5 Simple, Safe & Surprising Metal Cleaners

updated Jul 17, 2020
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Inspired by the folks who described their own homemade cleansers in our green cleaner comment thread yesterday, we remembered this list of simple and safe homemade metal cleaners in Real Simple Cleaning, and pulled it off the shelf this morning to take a look. Perfect for keeping your kitchen or bath faucets shining bright without chemicals!

1. Ketchup brightens copper. According to Real Simple Cleaning, the acetic acid in ketchup dissolves the oxide tarnish that makes copper look cloudy.

2. Lemons and Salt shine brass and copper. Cut a lemon in half, sprinkle with salt and rub on fixtures. Buff with a clean cloth.

3. Toothpaste works on chrome. Choose a plain white style toothpaste, rub on with a damp cloth and buff dry.

4. The acid in White Vinegar dissolves soap scum on chrome. Pour a bit on a cloth and rub it on the faucet.

5. A combination of Flour, Salt & Vinegar polishes brass, bronze and copper. Mix a paste of one tablespoon each of the three ingredients. Smear the paste on with a damp cloth, wipe, spray with water and buff dry.

These five tips are part of a longer list in Real Simple Cleaning, published in 2007, available here.