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Top 10 Ways to Protect Metal

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

February 8, 2012
Filed Under Science 

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A list of the top ten ways to protect metalContributed by Paul Seaburn, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

Unless your nickname is Rusty, you’re not a big fan of rusty or corroded metal, whether it’s on your car, your shed, your screen door or any other metal objects or surfaces.

Corrosion is the result of a chemical reaction which occurs when metal is exposed to oxides – like the oxygen in air or water – or salt. Fortunately, there are a number of good ways to protect and sometimes stop the reaction. Before rust and corrosion wear you and your car down, here are ten good ways to protect metal.


10. A Good Shovel Is A Clean Shovel

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

Protect your metal garden and yard tools by washing the dirt off of shovels, rakes and other outdoor gear before putting them away in a cool, dry place. Use soap and water and make sure the tools are dried thoroughly. For added protection during longer storage, rub multipurpose oil like 3-IN-ONE on the metal parts.

9. Sealed For Its Protection

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

Clear metal sealers can be applied directly to metal doors or sheds to both protect it from outside causes of corrosion and seal in any corrosion blockers that have already been applied. These sealers can also prevent water spotting and give metals an added shine.

8. Get Into A Scrape

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

If rust has already occurred, scrape off loose pieces with a clean wire brush. Then put oil on a clean steel wool pad and rub it over the rusted metal until the rust is gone. Keep the steel wool oiled during the rubbing to lubricate the metal. When finished, coat the surface with a rust-inhibiting paint.

7. Rust Isn’t Terminal

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

If the terminals on your car or truck battery are corroded, disconnect the battery cables, then clean the terminals with a paste made by mixing cola and baking soda. Dry the terminals and coat them with petroleum jelly to protect them.

6. Me And My Galvanize

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

Galvanization is a process where metal surfaces are covered with a zinc coating to protect rust. Hot dip galvanizing is the process used in manufacturing, but a similar protection can be applied at home using zinc spray in a can. It can be used on bare metal or to touch up or recoat galvanized surfaces.

5. An Ounce Of Prevention

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

The best way to keep your car rust-free is to stop the rust before it can start. Wash your car regularly and then check for nicks or tiny rust spots. Use touch-up paint to cover bare metal exposed by a nick. If rust has started, use fine-grade sandpaper to remove the rust, Clean the area with mineral spirits, let it dry, then use the touch-up paint.

4. Check Underneath

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

The underside of your car is the area most exposed to the causes of rust and corrosion. Keep it clean by visiting a car wash that sprays and cleans the undercarriage and wheel wells. If you wash your car yourself, you can get similar results by putting a lawn sprinkler under your car. Either way, make sure your car is dry before putting it in the garage and keep your garage as dry as possible.

3. A Good Rug is a Clean Rug

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

Rust can attack your car from the inside too. In the winter, the salt from the snow on your boots can seep through your carpet and corrode the floor. Put rubber mats on the floor and keep them clean and dry. If you see salt stains on the rug, get it cleaned or shampoo it yourself. If wet weather and salt have done a number on your car interior, buy fresh car mats to protect the metal on the floor.

2. Check The Finish For Tarnish

One of the top ten ways to protect metal

Tarnish is the term we use for corrosion on sterling silver jewelry or cutlery caused by sulfur in the air and the environment. To protect this metal, store cutlery in bags made from anti-tarnish, anti-corrosion silver cloth. Store jewelry in jewelry bags or in air-tight bags with non-abrasive surfaces, such as those made of polyethylene or Mylar. Keep your jewelry away from direct sunlight or humid areas. Those little silica packs from shoe boxes will absorb moisture in the bag.

1. This Is Your Knife

A list of the top ten ways to protect metal

Stainless steel is a steel alloy that is supposed to be rust and corrosion resistant, but it’s not perfect. For example, stainless steel pocket knives live in moist environments called pockets and are prone to rust. To protect them with the blade dry after use and carry it in a protective sheath if you have one. Remove fingerprints right away – you never know what kind of corrosive stuff you’ve touched.



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