How to Clean Aluminum

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  • 2-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-130
What You'll Need
Sponge or cloth
Liquid dish detergent
Toothbrush (with soft bristles)
Baking soda
Chlorine bleach
Rubber gloves
Metal polish

Methods on how to clean aluminum include the use of many different household materials. Which method to use will depend on the type of aluminum product that you need to clean. For aluminum cookware, acids found in lemon and vinegar are usually good cleaning agents. However, aluminum screen doors call for a different type of technique because using lemon and vinegar would not be a very economical way of cleaning the entire structure.

Cleaning aluminum is not a hard task to do because the metal does not rust like iron. Therefore, cleaning is only required when dust, grease or any other contaminant builds up on the metal’s surfaces. Here is how to clean aluminum without causing too much damage on the metal surfaces.

Step 1 – Prepare the Soapy Water Mixture

For 1 gallon of water, add 2 tablespoons of dish detergent. Use a stirrer or a sponge to mix the water and the detergent thoroughly. This mixture is ideal for cleaning aluminum gates, doors, screen doors, and other aluminum structures. This may also be used to clean aluminum utensils or cookware.

Step 2 – Apply Soapy Water

Use a sponge or a cloth to wipe the aluminum with the soapy mixture. This will allow the dust or any other contaminants to loosen up.

Step 3 – Brush the Surfaces

Gently brush the areas on the aluminum that are heavily stained or dirtied. Screen doors usually have dust build-up on the top portion, so make sure to brush that area as well. Use a chair to reach the top portion. Apply more soapy water as necessary.

Step 4 – Wipe the Aluminum Clean

Dampen the sponge or a piece of cloth, and wipe the entire area to remove the soapy water and the dirt. Wash the sponge or cloth with clean water and wipe the aluminum surfaces as often as necessary until all the dirt is gone.

Step 5 – Use Paste to Clean Hard-to-Remove Dirt

Some stains may not be easily removed using only detergent and water. For such stains, prepare a special paste by mixing equal proportions of baking soda and chlorine bleach in a container. Since chlorine should not touch the skin, make sure to wear rubber gloves. Mix the ingredients to create a paste. Apply this paste evenly on the aluminum surfaces and allow it to sit for about 1-2 hours. Better yet, let it sit overnight to ensure an easy-to-clean surface.

Step 6 – Spray With Water

Spray the aluminum with water to remove the paste. Use a clean cloth to wipe the aluminum dry.

Step 7 – Polish the Aluminum

This step may not be necessary, but it does protect the aluminum from dust and other contaminants, therefore saving precious cleaning time. Polishing the aluminum will also make the aluminum shiny to give an impression that is brand new or at least newly cleaned.