How to Keep Etched Metal Plates Clean

Cleaning Metal PlatesCleaning metal nameplates, particularly those that come with grooves and ridges like etched metal plates, can be somewhat tricky if you do not know how to do this particular task. There is an easy way however, and you can use this method to clean different kinds of metal nameplates that have raised and recessed features on them. You can use this method on all types of metals (provided that these are rust and tarnish proof), and afterwards, you can polish each type of metal with the many different polishing methods made for each.

For all types of tarnish and rust proof metals, you can clean these easily with the use of a mild, grease-removing dishwashing detergent. Dilute this washing liquid with some water and use a clean, damp cloth to wipe this soapy substance all over the metal plate you are cleaning. Let the dishwashing liquid’s grease fighting power work its wonders on the metal for a few minutes before wiping this off with another piece of cloth, this time use one that has been dipped into some clean water.

You can do this a couple of times if the metal plates you are cleaning are rather dirty. Just make sure that you use a clean piece of cloth for each pass that you make over the metal. If after this step you find that the grooves of your plate is still dirty and the ridges are filled with grime, you should get either a Q-tip or a wooden cuticle stick and dig out the dirt from these grooves. Just be careful not to scratch the metal when you do this (although with the use of a cotton-tipped Q-tip or a wooden cuticle stick, you would be hard-pressed to scratch any metal).

Once you have removed the deep seated dirt from these ridges, and wiped down the entire metal nameplate afterwards, you can then proceed to the polishing part of this cleaning method. First thing you will need is to get the right polish for each type of metal.

  • For aluminum, you can use car wax in a small amount. Wipe a drop of car wax on the metal and buff this with the use of chamois cloth.
  • For stainless steel, you can polish this with the use of olive oil. Use a clean, dry piece of cloth with fine texture (like micro fiber), and put some olive oil on this cloth. Wipe this all over the metal, making sure to follow the grain of the stainless steel to prevent scratching. Once you’ve wiped the entire metal plate off with the oil, take a dry piece of cloth and buff it to a nice shine.
  • For brass and bronze, you can use a small dollop of toothpaste, microfiber cloth, and some careful rubbing to get it to shine after cleaning. 

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