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How to Clean Your Aluminum Plates and Other Metal Nameplates

Updated on April 28, 2014
Aluminum Plates
Aluminum Plates

Cleaning metal nameplates, specifically aluminum plates, is required if you want your tags, plates, and plaques to last as long as it should. Dirt and grime on these things will not only make these look ugly and unkempt, but will also make these deteriorate faster. Keeping your nameplates and signs clean is a must if you want to reduce overhead costs associated with constantly replacing damaged plates.

When it comes to cleaning metal nameplates, you should remember that different kinds of metals require different cleaning methods. If you are using brass for your signs or tags, you should be aware that these should be cleaned in a somewhat different manner as compared with the cleaning of stainless steel plates, or even aluminum plates. Some of these metals are more prone to scratches and tarnish if handled the wrong way (yes, even tarnish and corrosion resistant metals can get damaged with the wrong handling).

Aluminum Plates
Aluminum Plates

Cleaning Tips and Tricks for Aluminum Plates and Other Similar Metal Plates

While aluminum plates are indeed rather difficult to tarnish and are virtually corrosion free, these still need some care when it comes to cleaning. Since this particular type of metal is easy to scratch and dent, your main concern should then be on how carefully you handle the nameplates made out of this metal rather than what kinds of cleaning substances you use on these. Here are some tips that might be helpful when you clean aluminum nameplates (or anything made with aluminum for that matter):

Use a soft rag, preferably cotton or micro-fiber ones – as mentioned earlier, aluminum is one of the metals that may be tarnish and corrosion resistant, but are rather prone to scratches and dents. To prevent the former, you should make sure that the rags you use for cleaning your aluminum plates or items with are not rough, do not have a coarse grain, or do not have things on it that can scratch the surface of your aluminum (i.e. buttons or snaps on old cotton shirts).

Clean with a gentle yet firm hand – this can be a rather confusing statement, if you are not used to cleaning metal items. Since these plates can gather dirt and grime if not cleaned regularly, the first time you clean these may require that you apply some pressure to the surface before the dirt comes off. This does not mean however that applying pressure means you be rough with these plates. Apply gentle and careful pressure in order to remove any dirt on these plates.

Use a mild dishwashing liquid for cleaning these metals – mix one cup of water with one tablespoon of your favorite dishwashing liquid for cleaning such metal items with. The use of dishwashing soap is due to the fact that these have grease removing powers, which helps in the removal of grime (which is essentially oily dirt) on these plates. These dishwashing liquids are also easy to rinse or wipe off, which helps in not leaving behind a soapy film on your metal plates.

Make sure you wipe off any moisture on your metal plates – while these metals are tarnish and rust resistant, this does not mean that you should allow moisture to dry up naturally on them. When you allow water, or other forms of moisture, to dry up on these aluminum plates, you may end up with spots that will gather dust, which in turn will result in dirty spots. Use the same kind of cloth you used with the soapy solution, but this time around, use a dry rag instead of one that you soaked in the dishwashing liquid mixture.

Clean Aluminum Model and Serial Number Plate
Clean Aluminum Model and Serial Number Plate

Why Should You Keep Your Aluminum Plates Clean

Why indeed? The reason for keeping your metal nameplates clean, whether these are made of aluminum, brass, stainless steel, or bronze, is for these to not only look good but also for these to last longer. Some metals may be rather impervious to corrosion, but keeping these clean helps ensure that no damage (scratches, dents, etc.) come to these. Keeping these plates clean also help show people that you take care of your company’s assets (and these include your signs and your nameplates), which essentially shows them that you value your company and what it owns, as well as what it is supposed to take care of.

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