How to clean Aluminum (aluminium)

Photo by Dana DeVolk on Unsplash
Modern aluminum nowadays has a coating that makes it easy to care for. However older aluminum can pose more of a challenge, but I have a solution for that too. In this article you will find cleaning solutions for modern coated aluminum and old-fashioned bare aluminum.

How to clean coated aluminum door frames and windows:

The coating for aluminum is usually sold in white however you can find it in bronze or brown.

  • Regular cleaning can be achieved by using your usual All-purpose cleaner*.

Tip – Why not tackle 2 jobs at once. When you are cleaning your windows with your usual glass cleaner** wipe down the aluminium frames with the same solution.

How to Clean Bare Aluminium with a milled finish:

Exposure to the environment can take their toll on bare aluminum leaving you with a darker rougher version of the shiny aluminum you may have started off with.

The following method for cleaning aluminum will help to lighten and make the surface appear brighter.  This method however cannot erase all the effects of oxidation. If you have found this method unsatisfactory you make want to consider repainting your frames with a latex paint that is able to withstand outdoor conditions.

What you will need:

  • Penetrating degreaser or lubricant*** this can usually be found at your local hardware store.

  • Fine steel wool

  • 2 clean cloths

Step 1 - Start by spraying the lubricant or applying with a cloth to the surface of the aluminum.

Step 2 - After application, gently rub the steel wool over the area in a back and forwards motion (do not make circular motions).
It is important to rub gently so as to avoid scratches.

Step 3 – Follow by wiping off the lubricant residue with a clean rag.

Please note – Test this method of cleaning on a small inconspicuous area.

Available commercial products:

*All purpose household cleaner - Wonderkleen or Mr. Muscle
** Glass Cleaner – Windex or Windolene
*** Lubricant - Triton Leo’s Q20

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