How to Clean Metal Nameplates

Posted on: January 2nd, 2018 by | No Comments

The process of cleaning metal nameplates can be very simple and yield great results for those who do so correctly. Whether it’s industrial signage or equipment labels, the following steps will guide you to a cleaner and better-maintained metal surface.

 

Metalphoto

Metalphoto nameplates are known for their extreme durability and ability to withstand the toughest environments. The impermeable anodic layer that seals in a nameplate graphic lends itself to a variety of cleaning techniques, and the following is what has been found to work the best.
 

What To Use

  • Soft, lint-free cloth folded into a pad-like shape
  • Non-abrasive brush or sponge
  • Water spray (pressure washer)
  • Avoid aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners
  • Avoid cleaners containing trisodium phosphate, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, fluroides, or similar compounds

 

How To Clean

  • For Light Surface Oil

    • Flush surface with moderate water pressure to dislodge the soil
    • Let air dry
    • Clean with soft bristle brush or sponge and water
    • Mild detergent cleaner can accompany brushing
    • Uniform pressure scrubbing
    • Must be thoroughly rinsed and dried
  • For Heavy Surface Oil

    • Use of isopropyl alcohol or MEK may be necessary to remove oils, wax, polish, etc.

 

When & Where

  • Clean exterior Metlaphoto when shaded
    • Chemical reactions on hot metal surfaces are highly accelerated and can cause non-uniformity
  • Avoid cleaning in freezing temperatures

 

Cleaning Tips

  • Always wipe in uniform single direction. Excessive abrasive rubbing to remove stubborn stains can adversely affect the finish.
  • Don’t allow detergent cleaner to remain on surface for extended period of time. Apply cleaner, scrub, rinse immediately.

 

Anodized Aluminum

Anodized aluminum nameplates are made of a very durable material, due to the chemical process that coats and hardens the metal. Anodized aluminum is weather-resistant and tarnish-resistant but the surface must be properly maintained to remain that way. Follow these steps and extend the life of your anodized aluminum products.

What To Use

  • Damp sponge
  • Dry towel
  • Pressure washer or a spray nozzle affixed to a hose
  • Mild dishwashing detergent

 

How To Clean

  • Wipe the metal down with a damp sponge to remove general surface dirt. This also prevents dust and dirt buildup.
  • Dry with towel to prevent water spotting
  • Spray with a high-pressure rinse
  • Apply dishwashing detergent with sponge and scrub
  • Rinse with clean water
  • Dry with towels

When & Where

  • This tough material, if being cleaned outdoors, can be cleaned in direct sunlight.

 

Cleaning Tips:

  • Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaners as they may react with the aluminum and cause unwanted damage.

 

Aluminum

 Since aluminum is one of the world’s most abundant metals many people benefit from cleaning items they use every day with the following steps:

 

 What To Use

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Clean, damp rag
  • Clean, dry cloth

 

How To Clean

  • Scrub with dishwashing soap to remove any surface dirt
  • Wipe the aluminum with a damp, clean rag, removing soap and debris
  • Buff the metal with a clean, dry cloth, to achieve a shiny finish

 

When & Where

  • Since aluminum is an efficient heat conductor and may become too hot to handle on a sunny day, its best to clean on a cool and cloudy day to achieve the desired results.

 

Cleaning Tips

  • Do not pressure wash aluminum. Aside from the metal being relatively soft, pressure washing aluminum is not the best way to get it clean.

 

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel’s corrosion and rust resistant properties make it a highly popular choice for indoor and outdoor applications. The following steps help to achieve the best results when cleaning regardless of the location.

 

What To Use

  • Grease-removing dishwashing soap
  • If grease and grime is difficult to remove, add ammonia to the soapy solution.
  • Sponge with cloth or soft brush

 

How To Clean

  • Use sponge, cloth, or soft brush to apply the soapy solution and scrub, making sure to follow the grain of the metal.
  • Wipe soap off with a clean, damp piece of cloth
  • If difficult grease or grime is encountered, add ammonia to the soapy solution and repeat.

 

When & Where

  • Stainless steel is a forgiving metal, allowing it to be easily cleaned in sunlight

 

Cleaning Tips

  • Do not pressure wash screen-printed graphics on stainless steel
  • Do not wipe/scrub in a circular motion. Cleaning and wiping along the grain will enable you to clean the microscopic grooves where dirt, grime and dust can get trapped. Wiping or scrubbing across the grain will also dull the surface being cleaned.

 

Brass

Brass is another popular metal for a variety of reasons, however, it is highly important for the life of the metal that it’s properly cleaned and maintained to avoid tarnishing. Follow these steps to achieve the best brass cleaning results.

 

What To Use

  • Homemade brass cleaner – 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of vinegar, and add flour until mixture becomes a paste.

 

How To Clean

  • Wipe off thoroughly with use of a damp piece of cloth
  • Rub the homemade cleaner into the brass, letting it sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the homemade cleaner is dry, rinse with warm water and buff dry.

 

When & Where

  • The best results for cleaning brass can be achieved on a cool and cloudy day

 

Cleaning Tips:

  • Do not pressure wash brass. This delicate metal is most effectively cleaned by hand.

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