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How to Clean Different Metals During Your Move

Removing tarnish is a great way to restore the sheen of your metal valuables.

Removing tarnish is a great way to restore the sheen of your metal valuables.

You’ve lined up your Vernon movers and now you’re sorting through your belongings to see what you’ll bring with you. As you undergo this process, you’ll likely find that certain items no longer look as nice as they once did, particularly metal objects.

That’s because metal can easily tarnish over time, and moving is a good opportunity to give everything a once-over. However, different metals require a different approach to cleaning. Here are some moving tips that might help.

 

Aluminum

Aluminum is commonly used to make pots and pans. Over time, they can develop a dull, gray film as a result of oxidation. If a thorough cleaning with a mildly abrasive pad doesn’t get rid of it, try boiling it in an acidic solution. To do this, fill the pot with water then add a couple of tablespoons of either:

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Cream of tartar

Bring the solution to a boil for 10 to 15 minutes. If you have any tarnished utensils, toss them in the pot, too.

 

Brass

Depending on whether your brass is lacquered or not will determine which approach you use. If it’s the former, simply soak the item in warm water with a little dish soap and gently wash with a soft cloth.

If it’s not lacquered, you can remove tarnish by rubbing it with some lemon juice. Be sure to rinse and dry it thoroughly to avoid water spots. Apply a thin layer of olive oil for a protective coating.

 

Copper

You’ve probably seen photos of the Statue of Liberty, but did you know that Lady Liberty is made of copper sheeting? That green-blue hue is called patina, and it’s the result of years of oxidation.

It’s worth noting that some antique copper items are worth more when left in their tarnished state, but it’s a matter of preference. If you want to restore copper to its original peachy-pink radiance, follow these steps:

  • Gently wash in soapy water
  • Apply a paste made of salt, vinegar and flour and let sit for 30-60 minutes
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly

For non-cooking items, such as jewelry and coins, apply a light layer of olive oil to prevent oxidation.

 

Silver

Cleaning silver is fun because it’s like a science experiment. After washing off any oil residues with warm soapy water, line a bowl or pan with aluminum foil and add enough water to cover the silver objects you’d like to clean.

Add a few tablespoons of baking soda, bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Fully submerge your silver items, ensuring they contact the foil and wait several minutes. You’ll notice the tarnish transferring from your silver to the foil.

 

For more tips on protecting valuables during a move, read: How to Protect Your Office Art.

 

Whether you’re looking for hot tub and piano movers, or local and long distance movers, call Bekins Moving and Storage. We’re the Vernon movers who can do it all.

Moving soon? Book your FREE in-home estimate.