Intro: How to Clean Old Metal Fixtures
Have you ever been given or purchased an antique that has metal fixtures that are rusty and tarnished? Bring those fixtures back to life with these simple instructions.
Step 1: Soak Fixtures in a Vinegar and Ketchup Solution to Remove Rust
- Remove fixtures from antique.
- Place in the kitchen sink or large bowl.
- Pour white or apple cider vinegar that is 5% acidity into the sink with the fixtures.
- Put some ketchup in with the vinegar.
- Let the fixtures soak for a few hours.
- Wearing gloves, take each fixture and put some extra ketchup on them and scrub them using an old tooth brush. The ketchup helps make a paste to scrub the extra rust off.
- After scrubbing each fixture, place them back in the vinegar solution and let them rest a few more hours.
- Scrub more if necessary.
- Remove from vinegar solution, rinse off with water, and immediately dry with a cloth or paper towel afterwards. If you don't dry them they will oxidize again with the water and create more rust.
Step 2: Get Remaining Rust and Some Tarnish Off With Brasso
After you have used the vinegar mixture, use Brasso and a paint brush to get some of the harder rust spots off. Wipe the fixtures clean with a cloth.
Step 3: Use Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish
Use Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish to get rid of all the tarnish left over on the fixtures. Take your paint brush and scrub it onto each fixture. Continue to rub until the polish begins to turn grey. Take a clean terry cloth and gently rub the polish off. If the fixture is still tarnished repeat the process until the fixture shines.
Step 4: Seal Fixtures
Use a clear enamel spray to seal your fixture, or they will continue to rust and tarnish with time.
Step 5: Attach Fixtures Back to Antique
Once your sealant has properly dried, put your fixtures back onto your antique and admire your work.
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