Guide to the Most Common Scrap Metal Items

The lockdowns in Australia due to the coronavirus global pandemic can lead to a lot of time spent indoors, some of it more productive, some less. Why not take the opportunity to clean your home of scrap metal and make some cash while you’re at it? Here are some of the most common scrap metal items in a home and how to salvage them:

Start Off With the Right Tools

Many areas of the home that contain scrap metal will require a little bit of handiwork to remove quickly and efficiently. Ensure that you’ve got the following tools at your disposal if you need to take anything apart:

  • A handheld magnet;
  • Wire cutters;
  • Adjustable vice grip;
  • Multihead screwdriver;

Most of these tools are handy to have around the home for all sorts of applications, but a magnet stands out as perhaps a little bizarre. Why is a good handheld magnet important? Most household scrap metals are ferrous, and magnets are important at helping you identify ferrous metals from non-ferrous ones.


Old foldable aluminium lawn chairs are a great source of scrap metal that doesn’t require too much effort to salvage. If possible, remove the fabric or plastic seat and backing with good quality shears as well as any plastic armrests to expose the aluminium body.


Sinks and sink faucets come in a variety of designs and materials, but brass or stainless steel sink faucets are a great source of scrap metal as are metal sink washbasins. Copper piping under the sink can also be readily salvaged. Pots and pans are also an accessible source of scrap metal.

Living Room

Electric motors are one of the most common scrap items, and they can be found in items such as ceiling fans. Remove wooden or plastic fan blades before sending the motor off to the scrapyard.

Home Office

Computer desks are a great place to find scrap metal. Surge protectors or power outlets for the computer as well as power adapters of all sorts are copper-bearing and can hold some value at the scrapyard. If too much plastic is covering the adapter as is typical for modern power adapters, crack them open and remove the inside transformer and discard the plastic covering.

Old computer towers and laptops can also be scrapped for metal, but be sure to remove laptop batteries first and to dispose of them separately.

Electrical Systems

Household light switches and wall power outlets may contain metals such as brass, silver, copper, and iron, so take these apart if they’re no longer needed (e.g. during home renovation or demolitions projects) and separate them accordingly. When working with electrical wiring, ensure that personal protective equipment is worn and that the current is not running through the home.


One of the most obvious sources of scrap metal is found in your home’s plumbing system. Copper and brass pipes, joints, and fittings can all be scrapped relatively easily as they simply need to be removed, cleaned, and sent to the scrapyard.

Melbo Scrap Metal

There are plenty of other great sources of scrap metal in most homes, but if you’re in doubt or if you’d like to drop off scrap metal that you’ve accumulated over the months or years, get in touch with the scrap metal specialists at Melbo Scrap Metal and we’ll be happy to take a wide variety of scrap metals off your hands for fair prices.

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