It looks cool. It could be a fun hobby to do with friends or in your yard…melting and molding your own scrap metal ingots. While it may make for entertaining times or cool YouTube videos, if you are looking to make the most scrap money from your metal, we don’t strongly suggest never melting your own scrap ingots.
Why You Should Never Melt Your Scrap Metal
While browsing through YouTube videos regarding scrap metal, it’s very easy to come across and fall into the black hole of “home smelting”. Usually, someone has a ceramic contraption that they bought or built themselves to drop small pieces of metals or aluminum cans into. It will usually lead to molds being poured with the melted metals. Some of the molds are very creative or are just designed to look like regular ingots.
While some of these smelters, are hobbyists and do it for fun, there are a lot of scrappers that do it as well thinking they can sell these ingots at their local scrap yard for a profit for their efforts. That is where the mistakes start…
Scrap Yards Rarely Accept Homemade Scrap Metal Ingots
One of the common questions and comments we see across our Facebook group, YouTube channel, and other social media places, is “What can I expect to get paid for my homemade scrap ingot?”. There are a lot of problems with selling and recycling homemade metal ingots. When scrap yards are presented with homemade scrap ingots that scrappers claim are 100% pure metal (whether it’s copper, aluminum, etc.), they very rarely will pay a top price or at all. Below are some of the reasons why scrap yards will refuse or pay small prices for homemade ingots:
3 Reasons Why Scrap Yards Don’t Buy Melted Metal Ingots
- They Don’t Know What’s Inside – While those that melt the ingots claim they are pure metal, scrap yards don’t really know that. For all they know, there could be small rocks or other materials inside the ingot.
- They Are Hard To Recycle – When scrapping ingots, scrap yards that do purchase them, find it hard to find real buyers for them. Because they are not verified melted ingots, larger buyers will oftentimes refuse those ingots or pay a very low price for them.
- Scrap Yards Typically Never Pay for Pure Metals – Let’s say that the melted ingot is genuine and is pure, it is very rare (if at all) for scrap yards to know how to pay for a pure metal price. Remember they are used to paying a specific price knowing that the metals are going to be processed. So they are not familiar with the process of recycling pure ingots, therefore will not know what to pay for it.
What You Can Do With Your Metal Ingots
If you are looking to find ways to make money from melting metals or making homemade ingots, you may want to look at resell sites like eBay. If you are able to melt your own ingots at home, you may want to find some unique molds that you can create unique shapes or styles to resell for people with similar interests. It can be a fun and interesting hobby. Be safe!
How To Make The Most From Your Scrap Metal
If you were looking at the option of melting metals at home, we hope that this information is useful and discourages you from setting yourself up for a challenge at your local scrap yard. Instead, if you are looking to make the most money from your scrap metal, we always encourage you to separate and clean your metals as much as possible. Also, be sure to follow along the current prices for metals so you know when to sell.