Tarnish, Corrosion, & Rust Removal

September 12, 2016

If you have a few projects on your “to-do” list, and you haven’t quite figured out how you are going to handle them, consider doing them yourself before hiring a professional. Sometimes a project requires a little more experience to complete, so gauge your level of expertise before jumping in head first. Make sure you plan ahead for big projects, and ask for help when doing any heavy lifting.

Smaller projects will still require an ample amount of time, so pick a day when you can focus solely on the task. Once you complete a project by yourself, you’ll feel a sense of pride in your work, and when guests come over and compliment the final work, you will be able to say, “I did that myself!”

Tarnish, Corrosion, & Rust Removal

Whether you’re dealing with flatware, hardware, or metal surfaces in general, things like tarnish and rust will eventually become a problem. These corrosions happen with time, depending on the age and condition of item. If you have silverware that needs to be polished, start by soaking the pieces in vinegar and boiling water.

Use a ½ cup of vinegar per cup of boiling water, and add in a tablespoon of baking soda. You will get a reaction, so add ingredients together carefully. Transfer mixture to a pan lined with aluminum foil. Let each piece of silver sit in the solution for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and remove with tongs. Rinse and dry thoroughly and your silver should shine like new! If you’re not into chemistry, try a simple silver polish, and follow instructions according to the label. These polishes are made specifically for cleaning silver, so they are pretty much fool-proof. Be sure to rinse and dry the silverware before its next use.

If you’re looking to remove rust, there are several ways of doing so, depending on what you are trying to remove rust from. If rust has stained the exterior of your home, like brick or concrete, try using a rust-removing paste (usually contains sodium citrate), and scrub into the surface. It will need to dry and harden, then you can scrape the paste off to reveal a clean finish. Most of us are familiar with those pesky rust stains in our shower or bathroom, usually around faucets and fixtures.

If you’re noticing rust in these areas of your home, try a household rust remover that will do the job gently, so as not to ruin the shine on your hardware. There is a less-conventional method for removing rust from stainless steel, by rubbing a soft nail file along the rusty portion, and then gliding over it with a slice of onion. We suggest sticking with the rust remover, but be sure to wear gloves and protective eye gear while working with any chemical, as these types of harsh cleaners can leave rashes and be toxic. If possible, opt for an eco-friendly rust remover, or one that doesn’t require too much application.

When trying to remove rust stains from clothing, sprinkle a little table salt on the stain and squirt lemon juice on top. Be sure to test this method on an inconspicuous portion of the garment to make sure colors aren’t fading, etc. Removing rust from tools, such as a pair of old pliers, simply dip the rusty portion of the tool in a cup of vinegar. Let it soak for a few hours and it should come out looking brand new!


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