Yes, you read that right. I am actually suggesting ketchup as a cleaning substance.
I know, I know. I was skeptical too, but who can argue with these results?
I inherited a bunch of second hand brass Edstrom valves that were old, tarnished, crusted with hard water minerals, and, frankly, pitch black in color. Great for the patina on a statue, not so great when you expect animals to lick it. I couldn’t even dismantle them to check the rubber gaskets due to the build up of crud. These valves are expensive to replace but I could not use them in the condition I received them in. Who knows what illnesses they might have concealed and these were sure to leak in their current shape.
So, I did the only logical thing to do, I covered them in plain old household ketchup. Yup, you read that right. Apparently the combination of ingredients are perfect for cleaning certain metals (brass, copper, and in this case it worked on my stainless steel too). The alternative methods seemed wrought with chemicals, so there was no way I could use them for potable water. I figured the worst that could happen would be ketchup-scented water valves, which might actually encourage the rabbits to test the new system. So I dumped my valves into a small bowl, poured ketchup over the top and swirled everything around with a fork until nicely coated. I meant to leave it for only an hour, but forgot the experiment overnight.
The following morning, after rinsing them off under the tap and then soaking in a bowl of water (to get the lil bits of ketchup still inside the crannies), I had my results which were far more impressive than I ever would have expected.
The reddish areas are not stained with ketchup, that is the copper showing through the old brass finish. I’m really impressed and would absolutely do it again. It even did a fantastic job removing the copper oxide and calcium buildup on the stainless steel parts that I couldn’t budge with soap and water.
Hopefully this helps someone someday, like it helped me.