How To Clean A Vintage Tin

How To Clean A Vintage Tin

So you’ve been to your boot sale, charity shop or jumble sale and you’ve snagged the bargain of the century, a delicious antique vintage tin at a knock down price. Horror of horrors it is filthy and covered in rust. What to do, what to do?

How To Clean A Vintage Tin - Car

How To Clean Tin

  • Grab your self the following items and you’ll have it sorted in no time.
  • A vintage tin with a bit of wear and tear (natch)
  • Washing up sponge (the type with a scouring pad on the top)
  • Mild washing up liquid
  • Some newspaper
  • 1 potato
  • Salt

What Else Will You Need?

Please be careful with very decorative tins containers. Mine has a lovely pattern toys on the outside, so I will give the outside a minimal clean so that I don’t remove any of the vintage charm. The inside of my tin is a bit wrecked and ravaged by time so I will be aiming to remove any of the rust and dirt that might damage any item I put inside the tin. I don’t however, aim to remove all of the rust because I think it adds to the charm of the item. I just want to minimise the possibility of orange stains tarnishing anything that lives in the tin.

1. Open your tin box and give it a good bang with the palm of your hand (you may want to do this outside or over a sink). This should hopefully remove some of the top layer of grime and loose rust.

2. Squirt a good amount of washing up liquid over the inside of your tin.Get your sponge wet with the hot tap and rub the washing up liquid in with the sponge side. Make sure you get into all of the corners (you may require the old toothbrush here). Rinse your sponge.

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3. Cover the scouring side of your sponge with washing up liquid and scrub the tin until your sponge goes a decidedly disgusting shade of orange. Rinse out the tin and sponge and repeat steps 2 and 3 until the rust seems to stop transferring to the sponge. It really depends on the state of your tin as to how long this could take. I had to repeat the steps about 3 times but it could take more or less time.

4. Give your tobacco tin a good rinse and pat dry with newspaper.

5. Slice your potato in half.

6. Dip the inside portion of the potato in salt.

7. Lightly wet the rusty area and firmly rub the potato over the tin.

8. Rinse and repeat step 7 if necessary.

9. Dry out the tin with newspaper. Press scrunched up newspaper into the tin and wrap the outside of the tin in newspaper. Leave to sit for ten minutes. Preheat your oven to a very low temperature.

10. After the ten minutes remove the newspaper, turn your oven off and place your opened tin inside to dry out. And there you are, your tin should now be usable. To clean the outside of a decorative tin please use a very soft cloth and warm water. Do not use abrasives as this may remove the decoration as well as the rust and dirt.