How to Clean Galvanized Steel With Simple Household Objects

A galvanized steel is a kind of steel that comes with zinc that protects it from rust and corrosion. It is suitable for many things, from construction material for outdoor structures to a metal used to create small screws. It’s also used to create pipes for water lines.

Galvanized steel is more resistant to rust and corrosion, but it is still important to clean it regularly. If left unchecked, galvanized steel might develop rust or stains over time. That makes the galvanized steel dirty and unusable.

To avoid that, we will show you how to clean galvanized steel. But, we will not make use of expensive cleaning products. We will use everyday objects found in your home.

Why Clean Galvanized Steel?

Before any steel can become available for use, it has to have that perfect shine. And how can you have that ideal shine if you don’t clean your iron? While galvanized steel corrodes longer than other types of steel, it needs cleaning to maintain its durability.

Often, galvanized steel develops specific stains from storage. One typical example is wet storage stains. They appear when stirred iron gets stored in moist environments. Rust can also arise if the steel gets covered with dirt and grime.

Thus, knowing how to clean galvanized steel is helpful in preventing rusts and stains. But what do you need to clean galvanized steel? Here’s a hint: they do not cost much. They can also be available in the comforts of your home.

What You’ll Need

Here is the list of items you will need to clean your galvanized steel. You may find these things in a department store or online market.

  • Warm Water
  • Soft-bristled Brush
  • Several Lint Free Cloths
  • Toothbrush
  • Bucket
  • Hose
  • Wax or Metal Polish
  • Baby powder and milk solution (one part baby powder and two parts milk)
  • Dish-washing liquid solution
  • Car Wash
  • Vinegar solution (Water and distilled vinegar mixed)

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Wash the metal

To begin, use a hose to wash out dirt and grime off the steel. That is to get rid of particles that can scratch the steel when cleaning.You are free to use cold or warm water as long as it gets rid of the dirt.

That is an essential step before cleaning galvanized metal. Washing galvanized steel before cleaning protects it from particles that might destroy it.

Step 2: Scrub with cleaning solution

Once the metal is free from dirt, it’s time to clean the steel. First, mix the ¼ dish-washing liquid with one gallon of warm water to make the dish-washing solution. Second, dip your soft-bristled brush into the cleaning solution. Then, you can start scrubbing.

When scrubbing, make gentle circular motions with the brush until the whole surface is spotless. If you encounter hard-to-remove stains, you can wash them off with a vinegar solution. It is a different matter if it is rust, though.

When done scrubbing,  you can begin washing your steel with a car wash. The car wash is a specially-made solution that prevents rust and corrosion of galvanized steel. That is because most cars come with galvanized steel.

Before washing galvanized steel with the car wash, read the instructions on the back of the bottle. Get a lint-free cloth and dip it into the car wash solution. Wipe the submerged fabric gently onto the surface until the whole surface of the steel gets covered.  

Step 3: Neutralize alkaline deposits

The next step is to neutralize the alkaline deposits on the metal surface. To begin, mix one part of baby powder and two parts of milk to create an alkaline-neutralizing solution. Once done, dip your brush into the solution and scrub the whole metal surface with it.

Step 4: Rinse and dry

It’s time to rinse galvanized steel from the chemicals. You can use a hose to make it easy for you, but be sure to use warm water. Make sure that the water pressure is lower than 1450 psi else it might damage the zinc coating of the steel.

It might take more than one round of rinsing before all the cleaning chemicals have been washed off. Once you have rinsed all of the substances, you have to dry the metal with a lint-free cloth.

That is an important step, so feel free to use as many fabrics as necessary to dry the steel. Leaving any trace of moisture on galvanized steel can create wet storage stains on galvanized steel. We don’t want that after we’ve finished cleaning, do we?   

Step 5: Apply wax or metal polish

For the finishing touches, apply wax or metal polish on galvanized steel. To do this, put wax or metal polish on the steel using a lint-free cloth. Make circular motions on the iron until you cover the whole surface area. Wait for it to dry.

Buff the steel with another soft lint-free cloth. Repeat the whole process until the iron becomes polished with a shine. You will be able to notice that small scratches have disappeared. That is because the wax has an effect of filling in scratches.

And ta-da! You have now successfully cleaned your galvanized steel with everyday household items. You may soon start painting over your steel or use it to create galvanized metal structures.  

Some Final Reminders

Galvanized steel is suitable for a lot of things, but it can only be possible for use if it is well-maintained and free from rust and stains. You can just do that by knowing how to clean galvanized steel properly. What better way to learn that by reading this article?

So, before you go ahead and start cleaning your galvanized steel, remember these five simple steps. It will help your iron have its best-looking shine and maintain resistance against stains. Happy cleaning and thank you for reading this article!

Thomas Roberge

This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.

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