How To Clean Galvanized Steel Metal

Steel pipes

Because of its durability and functionality, galvanized steel metal is used in a variety of purposes. It is used in making things as large as ship hulls and as small as screws and bolts. Sheets of galvanized steel also find use in many construction projects. To keep its functionality, galvanized steel metal has to be periodically cleaned. This is to keep the coats of zinc oxide, the metal’s protective barrier, from depletion and corrosion. Cleaning galvanized steel metal is pretty simple. Here are the steps.

  1. Rinse the metal. Rinsing the metal takes away all loose dirt, including small pieces of rocks and sand. You can either hose down the dirt or splash water from a bucket to rinse them away. Make sure to remove all surface dirt to make cleaning a lot easier.
  2. Prepare the cleaning solution. Galvanized steel metal only requires soapy water. In a bucket, mix one cup of dish soap with one gallon of water. To protect the zinc coating, it is best to use gentle soap and hot water in cleaning galvanized metal steel. Using a rod, stir the soapy water until it forms suds.
  3. Scrub to clean. Pour the soapy water over the metal and begin scrubbing using a brush. Do a circular scrubbing motion, making sure to exert more pressure on areas that need the most cleaning. Scrub from one end over to the other end until all areas are clean. If you need to, go over the metal multiple times to remove all tough dirt.
  4. Rinse again. When the galvanized steel metal is completely clean, you can begin rinsing off the soapy water. Again, you can use a hose or buckets of water for this. Whichever you choose, it is important that you vigorously rinse the metal, splashing away all soap residues.
  5. Wipe to dry. Your next task is to dry the galvanized steel metal. Wipe the water off using a dry, lint-free cloth. You may need to use several cloths as you go over the entire galvanized steel metal.
  6. Remove stains. If there are persisting water stains in your galvanized steel metal, you can remove them by applying a mixture of milk and baby powder. In a small bucket, pour two cups of milk and one cup of baby powder. Mix thoroughly. Dip a toothbrush in the mixture and scrub the stained areas with a strong force. Rinse afterwards and wipe to dry.
  7. Polish the metal. This is important to keep the shiny finish of the galvanized steel metal. Using a soft cloth, apply metal polish or wax to small areas until you cover the entire metal. Again, make a circular motion. Do a second coat if necessary. After the application, leave the galvanized metal for a while to let it dry. Once dry, buff the metal to achieve a shiny finish.

If properly cleaned and maintained, your galvanized steel metal will preserve its functionality and will see many years. And this will of course save you from buying new ones.


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