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A material that is largely rust free, highly durable and is both light in weight and on your pocket; aluminium has it all. A popular choice amongst homemakers, aluminium can be employed in virtually every space. From crockery to light fixtures and doors, this metal is the answer to most of your building needs. With recent trends favouring a more minimalistic approach to interior designing, aluminium is back in the rage with its industrial strength.
While aluminium is rust free, it still falls prey to staining and colour degradation. When left unattended, it can slowly turn into an unattractive shade of green-brown. Before your aluminium can reach that stage, there are a few cleaning tips that you can incorporate to keep the metal shining brighter than the sun.
Ways to Clean Aluminium
For day to day maintenance, a simple wipe down with lukewarm water and detergent can do wonders. The more time you let the dirt settle on aluminium, the harder it will be to remove the resulting stains. While there a variety of methods present in the market to get rid of these stains, they are not always the best for the metal’s durability. A general rule of thumb would be to start with the mildest form of cleaner and then moving upwards.
Aluminium cleaning options in ascending order of their harshness are
- A simple wipe down with lukewarm water and a microfiber cloth.
- Mild soaps and general-purpose detergents
- Solvents such as kerosene, turpentine or white spirit.
- Chemical cleaners. Caution must be obtained whole using these cleaners and the usage guidelines must be read thoroughly. To minimize damage, try using a non-etching solution
- Wax-based polish
- Abrasive wax can provide a deeper clean but will leave a few unsightly lines.
- Abrasive cleaners are the most heavy-duty erasers present and must be used under professional guidance
Depending upon the type of aluminium, different cleaning methods are recommended. When choosing any one of them, it is always advised to read the manufacturers booklet prior.
After any cleaning, let the pieces dry completely before storage. Make sure that no white streaks remain on the metal, as they can bring forth staining in the longer run. Special care must be given to the edges of aluminium vessels and pipes, as they are the starting points for most contamination.
For cleaning aluminium vessels
Considering the wide array of kitchen utensils made out of aluminium, it becomes important to give them special treatment. Most vessels can be polished with water and dish soap. For an extra deep clean, you can even use soft-bristled brushes to achieve the ultimate satisfaction of scraping dirt away.
If there are still some spots left behind, a safe way to eliminate them is by using the cream of tartar which is an amazing cleaner. Cream of tartar is available easily online or through retail shops, and at an affordable price. Its payoff is much greater when considering its multipronged use.
For aluminium, you only need to create a paste by mixing the powder with water and rubbing the paste on with a cloth. Rinse the metal with water after. Be careful to not place the vessels in sunlight to dry, as the sun can cause more white spots to form. Rather, employ a soft absorbent cloth to soak up the moisture.
Another method to restore shine to aluminium is to use polish. However, the polish must only be used in cases where aesthetic is the sole purpose. Ingesting polish can cause a horde of problems. For decorative vases and like. Rub on some polish with the help of cloth in small circular options.
How to Maintain Aluminium
While handling aluminium
If you are moving aluminium equipment or sheet for a project, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind. Do not allow the metal to scrape or drag against each other or other elements. Even walking over aluminium sheets can cause scratches on them and overall dulling the metal.
While storing aluminium,
If any aluminium equipment will be lying unused for a long time, you may want to take certain precautions to avoid nasty surprises. For starters, coat the metal in a layer of oil. Place it vertically upright to allow air circulation on all sides of the tool. The place of storage plays an important role as well, make sure the storage space is well ventilated, has been dusted and is not dirty.
A common problem seen in aluminium usage is its weakness against water. Extended exposure to water can cause a thin white sheet to develop over the base, which can be dealt with in a few steps. Depending upon the level of staining, two methods are applicable. For light staining, a simple brush will remove the debris. For more extensive staining, dip the affected area in a solution of 10% by volume sulphuric acid and 3% by weight chromic acid.
Putting up of aluminium in case of a complete home renovation should be kept for the last minute. This is because aluminium can be easily soiled by other construction debris present in the environment. therefore, by keeping aluminium installation for the end will minimize contact between the two.
By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your aluminium in its peak condition for years to come. A little goes a long way when it comes to this wonder metal. Investing only a couple of minutes can extend their life way beyond imagined.