they sell some stuff at home desperate called "goof off" that should work
Mineral Spirits may also work, but I'm not sure what the surface is that you are dealing with. You don't want to damage the surface.
"Goo Gone" might work too. It's supposed to work on EVERYTHING and not damage anything. But read the label before buying it. And I recommend wearing Latex (or Nitrile if you are allergic to latex like me) gloves and a face mask while you are using it. Some people have a negative skin reaction to it and have shortness of breathe or wheezing from the "fumes" or smell of it. The gloves and masks can be purchased at any local drug store.
I have worked with both goof off and goo gone, but didn't think to try mineral spirits on it. All I know is that it is make of some sort of old metal... Thanks I will try the nimeral spirits this time.
Mineral spirits is great for taking off tar and love bugs from your cars also. I keep a bottle at all times.
I'm more curious as what your going to use this coal bin for? Have you a project in mind?
@KMS - a good friend has an old coal burning stove, sh if I can get it nice enough looking it will become a subsitute for the bucket she now uses. If not, I thought of filling it with misc. stuff around here - possibly converting it into a big planter to go along with an old chanlelier that I made itnot a planter too. Who kinows for sure? Just think it is ugly the way it is.
There is this stuff called goof off that works very well on getting gook off of things
I know this is a older post but I would use good ol Steam :) Most steam mops have a detachable steamer I use mine around the house for a lot of things :)