In the home, we are surrounded by objects that require periodic cleaning to maintain their good appearance. Many of them are made of material, plastic and steel. Still, most of them are made of aluminum, such as, for example, household appliances, bicycle frames, and most kitchen utensils. This is a light metal with characteristics that stand out to the eye and that, for its proper cleaning, require special care.
There are several substances on the market that are specially manufactured for the cleaning of this material. However, you can also rely on homemade tricks made with accessible and inexpensive ingredients and obtain impeccable and satisfactory results.
If you don’t know what you should do to care for and preserve aluminum in optimal conditions, you are in the right place. If you have already read what we told you about how to clean stainless steel and how to remove rust from iron, it is time for you to learn which are the techniques to clean aluminum correctly and recover its shine.
How to clean and polish aluminum?
Our first recommendation is to perform this task periodically; this way you will keep your aluminum surfaces shiny, and it will be much easier to clean them. The basic tips and hacks for cleaning rusted, tarnished aluminum are as follows:
- When rubbing the surface of this metal, do not rub it in a circular or uneven motion in all directions. Make back and forth movements in the same direction (from top to bottom or vice versa); this way, it does not stain with uneven marks once it is clean.
- Much of the appeal of aluminum is its luster. If you want to make your items look shiny after grooming, follow the manufacturer’s directions on the product label. And if you want to clean with homemade ingredients, we will tell you later the procedure with the most effective methods to clean aluminum.
- If you are going to scrub an aluminum surface with a metal scouring pad, be sure to do so carefully without applying too much force. It is not recommended since its abrasive characteristics can spoil its finish.
- Ideally, use soft sponges for scrubbing and delicate cloths for drying and polishing.
- Do not hit or pour corrosive substances to clean the aluminum. Ensure that the cleaner you use is suitable and that the remedy is not worse than the disease.
- Once you have cleaned the aluminum object, dry it very well and polish it.
Homemade tricks to clean aluminum at home
Before buying any metal cleaning and polishing substance, you should know that it is possible to do it with effective homemade products for this purpose, including vinegar, baking soda, and even ketchup. Seriously! We explain more below:
How to clean aluminum with vinegar, flour, and salt?
- Fill a bowl and add one cup of white cleaning vinegar and one tablespoon salt.
- Mix until both components are integrated, and slowly flour until a paste-like composition is formed.
- Apply this mixture and spread it over the entire surface.
- Wait for it to act for at least 20 minutes (if it is very dirty and stained, wait a little longer for it to take effect).
- After this time, rinse with lukewarm water using a soft sponge.
- Dry with a soft cloth to polish and shine.
How to clean aluminum with baking soda and lemon?
This is an infallible ally of hundreds of household chores, you can even make homemade air fresheners with baking soda and combat annoying odors. Can you believe it? I didn’t think it was possible either! It is also ideal for cleaning burnt aluminum pans, removing grease from kitchen furniture and much more. See how to use it:
- In a dish, mix two heaping tablespoons of baking soda and add the juice of one lemon. If you need more cleanser, double the ingredients.
- Soak a sponge with this mixture and rub the aluminum.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and dry completely to visualize the results.
Note: As a substitute for baking soda, you can use toothpaste and apply it to the stained areas with a paper towel or dry cloth using circular motions. Its effect is very powerful because it contains sodium bicarbonate and peroxide.
How to clean aluminum with Ketchup?
You probably seem surprised and assume “You’ve got to be kidding!” but no, ketchup is ideal for removing rust on metals such as copper and aluminum. These are the steps to follow:
- Cover the surface with a little ketchup.
- Let it act for approximately 25 minutes.
- Using a gentle step, rub the area insistently, paying special attention to the parts with rust.
- Rinse with cold water, dry and polish with a soft towel.
Cleaning of aluminum according to its condition
Each object and amount of soiling requires a different treatment. In the case of cookware or outdoor furniture, cleaning will be more attentive; however, indoors and indoor objects that do not use too much are simpler.
In the kitchen
It is no secret that aluminum cookware heats and cools down faster than the rest, giving it a tremendous advantage and disadvantages. It is more delicate and lighter, which is why it discolors and dents easily. That is why its care differs from steel, starting with pots, pans, trays, and sinks.
Traces of stuck-on food or signs of burning are common, and to remove them, liquid soap or dishwashing liquid and a brush that withstands hot water is convenient. Also, if it is the pots, put them on the fire with water, vinegar, and lemon juice for 15 minutes to remove grease and burnt food residues stuck on the surface (if they are objects, immerse them in hot water with this same mixture). Hot water will be a must in these situations!
Over the years, the aluminum parts of the furniture have become dirty and stained. Cleaning them with the reliable method of soapy water and a sponge is possible. However, for more persistent stains, try this homemade cleaner based on lemon juice, vinegar, and water.
Aluminum doors and windows
The deterioration of doors and windows is usually due to the use of cleaning substances that are very abrasive and end up scratching and dulling the original shine of this material. The ideal in these cases is to use hot water, a little degreaser suitable for metals and wash the dirtiest or deteriorated areas by rubbing with a delicate cloth. Once the dirt is removed, rinse with hot water and dry with a dry cloth.
And if you were wondering:
Why does aluminum oxidize?
The answer is that it usually appears when they are not cleaned well, and grease, dirt, or moisture accumulates on the surface. This, with time, generates progressive deterioration and opacity, which, if not cleaned in time, ends up being permanent damage.
Don’t forget that aluminum is a light metal that must be treated with care, and the best measure you can implement to preserve them is to clean them periodically with the proper methods, removing any traces of dirt and rust and drying them completely before storing them again. Success!