How to Clean Oxidized Steel

Oxidation occurs on steel as a result of the steel interacting with oxygen.
Oxidation occurs when metal interacts with oxygen.Oxidation occurs when metal interacts with oxygen.
It can cause pitting and a general dulling and discoloration of the finish. The oxidation not only makes the steel visually unappealing but if left unchecked, it can compromise the integrity of the steel. Oxidized steel is cleaned by using the right materials and implementing a straight-forward procedure. The desired result is accomplished with a moderate amount of time and effort.

Step 1

Fill a bucket with warm water and add two to three squirts of dish soap.

Step 2

Scrub the surface of the steel with the soapy water and a scrub brush. Remove as much surface dirt and other debris as you can. Rinse the surface with clean water and dry it with a shop rag.

Step 3

Clean the surface of the steel with an all-purpose metal cleaner. Follow the instructions on the cleaner for its application.

Step 4

Sand the surface of the steel with a fine-grit sandpaper to remove any pitting. Lightly move the sandpaper over the surface and avoid gouging it.

Step 5

Rub the surface with steel wool to remove any marks left by the sanding process.

Step 6

Apply a metal polish with a soft cloth to give the steel a finish that will protect it as well as make it look good.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Shop rag
  • All-purpose metal cleaner
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Steel wool
  • Metal polish
  • Soft cloth

About the Author

Damon Koch has years of writing experience ranging from software manuals to song lyrics. His writing has appeared in software manuals for Human Arc and on the CDs "Small Craft Advisory" and "Impersonating Jesus." He also has worked in building maintenance since 2004. He has attended Lorain County Community College as well as Cleveland State University.