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Brass is used for instruments and doorknobs. Steel and aluminum are used in clothing irons, and copper utensils and piping can be found in most homes. These resourceful metals are an intrinsic part of our lives, but they age and deteriorate as any other compound or substance does. If you have a tool or object in your home that's made of one of these metals, careful steps need to be taken to ensure it is cleaned and preserved properly.

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1. Cleaning an iron: identifying the type of iron

The faceplate of your iron can be made up of multiple materials, the most common of which is stainless steel. Irons can also be ceramic, titanium, or cast iron. Steam, dry, and electric irons are all used as household tools, with steam irons as the most popular iron. All irons can become sticky with residue, and steam irons can have built up residue in the vents. Ceramic irons shouldn't be scrubbed the same way steam irons can be since the coating can peel and damage clothing the next time it's used.

African American woman ironing clothes at home - house chores concepts andresr / Getty Images
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