Fine silver, brass, copper or any shining metal surface adds to the beauty of a room. Learn simple ways to clean these and many other metals.
Brightening the home or a special occasion with the use of fine silver is really a treat for the eyes. Brass accessories, copper pots in the kitchen or any shining metal surface adds to the beauty of a room. The most difficult part of using metals for decorative purposes is the necessity of continuous polishing which is required to give metal objects their attractive sheen. The simple tips below will help you keep all your metal objects in tip top shape.
Although silver polishes work quickly they are usually abrasive and will eventually wear away the silver. It is simple and less expensive to make your own silver cleaning products that will not wear away surfaces. One of the best homemade silver polishes can be made by mixing 4 ounces whiting and 2 ounces of soap flakes into 2 cups of warm water. When this has cooled add 1 1\2 teaspoons of ammonia and store in an airtight bottle. Another jelly type polish can be made by blending 1 cup of water and 1\4 cup soap flakes until frothy. Add 2 tablespoons whiting and 1\2 tablespoon denatured alcohol and store in a tightly covered jar. For a flat polish, clean silver thoroughly and immerse in a quart of boiling water to which you have added 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon salt. Boil for 5 minutes.
To restore stained aluminum pots simply immerse in water and add tomatoes or rhubarb stalks. Bring to a boil and remove. Wipe with a soft dry cloth. Rust can be removed from iron pots by boiling them in a pan filled with hay and water. To remove scratches from iron pots make a paste of baking soda and water, rub it on the scratches and rinse. It is always wise to season ironware. This can be done immediately after purchase by placing 2 tablespoons of oil in the pot, thoroughly coat the inside with a paper towel and place on a low burner for 35 to 45 minutes. A solution of warm water and ammonia will clean most stainless steel. For stubborn stains make a paste of whiting and warm water. Pewter can be cleaned by soaking in a quart of water with a lump of potash added. After soaking 24 hours, rub with olive oil and dry with a soft cloth.
Copper and brass respond well to tomato juice, hot vinegar or even hot buttermilk. To make your own polish for copper and brass, dissolve 1\2 cup soap flakes in one pint hot water. Blend in 3 tablespoons whiting and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Store in an air tight container and always shake before using. If you like your stove top to sparkle, clean with 3 tablespoons of cream of tartar. Bronze can be cleaned by dipping it in a mild soap solution, dry with a soft cloth and then buff gently to replace the shine.