5 Household Metals Ranked by Value

After a season indoors, you may be ready to refresh your surroundings. For many, spring is a time for cleaning out old junk to make room for a fresh start. But the costs of updates may stop your joy before it can be sparked.

One way to pay for a renovation is to take stock of the household scrap metal that you can sell to your local metal recycling yard. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of five common household metals and where to find them. We even ranked them by their scrap yard value to help you prioritize your efforts!

1. Copper

Copper is often the go-to metal for seasoned scrappers because it consistently gets the best prices at the metal yard. While the price for scrap copper per pound fluctuates with the market, the price that you are offered will also depend on the grade of copper that you have to sell.

The places that you will usually find copper in your home is in plumbing and wiring. If part of your home improvement plans include updating your bathroom or kitchen, you may be able to scrap the copper tubing that you are replacing. Similarly, if your renovation is to update the lighting or other electronics in your home, you might have some copper wires to scrap. Phone cords, computer cables and power cords may also be a source of copper wire. 

Other places to find copper are in old cookware like copper kettles or pots. The attractive sheen of copper makes it popular as a decorative metal, so you may also locate copper in yard art, picture frames and other home decorations.

2. Brass

Brass is the next most valuable metal commonly found in the home. Like copper, brass is commonly found in piping. Its distinctive yellow sheen and imperviousness to rust make it a frequent choice for door knobs, faucets and drawer pulls. You may also find brass used in bed frames and other home furnishings. Households with hunters and firearm users can stock scrap brass by collecting used shell casings.

To make the most of your brass scrap value, you will want to make sure to separate your scrap metals before you take them to the metal recycling facility. Most facilities will weigh your items and give you a price based on the lowest-valued piece in your pile. By making the effort to sort your items, you will get a better offer.

3. Aluminum

The third most valuable household metal is aluminum. While your first thought may be to collect cans, aluminum has many more uses than holding beverages. It is non-ferrous, so you don’t have to worry about rust impacting the price of aluminum per pound.

Aluminum is a versatile metal, and you’ll come across it all around your home. Old fencing could be one source to pick up in your backyard. Your home exterior may have aluminum siding, gutters or downspouts. It is also frequently used in window and door frames. Inside the home, you can find aluminum in bakeware and cookware as well as other metal products. And of course, you can bring those aluminum cans to the scrap recycling yard!

4. Stainless Steel

Coming in fourth on our list of household metals is stainless steel. What makes stainless steel special is that it is an alloy of steel and chromium. This combination makes it more resistant to rust than other iron-based metals. As a result, stainless steel scrap prices are higher than other ferrous scrap metal.

Because of its chic sheen, stainless steel is often used in kitchen appliances, sinks and fixtures. Stainless steel is also used for clothes washers and dryers, bathroom mirrors and lighting elements. You may also find it in housewares like cookware, knives, scissors, flatware and other utensils.

5. Cast Iron

Though cast iron is the least valuable household metal on our list, it’s also one of the heaviest. The cast iron scrap price per pound may add up to make your stockpile worth the effort to bring to the recycling yard.

Cast iron is most obviously found in pots, pans and griddles. Some historic homes  may even have cast iron stoves. The less obvious places to look for cast iron are old bathtubs, radiators, boilers and pipes. If you are updating an old bathroom or heating system, you may find yourself with quite a lot of cast iron scrap. 

Once you start looking around the house for scrap metal, you may be surprised by what you have. If you aren’t sure about the metal you dig up, check out our recycling guide for more information. 

Contact us today at Gardner Metal Recycling for answers to all your scrap metal questions, and to get an estimate for how much we can pay for your scrap!