsh chemicals - perfect for those of us that are health and environment conscious! For some more easy, home-remedy cleaning tips, check out our article on how to Clean Green With Everyday Household Items, and make sure you check out our Cleaning Collection for lots of products that will make keeping your home clean a breeze!

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