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How to clean aluminium

Give your aluminium surfaces the special care they need! Read on for handy tips on cleaning aluminium in your home.


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Aluminium is a lightweight, pale metal, which may require special care when attempting to clean it. Some kitchen utensils like pots and vases, for example, should be cleaned regularly to prevent the accumulation of dirt. This also helps to prevent the accumulation of aluminium oxide, a form of corrosion, which can affect the integrity of the metal.

Because it is a soft metal, in any aluminium cleaning or polishing method that you use, you must rub lightly to gradually bring back its shiny appearance.

In the stores you can find a wide variety of aluminium polishing and cleaning products. However, you could also make use of ingredients found in your pantry.

These home methods work very effectively to polish aluminium and other metals and restore its original lustre, making them look like new. They also work if the object in question has stains or some specific spots that must be addressed.

Remember, before applying any of these methods, perform a test on a hidden or inconspicuous place. If, besides these homemade options, you decide to use other products like commercial aluminium polish, do not forget to read and follow the instructions on the label step by step.

Using homemade cleaning products on tricky metals like aluminium can save you a little money, but it’s well worth trying them out on a small area first to ensure that they are suitable for your item or surface – particularly if you’re not certain it really is aluminium. Simply identify an area that won’t be seen from the outside (the inner rim of a jug, for example) and test your aluminium cleaning method there.

How to Clean Aluminium & Polish with Vinegar, Flour, and Salt

  • Place 1 teaspoon salt in 230mls of white vinegar.

  • Make a paste by adding flour gradually. Mix well.

  • Apply the paste on the metal with a cloth.

  • Allow the paste to act for at least 15 minutes, and where possible, for 1 hour.

  • Rinse with warm water.

  • Dry and polish with a soft flannel cloth or towel.

How to Clean Aluminium with Tomato Sauce

It might seem incredible, but tomato sauce is an excellent resource to remove the oxidation of aluminium. The following method is recommended especially for small areas and objects.

  • Cover the object to be polished with a light layer of tomato sauce.

  • Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.

  • Rub vigorously with a soft cloth.

  • Rinse immediately.

  • Dry and polish with a soft flannel cloth or towel.

You can repeat either of these two aluminium cleaning processes if necessary. And if you perform them regularly, before the aluminium starts to dim, you will ensure that all your items are always in good condition and looking new. It’s that easy.


Can I use water to clean aluminium?

Yes, you can use water to clean aluminium, but it's important to dry the surface thoroughly afterwards to prevent water spots.

How do I clean heavily soiled aluminium?

For heavily soiled aluminium, you can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Apply the solution to the surface and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt or grime. Rinse the surface with clean water and dry it thoroughly.

Can I use baking soda to clean aluminium?

Yes, you can use baking soda to clean aluminium. Mix baking soda and water to form a paste and apply it to the surface. Use a soft cloth or sponge to scrub away any dirt or grime, then rinse the surface with clean water and dry it thoroughly.

Can I use steel wool to clean aluminium?

No, you should avoid using steel wool or any abrasive materials to clean aluminium, as they can scratch or damage the surface. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge.

How can I prevent aluminium from becoming dirty?

To prevent aluminium from becoming dirty, you can apply a coat of wax or sealant to the surface. This will help to protect the aluminium from dirt, grime, and other contaminants. Additionally, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials on the surface, as these can cause damage.

Can I use a pressure washer to clean aluminium?

Yes, you can use a pressure washer to clean aluminium, but be careful not to use too much pressure or hold the nozzle too close to the surface, as this can cause damage. Use a low-pressure setting and hold the nozzle a safe distance away from the surface.

Originally published