Q: Grandma, I have almost given up and ready to throw out this family metal fixture from my aunt. I am looking for some effective home remedies for cleaning tarnished metal. Thanks!
A: Dear R, Cleaning tarnished metal can really be challenging. Different metals have different properties. This means that the causes of tarnish are variable; hence, removing them requires different cleaning agents. Everything varies from the type of metal to be cleaned to the duration of the procedure to remove the tarnish or stain. But with the right guidelines it can solved easily.
Here are some home remedies for cleaning tarnished metal.
HOME REMEDIES FOR CLEANING TARNISHED METAL
1. Vinegar – Mix water and vinegar with 2:1 ratio and put inside a container typically a spray bottle. Use this solution and apply it on the metal that needs cleaning. Let it sit for at least a minute and wipe clean using a damp cloth or towel. The vinegar not only cleans but also disinfects the metal.
2. Dish Detergent – Combine a solution of two cups of mild water and a tablespoon of dish detergent and put in a spray bottle. Shake until bubbles form, then spray on metal surfaces. Using a clean cloth, wipe the metal surface clean. Dish detergent is not only good for cleaning tarnished metal, it is also cheap and can be found anywhere.
3. Baking Soda – Mix baking soda with water to make a paste like substance. Use this paste and spread it on the metal that needs cleaning. Let it dry. Normally this takes up a day or so. Finally, wipe the paste with a damp cloth. The metal should be clean after the application. If not, repeat the process.
4. Salt and Vinegar – These are effective home remedies for cleaning tarnished metal that are permanently available in every home. When cleaning a small piece of metal, submerge the metal in vinegar then add a teaspoon of salt. Mix metal with the vinegar. Rinse after soaking. Do not to soak the metal in the vinegar for an extended period of time or it will corrode.
5. Salt, Vinegar and Flour – Mix salt, vinegar, and flour until you reach a paste consistency. Dab it on the surface of the metal until the tarnish is removed. Rinse with lukewarm water and a small amount of soap. Dry with a soft rag. Repeat the process until the tarnish is removed.
6. Toothpaste – Toothpaste can be used to remove tarnish from metal. There are two ways either rub the toothpaste on the metal itself or apply the toothpaste on a soft cloth and cover the metal. Use a toothbrush to reach areas that are hard to brush. Rinse with lukewarm water and use the toothbrush to remove the toothpaste. Lastly use a damp cloth to buff the metal. 
7. Boiling Water Bath – When cleaning small metallic objects this home remedy for cleaning tarnished metal is best. Just put it all in a large pot. It is best to use an aluminum pot. Pour water enough to cover the metal and add 1 tablespoon of salt and baking soda and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, immediately put the metal into warm water. Polish with a damp cloth. 
8. Aluminum and Baking Soda – Get a pot or pan and place aluminum at the bottom. In another pot boil a gallon of water and add a cup of baking soda to the mix. Place the metal on the empty pot and pour the baking soda mixture over it. This will remove the tarnish. Polish the metal with a soft cloth.