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How to Clean Aluminum

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A material that is largely rust-free, highly durable, and is both light in weight and on your pocket; aluminum has it all. A popular choice amongst homemakers, aluminum 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 favoring a more minimalistic approach to interior designing, aluminum is back in the rage with its industrial strength.

While aluminum is rust-free, it still falls prey to staining and color degradation. When left unattended, it can slowly turn into an unattractive shade of green-brown. Before your aluminum 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 Aluminum

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 aluminum, the harder it will be to remove the resulting stains.

While there is 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 move upwards.

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Aluminum 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 aluminum, 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 aluminum vessels and pipes, as they are the starting points for most contamination.

For Cleaning Aluminum Vessels

Considering the wide array of kitchen utensils made out of aluminum, it is 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.

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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 aluminum, 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 aluminum is to use polish. However, the polish must only be used in cases where aesthetics 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 motions.

How to Maintain Aluminium

Handling aluminum

If you are moving aluminum 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 aluminum sheets can cause scratches on them and overall dull the metal.

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Storing aluminum

If any aluminum 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, so make sure the storage space is well ventilated, has been dusted, and is not dirty.

Water staining

A common problem seen in aluminum 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.

Installing aluminum

Putting up aluminum in case of a complete home renovation should be kept for the last minute. This is because aluminum can be easily soiled by other construction debris present in the environment. therefore, keeping aluminum installation for the end will minimize contact between the two.

By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your aluminum 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.

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FAQs

Should I season my aluminum pans?

Aluminum cookware should be seasoned as it will help prolong its color and life. You can use normal vegetable oil for seasoning the pans.

Can I cook acidic food in aluminum cookware?

If your aluminum utensils have been coated with stainless steel or a nonstick coating, then it is safe to cook acidic food in them.

If your aluminum is untreated, then it is best to avoid cooking acidic food in it.

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