Whether you are cleaning small aluminum pieces from around the kitchen or larger metals found in the garage, the process for polishing aluminum is relatively similar. You must clean the surface thoroughly, prepare the aluminum surface for the polish, then polish and buff the surface for the best possible finish.
Here, we will take you through an easy step by step process to yield the best results.
Step 1: Soap/Detergent
Clean the aluminum with soap/detergent and water. Dish soap works well for smaller aluminum pieces, but we would recommend a heavier detergent for larger pieces. Wash with a washcloth or sponge. Thoroughly rinse off soap or detergent with warm water, and then dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.
Step 2: Cream of Tartar (for smaller aluminum pieces)
Create a cream of tartar paste using equal parts cream of tartar and water. Mix until the substance becomes paste-like. Coat the aluminum surface using a washcloth or microfiber cloth. Thoroughly rinse with warm water, and then dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.
Step 3: Sanding (for larger aluminum pieces)
With safety goggles on, use sandpaper or a sanding machine over the surface of the aluminum or sheet metal. For best results, start with medium grit and work your way up to a finer sandpaper.
Step 4: Polish
When properly learning how to polish aluminum, we recommend a water-based polish -- and be sure to stay away from metallic polish -- which can do more harm than good. When polishing cookware, do not polish sections that will come in contact with flame. For smaller pieces, a microfiber cloth will work but for larger pieces, we recommend a buffer, to save time and strain.
For a shine that will last and return your household items back to their original shine, check out our aluminum polishing products for your next polishing project!