How to Clean Galvanized Steel Metal

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Things You'll Need

  • 1/4 cup dish soap

  • Hot water

  • Soft-bristled brush

  • Lint-free cloths

  • Paste wax or metal polish

  • White distilled vinegar

  • Spray bottle (optional)

  • Baby powder

  • Milk

  • Toothbrush

Galvanized metal is a form of steel that has been thinly coated in zinc oxide. This zinc oxide coating serves as a critical barrier that helps to protect the underlying steel from corrosion, oxidation and other damage from the elements. Galvanized metal is widely used in the building outdoor structures. Several methods can be used to clean various issues that occur on the material.

Wash With Soap and Water

Step 1

Mix 1/4 cup dish soap in a gallon of hot (not scalding) water.


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Step 2

Scrub the metal surface with firm, circular strokes using a soft-bristled brush.

Step 3

Rinse this off thoroughly with hot water and then wipe it dry using a lint-free cloth.

Clean Off Hard Water

Step 1

Create a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water.


Step 2

Rub the solution into the metal with a soft cloth or spray with a spray bottle.

Step 3

Dry with a cloth.

Neutralize Alkaline Deposits

Step 1

Mix one part baby powder with two parts milk.


Step 2

Use a toothbrush to apply this solution to the metal surface.

Step 3

Rinse off and dry thoroughly.


Once you've applied all methods, go over the metal with two dry, clean cloths to ensure the area is dry.

Apply a light coat of paste wax or metal polish to the rinsed and dried surface to help protect the metallic finish. Use another lint-free cloth to buff the galvanized steel to a high sheen.

CLR, a widely available household cleaning product, can also be used to clean galvanized metal. It is, however, relatively abrasive, and should therefore be used sparingly and thoroughly rinsed off immediately after cleaning. Dry with a lint-free cloth.


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