Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

Tried & Tested Aluminium Cleaning Methods Made Quick & Easy!

Adriana Aziz
November, 24, 2023
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how to clean aluminium custom graphic

A fresh, clean aluminium sink or pot can look a world away from a well-used, lacklustre one. The little sparkle from maintained aluminium items can add a dramatic effect to your kitchen or household, elevating the overall look. 

Aside from the ones that we use every day, most of us have a whole range of aluminium products in our home without even realising it. From kitchen sinks, pots, oven trays, and even art and furniture; this lightweight metal is prone to dulling, scratching, staining, black steaks, watermarks, fingerprints, and grime build-up overtime. Additionally, water minerals and high heat from a stove can react, thus resulting in discoloured or darkened aluminium surfaces. 

Fortunately, there are many do-it-yourself methods to clean aluminium that require regular household items that are safe for you and your family. So, without wasting any time, let’s dive into these easy-to-follow aluminium cleaning methods.

How To Clean Aluminium

woman scraping the bottom of an dirty aluminium pot with a yellow sponge

Below are some of the best and simplest ways to get your aluminium clean and shiny again! These can range from using mild washing liquid for a routine clean, to applying an acidic solution to remove tough stains on aluminium; read on to learn more! 

Using Soap and Water For Regular Cleaning

  • Rinse the item with warm water.
  • Make a solution by mixing warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid. 
  • Gently scrub the item using a non-abrasive sponge. 
  • Rinse with clean warm water.

Cleaning Inside Utensils

  • Add water to the pot and boil for approximately 15 minutes. 
  • After the water has cooled down, drain it out.
  • Use a sponge to remove any leftover food. 
  • Boil for about half an hour.
  • After the mixture has cooled, wash with regular mild dishwashing detergent.
  • Wipe dry to finish off. 

Removing Mild Stains on Aluminium

  • Sprinkle some salt on the stain or discoloured patch.
  • Use a sponge to gently scrub the strain. 
  • Wash the utensil with warm soapy water, and give a final rinse with clean warm water to remove any residue solution.
  • Wipe dry, and leave to air out before storing. 

Removing Discoloration From Inside Utensils

When it comes to oxidation or discolouration on aluminium, it is best to use an acidic solution to remove these tough stains. 

  • Make a solution of 2 tablespoons lemon juice or distilled white vinegar, and 1 quart of hot water.
  • Fill the tarnished pot with the solution, leaving about 1 inch from the brim and bring to boil.
  • Simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool after removing from the stove. 
  • Wash the utensil with warm soapy water, and rinse with clean warm water thereafter. 
  • Wipe dry with a clean lint-free cloth. 

Cleaning Exteriors & Other Aluminium Surfaces With a Wipe Down

  • Make a solution of half vinegar and half warm water.
  • Dip a clean soft cloth into the solution and wipe the surface in circular motions. The vinegar amount can be reduced or increased based on the toughness of the stain. With that said, it is best to start with a mild vinegar solution before strengthening as needed.
  • For more cleansing power, you may add salt to the solution to make a paste instead.  
  • For the exterior of aluminium utensils, use a microfibre cloth or sponge, and wipe clean using the same cleaning solution mentioned above. Be sure to use extra elbow grease on the tougher areas. 
  • Next, scrub the item with warm soapy water, and give it one final rinse with clean warm water.
  • Wipe dry, and store. 

Using Salt & Lime to Remove Tough Stains

  • Cut a lime in half, and dip it in regular table salt.
  • Use the cut-up lime to scrub the tough stain. 
  • Rinse the item well with warm water.
  • As the layer of tarnish or oxidation begins to disappear, continue scrubbing the stain with lime and salt.
  • Keep repeating this until the item is tarnish-free.
  • Wash the surface with warm soapy water, and rinse clean before drying with a clean microfibre cloth. 

Using Baking Soda to Remove Stains

  • Make a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda in 2 cups of water. 
  • Use a sponge or cloth, and scrub the surface in circular motions. 
  • Clean the item with soapy water next, and rinse thoroughly. 
  • Wipe dry with a microfibre or any soft cloth. 

Tips to Clean and Maintain Your Aluminium Items

before and after contrast of a dirty burnt aluminium pot that had just been cleaned

  • When trying out any new cleaning product, make sure to test it in a small, inconspicuous area to check for any discoloration that may occur. 
  • To keep your aluminium ware looking new for longer, it is best to clean the items after each use. Not only does regular cleaning make further cleaning processes easier, but it will reduce the chances of corrosion due to grease and dirt buildup over time. 
  • Wipe dry any aluminium area that is wet as it can gradually lead to corrosion. 
  • To avoid water spots and streaks after washing your aluminium item, always wipe dry with a microfibre or soft lint-free cloth that will not scratch the surface. The buffing action using a microfibre cloth will add to the shine.
  • Avoid using metal/wire brushes, or steel wool scrubbing pads to clean aluminium as this can damage the surface of the item.
  • For outdoor aluminium furniture, it is ideal to wipe down the pieces before storing them. 
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach to clean aluminium. Use gentle dishwashing liquid on your utensils and sinks as some dishwashing liquids or detergents can contain damaging chemicals.
  • Avoid aluminium utensils sitting in soapy water for too long as this runs the risk of tarnishing the metal. 
  • For outdoor furniture or areas that are exposed to dirt, consider applying car wax as this will create a protective layer over the surface, thereby preventing dirt from sticking. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for applying the product. 

 

Cleaning aluminium items at home is a lot easier than most people think. In fact, the stain removal methods shared in this article can be completed quickly, and using little effort! Regular hand-washing of your aluminium is highly recommended to keep the items looking new and shiny for longer, adding that desired extra sparkle to the space around!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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