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Antique Metal Cleaning

Posted On January 9, 2016 at 8:10 am by / No Comments

 

Antiques are a great thing to have around because they can be worth something if they are taken care of properly. All antiques will need cleaned and maintained properly and in a specific way. If the item was cleaned incorrectly, or not maintained, then it could be worth less than it originally would be, or it can be permanently damaged. Some collectors actually like the rust and tarnish as it makes the item more value. As an example think of an item with patina.

 

If the antique item in question is a metal then there is a very good chance that the metal is tarnished and turning black. There are very many ways to clean this tarnish off of these items and it is possible to do so without using harsh chemicals. The last thing anyone would want to do while attempting to clean an antique is to tarnish it more or ruin it.

It would be so upsetting to have it ruined due to simply not knowing proper care or having the proper care instructions provided. There lies a very good question. How to clean antique metals without damaging the item? Well, the answer to that is simple as long as you have what you need to do so.

 

A Natural Cleaning Solution

 

One way to clean tarnished metals such as silver, iron, steel, and even brass, is by using this natural solution. Place the antique item in a plastic bin. Use (you had a capitalization error) two cups of hot water, two to three teaspoons of baking soda, and a dash of dish soap. Let the items soak in this for at least five minutes but they can also sit in it for longer. If the item you wish to clean does not fit inside the bin being used, it is okay to gently scrub them with a washcloth soaked in the solution.

For those items with intricate designs that need cleaned too use a soft bristled tooth brush to get into those areas. You can also add a very small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to this solution to really combat caked on tarnish, grime, and blackness of the item. Be careful using this though because it will fizz and if you add too much you will end up with a large and foamy mess. This solution will not hurt the items or you,  but feel free to use gloves if you want to.

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Vinegar and Ammonia

 

Another way to clean steel, silver, and iron is by using just white vinegar. Vinegars’ small amount of acid will help break down the grime and the tarnish easily. Soak the item in a bin of white vinegar to clean it. it can soak in there for around an hour. This is safe on the items and will leave it gleaming brilliantly when it’s completely clean. This version may also require the help of a soft bristled toothbrush for designs that may be on the item.

Along with vinegar clear ammonia is also another good cleaner. The ammonia cleans the same way vinegar does, and the item to be cleaned can just as easily be placed in a bin of ammonia instead of vinegar for 10 to 30 minutes. Ammonia can also be used to polish silver but it is a good idea to use caution when cleaning with ammonia because of the way it reacts with our skin.

 

Lemon Juice Can Clean Silver

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Straight lemon juice can also easily clean silver. The citric acid in lemon juice is a natural cleaning agent that traps and removes heavy metal ions. It is this natural agent that is also found in high end cleaning chemicals used for cleaning metals. For this it is best to have fresh and real lemon juice because the levels of acidity with them are greater than those of bottled lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice is able to be used as well but only prior to an expiration date. After the date the juice will not clean well, if at all.

Remember to always wash your antiques and maintain them often so they remain valuable and retain their appeal. When it comes to antiques, polishing them once a week should help fight off the tarnish and grime. It is also important to know that it is okay to go to a professional for cleaning and they can easily be found online. It is also important to note that some of these may be harmful to other forms of antiques.

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