If you're a collector of old silverware, mugs, plates or pots and pans, then you probably know that it's a rare to find these metals in pristine condition. In fact, more often than not, they feel oily if not somewhat greasy to the touch. Even if you don't know the precise origin or nature of the stain, you can remove the oily glaze, restore your prized piece of metal and make it a real "find."
Remove as much surface oil from the metal as possible with a cotton swab. For a dense, bubbled oil stain, cover the stain with a paper towel to protect the metal and try to lift off the oil with your fingernail.
Squirt a small amount of liquid dish soap formulated especially for grease -- or touted for its grease-cutting action -- onto a cotton ball. Rub the oil stain with the cotton ball.
Dampen another cotton ball with cool water and wipe the surface of the metal to remove the soapy residue. Wipe the metal clean with another cotton ball.
Remove the oil stain by spraying a little WD-40 directly on the oil stain. WD-40 is safe on metal. Remove the excess with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Repeat the steps, if necessary, until the oil stain is gone. Buff your metal piece to a shiny luster with a soft, nonabrasive cloth.