It’s that time again —to replace those worn out, tarnished pans sitting in your cabinet. Or is it? Stop wasting money when the answer to your problems can be solved with ingredients found in your kitchen. Don’t throw out your once beautiful silverware set; restore it. Family heirlooms? No problem! Let Rain City Maids show you how to make metal shiny again.
Who doesn’t love the beautiful burnt, reddish-brown metal of copper especially when it’s hanging in your kitchen? Copper pans are a classic in American homes and restaurants for their excellent heat distribution but will lose its glow over time. When your copper items become tarnished follow this recipe:
- Mix one-part flour with one-part salt.
- Add enough vinegar to the dish to make a spreadable paste.
- Spread the mixture over the entirety of your copper item and let it sit for 30 min.
- Buff the copper item with a paper towel to reveal a beautiful shine!
Aluminum is a highly versatile metal found in homes, kitchens, and garages all over the world. Like copper, aluminum is able to withstand the grind of everyday use when paired with other alloys. Due to oxygenation, aluminum will dull in appearance over time. This soft metal requires careful handling and a non-abrasive cleaner and polish. For really tough stains use a store-bought polish, but for mild stains try this recipe:
- Slice a thick piece of lemon.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the lemon.
- Rub the lemon on your aluminum item.
- Wipe clean with a damp rag then dry with a clean cloth.
Whether passed down through your family or a treasure found at a yard sale, silver items are beautiful and deserve to be displayed and showcased. However, because this metal is so prone to tarnishing, many avoid buying silver. Another growing issue is whether or not silver should stay in its original state or be restored for the sake of value. If you’re concerned, speak with an antique dealer before attempting a restoration. A natural method for restoring your treasured silver is as follows:
- Place your silver items in an aluminum lined, deep container.
- Mix together equal parts of salt and baking soda.
- Spread the mixture over the silver items.
- Pour boiling water over the silver, stand back to avoid the steam.
- If the tarnish is being stubborn, add more salt, baking soda, or water to the silver.
- After 10-30 minutes, carefully remove the silver with tongs to see if the silver is done. Times will vary and may be done sooner.
- Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft rag.
Many accent pieces found in the home are made from bronze, but due to excess exposure to moisture in the air, oxidation will occur creating a green moldy appearance. Some people will find this patina acceptable; most others find it unappealing. For a natural restoration solution, try this:
- Combine equal amounts of flour and salt in a small dish.
- Add enough vinegar to make a paste.
- Spread the paste onto the bronze pieces and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Wash the paste off with water, then dry and buff with a soft cloth.
Whether you’re trying to restore metal furniture or fixtures in your home, brass can be expensive to maintain. When handling brass, avoid touching it barehanded. The oils in your hand can increase the rate of deterioration. Also, use a soft cloth when cleaning and polishing. For a less expensive approach, use this method to restore your treasures:
- Mix together equal parts salt and flour.
- Add enough white vinegar to make a paste.
- Apply the paste to the brass and let sit for up to an hour.
- Rinse with warm water and buff dry with a soft cloth.
Perhaps the most common metal in households today, stainless steel is virtually indestructible. For the most part, stainless steel is resistant to all stains, acids, heat, bacteria, and mold. Unfortunately, don’t be surprised to find your refrigerator covered in fingerprints and smudges. A unique solution to resist smudges and hide scratches in your stainless steel is to apply a dab of car polish to non-eating surfaces.
Instead of spending money on pre-made products, you now have several ways to manage the maintenance of the metals in your home. No longer do you have to part with grandma’s gorgeous silver platter or the copper pans inherited from your aunt. With just a few simple ingredients, you’ll be able to display your heritage with pride.