Storage of Metals: How to Clean Different Metals Before Storing Your Belongings

At Annacis Lock Up, we pride ourselves on keeping your personal belongings safe and secure.  We have an electronically alarmed perimeter fence, which can only be accessed by a personalized as well individual door alarms to keep your possession safe.  However, in order to ensure your belongings remain in good condition while they are kept in storage it is a good idea to thoroughly clean things like metal before putting them away.   Left to the elements metal can tarnish over time, taking away its shine and luster.  So before you store away your silver dinnerware or your extra pots and pans, take a moment to go over these usual tips on how to clean your metals.


Most pots and pans are made out of aluminium and over time they can develop a dull grey film due to oxidation.  First try cleaning the pot or pan with a medley abrasive pad, like a pot scrubber.  If this doesn’t work you may have to try boiling it in an acidic solution such as vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tartar.  First, remove any grease or oil that may be on the pan with warm water and dish soap.  Then mix a solution of one litre of water to 2 tablespoons of vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tarter.  Fill the aluminium pot or pan with the solution and bring it to a boil.  Allow it to boil until the original shine of the aluminium begins to return, and then pour out the water give the pan a final scrub with a sponge to remove any leftover discolouration.  Or you can simply use a gentle aluminium cleaner with a sponge, as you would dish soap.  Both methods work for any aluminium utensils as well.


Brass items are actually quite easy to clean.  First, determine whether the item is lacquered brass or not, that is whether a protective layer has been applied to the brass.  Most brass items nowadays is lacquered in the manufacturing process, leaving only very old or specially made brass items unlacquered.  Lacquered brass should only be cleaned by soaking it in warm water with a little bit of dish soap.  Non-lacquered brass can be cleaned with lemon juice.  Be sure to rinse and dry thoroughly to avoid any water spots.


Copper is well known for turning from its original colour to a green-blue hue from oxidization.  As a matter of fact, some copper items can be more valuable left in this greenish state.  However, if you’re not looking to sell your items and want to restore them to their original shine then all it takes is a few simple steps.  First gently wash the item in soapy water.  Then apply a paste made of salt, vinegar and flour and let that set for 30-60 minutes.  Then rinse and dry thoroughly.


Your silver times are typically your most valuable so you’ll want to take extra care in cleaning them, but this process is no more complicated than the previous and can actually be a little fun.  To clean your silver first you must wash off any oil residue using warm, soapy water.  Then line a bowl or pan with aluminum foil and add enough water to submerge the silver items.  Then add a few tablespoons  of baking soda and bring the water to a boil.  Once the water has come to a boil remove it from the heat and fully submerge the silver, being sure that it comes into contact with the aluminum foil and wait several minutes.  The tarnish will transfer from your silver onto the aluminum foil, leaving your silver looking as good as the day you got it.

Keeping your metal items clean is the perfect way to ensure they last a long time. Even if you plan to keep your items stored for an extended period of time, you will want to be sure they are well maintained so you don’t run into any nasty surprises once you bring them out of storage. For more helpful tips like these, or to book a top quality, secure storage site for yourself, be sure to contact us today!