How To Clean Aluminum

Are you wondering how to clean aluminum? Aluminum is used in many items, from pots and pans to outdoor furniture and the wheels on a car. The way you go about cleaning aluminum depends on what item you're cleaning and the nature of the mess. For heavy-duty messes, you'll need some sort of abrasive scouring pad and a detergent, vinegar or polish. So gather the materials and get started.

To clean aluminum, you will need:

  • Fine steel wool or a scouring pad
  • A bucket or basin
  • Detergent or white vinegar
  • A towel
  • Several cloths
  • Aluminum polish (optional)
  1. Fill a basin or bucket with warm or hot water. Add one cup of white vinegar or a few teaspoons of detergent. Mix it well.
  2. Use the scouring pad or steel wool dipped in the solution to clean the aluminum. How you do this depends on what you are cleaning. Pots and pans may not require a lot of elbow grease, but outdoor furniture or engine and car parts may need much more. Don't press too hard, and work in one direction. This prevents scratching and an uneven finish. Wash with the steel wool or scouring pad until the aluminum is clean and free of dirt or grime.
  3. Rinse the item well with clean water. If you are working outside, you can use a hose to rinse. Otherwise, fill the bucket with clean water and pour it over the aluminum. You may also rinse it in the sink if possible.
  4. Dry the aluminum with a clean towel. Check the progress you've made. If the item is clean and shiny, you're done. If the aluminum appears dull or pitted, move on to step five.
  5. Polish the item with aluminum polish. Follow the directions on the label. Most polishes are applied evenly with a cloth and buffed away.
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