How do you clean metal?


Quick Answer

There are a variety of metals, and many require different techniques for cleaning. Start by first determining the type of metal you are dealing with. Aluminum, for example, requires the use of an acidic substance. Always use the proper tools and practice proper safety techniques when cleaning metal.

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Full Answer

  1. Scrub the aluminum

    To clean aluminum, clean it out with hot water and soap. If you are washing an aluminum pot or pan, remove the grease as soon as possible. If you need to use a scratch pad to do this, be gentle to avoid damaging the pot. Next, remove any burnt-on food by adding some water and putting it to boil. After a few minutes, use a wooden spatula to scrape away the burnt substance.

  2. Remove oxidation

    Cook something acidic in the aluminum, such as tomato, apple, lemon or rhubarb, to get rid of any built up oxidation. You may also fill the pot or pan with water and add cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice per quart of water. Let this concoction boil for at least 15 minutes. Dump out the contents, and repeat if necessary.

  3. Clean the surface

    Use half a lemon dipped in salt and gently rub the outside of the aluminum pot. This method also works for other aluminum surfaces. Avoid using abrasive tools, such as steel wool. Finally, rinse the pot thoroughly with hot water.

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