How To Clean Your Kitchen Sink & Disposal Naturally With Baking Soda & Vinegar - Easy & Organic
How to Clean Zinc
Items made with zinc can range from jewelry to tabletops and tubs. There are multiple ways to clean these objects effectively without having to buy harsh chemicals. The most common and environmentally friendly methods to clean zinc involve using lemon juice, vinegar, toothpaste, or baking soda. Also, consider that using acidic substances, like lemon juice and vinegar, will remove the patina on your zinc objects, which might not be desirable depending on the look you are going for.
Gathering Supplies for Cleaning
Use an old rag or cloth.To clean your zinc objects, use an old rag or cloth. You do not want to use a new cloth or one you currently use because it could get ruined. If you don’t have a used rag or cloth, you can make one by cutting up on old t-shirt or piece of clothing.
Choose a lemon or vinegar to clean your zinc.If you aren't worried about removing the patina from your zinc objects, use lemon juice or vinegar to clean your objects. If you choose lemon juice, you will need one or two lemons cut in half.
- If you choose to use vinegar, use plain, white vinegar.
Choose toothpaste or a baking soda paste.If you want to keep the patina intact, use solutions that are less acidic, like toothpaste or baking soda. If you choose to use toothpaste, any kind of toothpaste, i.e., Arm & Hammer, Colgate, or Aquafresh, will work.
- If you choose to make a baking soda paste, depending on how large the object is, use a teaspoon (for smaller objects like jewelry) to a tablespoon (for larger objects like tabletops or pots) of baking soda. Then gradually mix in water until a paste forms. Gradually mix in the water by alternating mixing with water. For example, add a few drops of water, mix, and then gradually add more water until a paste forms.
Use an old toothbrush.When cleaning small or hard to reach areas, use a toothbrush that you can discard. This can be an old toothbrush that you do not use or one that you are willing to replace. After using the toothbrush, instead of throwing it away, store it with your cleaning supplies so you can reuse it again.
Cleaning Your Zinc Objects
Place the item on a cloth or a paper towel.Depending on how big the item is, place it on a paper towel or a used cloth or rag. If the item is small, like a piece of jewelry, place it on a paper towel. If the item is larger, like a pot, place it on a larger cloth or rag.
Rub the zinc object with your cleaning agent of choice.Moisten a paper towel or cloth with your cleaning agent of choice. Then, rub your cloth over the entire object. Some areas of the object might be dirtier than others. Focus on these dirtier areas by rubbing more of the cleaning agent on them.
- If you are using a lemon as your cleaning agent, rub the lemon wedge over your zinc object while holding the rind.
Use a toothbrush to clean small areas.If there are small areas on the object, like corners or crevices, use a toothbrush dipped in your cleaning solution to clean these areas. The bristles on the toothbrush will be able to reach the smaller areas.
Pat dry with a paper towel or cloth.Once you have removed all the dirt and spots from the object, clean the object with a paper towel or cloth. Soak a cloth or paper towel in water and rub the surface area. Make sure to rub off all of the cleaning solution. Try not to use too much water. Once the cleaning solution is removed, pat dry immediately.
Polishing Your Zinc
Use a polishing cloth.Use a specially made cloth for polishing metals such as, zinc, steel, bronze, or silver, to polish your zinc objects. These polishing cloths can be purchased from your local crafts store like Michaels or Walmart.
- A polishing cloth is usually used for smaller zinc objects like jewelry and coins.
Use a metal wadding polish.Your zinc objects that have small areas of corrosion, uneven patination, or fingerprint marks can be polished using a metal wadding polish. Working in a circular motion, rub the object with the wadding polish. After polishing, let the object patinate naturally in air, and avoid handling it.
- You can buy a metal wadding polish online, at your local hardware store, or at a crafts store, like Michael’s.
- Be sure to check the effect of the metal wadding polish on an unobtrusive area before polishing the whole object.
Use a clean cloth.Use a clean cloth for outdoor objects with a whitish patina. These objects only need light cleaning and polishing. Rinse these objects with water, gently rub them with a light brush, i.e., a toothbrush, and thoroughly dry with a clean cloth.
To clean zinc, run a lemon wedge over it while holding the rind. Alternatively, put white vinegar on an old cloth and rub it over the zinc. If you’re concerned about retaining your object’s shine, you can use toothpaste, or a paste made from baking soda and water, since those substances are less acidic than lemon or vinegar. Whatever treatment you choose, clean the entire object with it, using a toothbrush to reach any small or intricate areas. Then, when the zinc looks clean, put a little water on the cloth, wipe off the cleaning agent, and pat your piece dry.
Video: Zinc Countertop Care & Cleaning
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