Keys | Part 2

As a follow on from the first post (part of 1) about the history of my keys and what I wanted to do with them, I want to show the process of cleaning them up a bit, along with the ’finished article’

My last post had some interesting engagement from @pfunk @qwerrie @steevc @killerwot @leaky20 @cathgothard each with something to add about the cleaning process. Lot of insights and suggestions. Thanks guys!

We started by giving the keys a soap bath in warm water.

A lot of general gunk came off. Lots of fluff, hair, dust and grease etc. A fair bit of general orange rust grit came off too. SATISFYING.



With help from the kids, we individually wiped down each key with a wet soapy cloth. This seemed to help remove a lot, and the kids really enjoyed it.


The colour of the water quickly turned a healthy murky brown. A sign we were doing a decent job.
The orange rust colour was staining everything it touched.
But most of that came off in this wash.



With all the keys cleaned up they were separated on to a dry towel and dried. We disposed of the dirty water rather quickly.


Once the tub was clean again we put the keys back in the with the help of my assistants. They had a no stress way of getting them all back in, in one go 😀


Next comes the 4litres of Coke! Minus approx 300ml that the kids took to drinking before it went it 🥴


They got very hands on during this stage 😆
Small hands in sticky sugary Coke. How lovely.
(Good job we were near the sink)


We left the keys to settle in the Coke for about 9 hours. That seemed to be enough. I wasn’t really sure how long they were ‘supposed’ to be in there, if at all. But I think it was enough. The leftover liquid was absolutely filthy with excess particles and grit that had come away during the soak. So it seemed to be doing a fairly good de-rust job.



They look like the souls of lost keys buried at sea, sitting on the silt, their image bending and distorting in the ripples…

Ahem, anyway, the last thing to do was to drain them off, rinse dry after the Coke.


The last stage is to give my favourite key a bit of a clean and polish so you can see the final cleaned up effect.

Lucky Number 7:


I love how I can now see all the grooves and marks.


The general texture comes through so much better. It’s not totally smooth, but the bumps form a really nice grain effect.
It’s looks heavily used over the years, perhaps sitting on a loop with other keys in the past.




That’s my lucky number 7 😀

I don’t have any particular individual before/after pictures, but I’m not sure they really needed that. The difference you can probably see by this ‘after’ picture is that the metal shows cleanly without rust or grit. It’s got a smooth shiny look and I’m sure pleased with how it’s turned out!

Cheers for reading and commenting!

AND, Merry Christmas to everyone, if I don’t get a chance to post again before the 25th.

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