Most Profitable Items to Scrap for Money
Are you looking to make extra cash from scrap? Take a look at the most lucrative items to sell or recycle to earn money.
Scrapping for money is becoming increasingly popular. But, it can be difficult to figure out what items are best to scrap for money.
Fortunately, I’ve got some experience seeking out the best items to scrap. Some scrap materials can be harder to find but will give you a high scrap value return, while others are easy to find but need to be in bulk.
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Depending on the time and resources you have, you’ll find there are many different items you can scrap that will vary in profit.
Quick Guide to Scrapping
Highest paying items to scrap
Coveted copper wiring
The easiest items to scrap
Collect aluminum cans
What are ferrous metals and non-ferrous metals?
Ferrous metals are easier to find but the pay will be lower. Some metals like steel and cast iron are examples of ferrous metals.
Non-ferrous metals are much more profitable, but not so common to come by. Aluminum, copper, and brass are just a few types of non-ferrous metals.
Here are the profitable scrap items you can rustle up to earn some extra cash.
1. Find coveted copper wiring
Copper is a high-profit, non-ferrous metal that’ll pay a lot per pound. It’s also quite accessible, and you should be able to find copper around your house, making it a top scrap metal item.
Bare bright copper wire will give you the most bang for your buck, but if you’ve got extra insulated copper wiring, you’ll also make a good profit.
You can find copper in wires, pipes, and fixtures around the house. Also, look through electrical wiring and circuits for copper that’ll fetch you decent money.
2. Collect aluminum cans
Collecting aluminum cans for cash is one of the easiest ways to make extra money. But be warned, you’ll need to collect high volumes of cans to get a good amount of cash.
This option can be cost-effective as you can find cans completely free. Ask your neighbors and family to keep their cans aside for you.
Once you’ve got a good amount, you can head to the recycling centers for cash in return.
3. Recycle your AC unit
AC units have several valuable scrap metals inside that are profitable. Taking the AC unit apart will yield you more money, but if you’re looking for a quick sell, scrap yards will also buy it as a whole.
You’ll be paid cash per pound, so head to the scrap yards or offer to take AC units off other people’s hands to add to your AC unit collection.
4. Sell your used clothes
You don’t need to only look at scrapping metal. Scrapping used clothes is another profitable way to earn a little extra income. If the clothes are in good condition, you can take them to thrift stores or sell them online at sites like eBay, thredUP, and Etsy
If your clothes have seen better days, you can still make some money. At H&M, they have a recycling garment program. You can hand in a bag of old clothes, no matter the label or condition, and you’ll receive a discount voucher for your next purchase.
5. Asses your old household appliance
Old appliances take up a lot of storage while having no use. Luckily, they are a great way to make cash quickly. From an old water heater to a refrigerator, you can dispose of appliances with ease.
Washing machines, dryers, and microwaves are just a few appliances that make for good scrap metal.
6. Save brass fixtures
Brass may not be the most popular scrap metal but you can find it around the house. You’ll find brass in door hinges, locks, and light fixtures.
7. Search through your kitchen cabinets for pots and pans
If you’re looking for things to scrap for money, why not search your kitchen cabinets. Aluminum and cast iron pots and pans are a great source of scrap metal.
There’s some confusion about non-stick pots and pans but scrap yards will accept them as the non-stick surface separates from the aluminum material.
8. Salvage old car parts
Old cars have some of the best scrap metal items you can find. If you’ve got an old car sitting in the garage, why not take it apart for scrap metal.
There are different grades of metal that you can scrap. From alternators and catalytic converters to car batteries, you can dismantle the entire car for a pretty penny.
As aluminum is one of the top metals to scrap, aluminum rims will make you the most money. You’ll also find aluminum in frames, bodies, and car batteries.
9. Disassemble outdated computer parts
Take apart your old and outdated computer parts for cash. Computers have many profitable scrap metals that you can exchange for extra money.
Hard drives and PC towers are valuable items to scrap, and motherboards will give you the best price.
10. Upcycle books and magazines
Upcycling is another way to turn scrap into cash. If you are creative and have time on your hands, turn a book into something new like a book purse, journal, or frame.
Join some recycling programs in your neighborhood or visit boutique stores to sell your upcycled books.
11. Scrap your old roof
Lead is found in lots of different items, from roofing to roof nails. If you are re-roofing your house, you can take the old roof sheets and nails to the scrap yards in exchange for cash.
12. Collect ballasts and power outlets
Although you won’t get a high amount of money per pound, you can find ballasts and power outlets easily. If you collect them and take them to a scrapyard in bulk along with some other items you’re scrapping, you’ll get a worthwhile amount of money for your scrap metals.
13. Look through your garage for old outdoor furniture
Old furniture can takes up a lot of space. Instead of leaving it on the curb, take it to a scrapyard. Outdoor furniture like old lawn chairs and BBQ grills are made of steel, giving you a few extra bucks.
14. Sift through your old jewelry
When looking for things to scrap around the house, you may not think about jewelry. But, looking through old jewelry that you no longer wear or like is a great way to sell items from home for money.
15. Scavenge through old tools
If you’re upgrading your toolbox, look into selling them for scrap metal. You’ll find you can get quite a bit of money per pound.
Tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, spanners, and bolts are made from steel and are often on the higher end of metal quality. But, make sure there is no rust.
16. Trade in your outdated kitchen sinks
It seems you can scrap everything, including the kitchen sink. Kitchen sinks are made from stainless steel, one of the most common metals to recycle.
Be sure to keep the sink separate and remove any plastic pieces otherwise it will be devalued.
17. Take apart your electronics
You can scrap TVs, stereos, phones, and other electronics easily as technology is ever-changing.
A lot of electronics have stainless steel casings which are highly sought after. You can sell your old electronics either at a scrap yard or online on Facebook Marketplace or eBay.
18. Recycle ink cartridges
Not only is it environmentally friendly, but surprisingly, recycling something as small as ink cartridges can earn you a little extra income.
You can recycle ink cartridges at stores that have recycling rewards programs or bring them to your local recycling facility.
19. Remove mini-transformers
Mini-transformers have copper wiring that’ll earn you top dollar at your next scrap yard trip.
You can find transformers in phones, cameras, and chargers, but you’ll need a larger quantity to make it worthwhile.
20. Take a look at outdoor fittings
You’ll find scrap metal will most likely be weighed and paid per pound, so outdoor fittings are a great choice for bulk weighing.
There is lots of scrap metal to sell when looking at the outdoor buildings. Window frames, metal doors, gutters, and gates are just a few outdoor fittings you can sell at the scrap yard.
21. Dismantle ceiling fan motor
Ceiling fan motors are one of the best things to scrap for money because of their electric coils which have a large amount of copper.
As a bonus, some fan blades are made of metal too.
If you’re ready to learn more about scrapping for profit, watch this video below:
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