5 Homemade Metal Polish Recipes You Should Know

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While store-bought metal cleaners can be very effective, you can also make some homemade cleaning solutions from items you likely already have in your kitchen. These DIY cleaning products will not only save you some money, but they also don't contain some of the harsh chemicals that metal cleaning products off the shelf often contain.


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Before you start scrubbing your homemade solution all over your metal object, be sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot first.

1. Ketchup

One surprising metal cleaner is ketchup, which can work wonders on tarnished brass. Apply a small squirt of ketchup to a rag or paper towel and watch as the acidity of the tomatoes breaks down the discoloration. The stains should wipe right off. Once you're finished, clean off any remaining ketchup with a wet cloth or towel and buff dry.


2. Lemon and Salt

Another choice for restoring brass is to use lemon and salt:

  1. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice directly on a sponge.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the sponge.
  3. Wipe the sponge over the brass object and then rinse off the cleanser with water. The dullness comes right off and leaves behind a sparkly glow.


3. Vinegar

Vinegar, which can be used to clean many household surfaces, can also be used to make a great cleaning paste for brass:

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar with a teaspoon of salt.
  2. Mix thoroughly until the salt has dissolved completely in the solution.
  3. Slowly add some flour until you have a pastelike consistency.
  4. Mix again to get a uniform paste.
  5. Apply the paste directly to the brass item and let it sit for approximately 10 minutes.
  6. Clean off the paste with water to make sure it is completely removed and then buff dry.


Vinegar can also work wonders for water spots on stainless steel. Put vinegar in a plastic spray bottle and spritz the sink, especially where there are water spots. Use a cloth or towel to wipe the vinegar and the water stains will come right off.

4. Baking Soda Paste

A simple home remedy for cleaning stainless steel sinks is making a baking soda paste:


  1. Rinse the sink and leave it wet.
  2. Pour on a fine layer of baking soda. The baking soda will cling to the damp sink and form a paste, which works as an abrasive cleanser that is safe for stainless steel.
  3. Use the paste to scrub the sink with a cleaning cloth or moist sponge in the direction of the grain of the stainless steel. If the mixture is too dry, you can turn on the faucet for a little additional water.
  4. Leave the paste on and use a lemon or lime to scrub the sink again. Cut the lemon or lime in half and use it as you would use a sponge to clean the sink. The acidity in lemons and limes can kill bacteria and leave behind a fresh scent.
  5. Wash off the paste and lemon or lime juice from the sink.
  6. When you are finished, you can put the lemon or lime in the garbage disposal and grind it to help replace any unpleasant smells in the disposal with a fresh citrus scent.


5. Olive Oil

If you want to get your stainless steel extra shiny, you can use olive oil as a polish.

  1. First, wipe off any residual cleaning solutions or water with a towel.
  2. Place a little olive oil directly on a dry towel or cloth and wipe down the sink, going with the grain.
  3. Finally, remove any extra olive oil with a paper towel or cloth and see the glow.