How to clean metal

How To Clean Metal

Feb 24, 2023

Wherever you work and whatever you do, chances are there’s some metal in your work environment. Whether it’s the office fridge, cutlery, window frames, furniture, or tapware, if you look around and take note you’ll likely find many different types of metal that you use every day. And with use comes dullness and grime, and with that comes cleaning. So how do you clean metal in your workplace?

This article explains how to clean several types of metal including stainless steel, aluminium, and silver. For personalised advice on office cleaning, contact our team at Cleantastic today, we proudly service over 8,000 commercial cleaning clients in MelbourneSydneyPerthGold CoastBrisbaneAdelaide and all across Australia.

How To Clean Metal

Cleaning metal makes it look shiny and new, giving your workplace a healthy-looking shine. However, not every piece of metal can be cleaned in the same way. It’s key to know how to clean each type of metal you have so that it doesn’t tarnish or rust.

Before you begin cleaning:

  • Check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.
  • Start by testing any cleaning product you plan to use on a conspicuous area so that if there is a reaction, it isn’t easily visible.
  • Always begin with the least abrasive cleaner possible and work your way up if necessary.

Stainless Steel:

Stainless steel is generally easy to clean and disinfect, which is why it’s often used in commercial kitchens. Although it’s fairly easy to clean, it can become scratched, and fingerprints, water, and food can leave marks on stainless steel surfaces.

Clean it with hot water and a clean cloth, cleaning along the grain rather than against it. If any stubborn stains remain, add a small amount of dishwashing liquid to the water.

Are stains still there? Try making a paste of baking soda and water, but as this can be abrasive, apply it in an inconspicuous area first. Whatever you do to clean stainless steel, never use steel wool as this can erode the protective outer layer of the stainless steel.

Lastly, use a damp clean cloth to get rid of any residue after cleaning. For a sparkling finish, spray some glass cleaner and wipe over it with a dry cloth.


Chrome is a soft metal often used in tapware, pots, and pans. It can be cleaned using water and dish soap applied with a soft cloth. You can also use baking soda and distilled white vinegar, which also aid in keeping it shiny and free of streaks.

If your chrome has rusted, dip aluminium foil in vinegar and scrub the area gently so that you don’t harm the chrome finish.

Ensure you clean chrome items and surfaces regularly, as the longer it’s left dirty, the more effort it will take to clean it. Chrome can easily take on water spots, so it’s best to keep on top of it.


This metal is easy to clean with water and dishwashing liquid. Ensure you clean it thoroughly so that no grease remains.

If you’re cleaning an aluminium pot, you can make a solution of vinegar and lemon juice and boil it to get rid of oxidisation.

For aluminium surfaces, use half a lemon dipped in salt to gently rub the surface. The grains of salt can be abrasive, so make sure you do this with care.


While usually associated with jewellery, silver is also used as a finish for cutlery. When silver-plated cutlery isn’t used frequently, it can become tarnished if stored for too long.

The first step to cleaning silver is to wash it with warm, soapy water and dry it off. For tarnished silver, fill a large pot (big enough to cover the silver items) with water and place it on the stove. Line it with aluminium foil and add baking soda— a couple of teaspoons or tablespoons may be enough if you’re only cleaning a few small items, or you may need a cup or more for more items. Don’t add the items yet, just the cleaning ingredients.

Heat the water to boiling. Once boiling, remove the pot from the stove and add your tarnished silver items. Move them around (safely, without burning yourself!) until you see black or yellow flakes in the water. This is sulphur coming off the items so that they’ll emerge good as new. Check on them every so often and remove them once you’re satisfied with their cleanliness.

Dry them with a clean, soft cloth, and rub off any remaining marks with the same cloth.


Gold can collect grime, but is relatively easy to clean. For gold items, all you should need is a simple solution of water and dishwashing liquid. Dissolve the dishwashing liquid in water and gently stir it before putting the gold items in. Leave them for 15 minutes, which gives them time to soak and for oils to dissolve.

Use a soft toothbrush or jewellery cleaning brush to scrub the item (though we don’t recommend doing this for jewellery with stones as it may loosen them). Then put it in a strainer and rinse it thoroughly with warm water, ensuring all soap suds are removed. Dry it gently with a soft cloth to make sure no moisture remains.

Keep Your Metal Clean With Cleantastic

There’s no universal way to clean all types of metal, so knowing what you’re doing when it comes to cleaning is paramount. And sometimes even when you know how to clean a certain metal, it may be heavily tarnished and require professional help. If you’re looking for somebody to restore your metals to good as new, look no further than Cleantastic! Wherever you are, we have a team near you ready to help you out. For the shine of your life, book a quote with us today.


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