Metal surfaces are beautiful additions to any home. While they are relatively easy to care for, they do require a little work in order to look their best. Here are some tips for taking care of the metal in your home.
Use Rust-Protecting Sealants
Especially if the metal is in a part of your home where it will be prone to moisture, using a clear sealant to protect it from rust will save you a lot of trouble later. Clear sealant is perfect for architectural metal wall panels, metal on kitchen counters, faucets, shower heads, and other pieces of bathroom hardware.
Regularly inspect these sealants at the edges and seams, and touch up any flaws as they are discovered.
Keeping Metal Clean
Regularly cleaning the metal in your home will make your entire house appear cleaner and more updated. Metal is easy to clean, but it is essential to use the right type of cleaner for a specific metal.
For stainless steel, you will need a cleaner specifically created for this job. A proper stainless steel cleaner will polish the surface, deter future scratching, and get rid of stains.
Unless copper has a sealant, it is one of the more difficult metals to keep looking pristine. If it does have a sealant, you can use dish soap and warm water. If not, you can use a citrus half and a couple of pinches of salt to clean and polish the copper.
For most other metals, you can stick with the simple yet effective method of using warm water, a microfiber cloth, and dish soap.
Removing Mineral Deposits
If your home has “hard water,” you know the pain of the dreaded mineral deposits that make the metal in your home look beat up. Although they will not come off with regular cleaners, there is still a way to rid your home of them — simply soak these mineral deposits in vinegar and then wipe them off with a cloth.
If it is difficult to soak the area because it is a faucet or shower head, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and dunk the metal part in it. Next, secure the bag with a rubber band. Let this soak for several hours, and then wipe the mineral deposits off.
Attending to Rust
If the metal in your home does happen to rust, it is important that you treat it as quickly as possible. The longer you let rust sit, the more difficult it will be to remove. Here are a few rust-removal methods that include items you probably already have in your home.
Just like the natural copper-polishing method, you can use citrus juice and salt to remove rust stains. Start by sprinkling salt on the stain and squeezing the juice over the salt. Let this mixture sit for a few hours, and then use the rind to scrub the rust right off.
Vinegar is an amazing rust solution, especially when it is combined with baking soda to form a foaming paste. Add equal parts white vinegar and baking soda to the rust stain, then use a scrub brush to rid the area of rust.
It may seem strange, but you can also use potato and dish soap to remove a rust stain. Simply cut the potato in half, dip it in dish soap, and scrub the area. You can cut a layer off the potato and apply more dish soap as needed.