If you have a hobby or business that generates a lot of scrap metal, you may have decided that you should take the metal to a recycling centre to earn a little extra cash. After researching the ideal metals for recycling, you may be particularly interested in selling copper scrap metal and wires.

However, you should not simply take the metal to the centre, as it needs to be properly prepared beforehand to ensure that you receive the best price for the copper. Below are a couple of things you can do to help get the copper ready to sell to a recycling centre.

1.  Use a Magnet To Make Sure the Copper-Coloured Metal Is Actually Copper

The very first thing that you should do before you start getting the copper ready is to make sure that any unknown pieces of copper-coloured metal are actually copper. Some may have a copper finish or are plated with copper. In these cases, you would not receive the price you are expecting.

One way you can test the metal to make sure it is copper is to place a magnet on the surface. Since copper is not magnetic, the magnet should not be drawn to the metal. If it does stick, the piece is either not copper or is only plated with it.

2.  Clean the Copper Pieces Properly To Avoid Reducing Their Value

After determining that the pieces you wish to sell are made from copper, the next thing you should do is to clean them properly. This does not mean to wash them, but rather, you need to remove any extraneous materials that are attached to them, such as other types of metal or plastic coating on wires.

While looking online, you may find suggestions to simply throw these pieces into the fire to burn off the foreign materials since copper does not burn. However, while it does not burn, the fire can change its composition slightly and char the surface, which would decrease its value and yield a lower profit for you.

Taking the time to test the metal to make sure that it is pure copper and cleaning all foreign materials off of the pieces can help to ensure that you receive the optimal price for the metal. If you are unsure if some of the metal pieces are true copper, set them aside. Then, when you visit the recycling centre that offers cash for copper, you can ask a representative for help with identifying and grading the metal.