Aluminium (aluminium) is the number one most abundant metal found in the Earth’s crust. With that being said, it’s no wonder that with our propensity for exploiting everything we can get our hands on, you will find something made from this metal in pretty much every home you see. Under most circumstances it is mixed with other metals like copper, zinc, magnesium, or manganese to create an alloy with greater strength and durability. Even with other metals thrown in there, aluminium alloys are still quite malleable and can be used for an absolutely ridiculous number of things. ). Some of the methods used back in the day were simply unsafe. Other people will tell you that using chlorine bleach or muriatic acid is the best way to clean aluminium. You wouldn’t use Vapour Degreasing For Precision Cleaning at home so best to stay away from the harsh stuff! Cleaning aluminium takes some steps so in this guide we are going to walk you through it!
- Give it a thorough scrubbing. More than likely, your piece of aluminium has acquired a nice layer of dust. The first step to aluminium cleaning is to wash it. There’s no special trick to this. Fill your sink with hot water and soap and wash away. If you’re washing a pot or pan, make sure to remove all of the grease or you won’t be able to penetrate it later to get rid of the aluminium oxide underneath. You may need to use a scratchy pad. Make sure to get in the edges really well. The final product should be bare aluminium
- Clean off any burnt-on food. Again, the plan is to completely uncover the aluminium underneath. If the pan has food burned onto the bottom, you’ll need to get that off. Put a couple inches of water in the pan and bring it to a boil. Let it go for about five minutes and then, using a flat-edge wooden spatula, scrape as much of it off as possible. You may need to repeat this process a couple times.
- Break out the acid. Sometimes getting rid of the oxidation on an aluminium pot is as simple as cooking something acidic in it like tomato, apple, lemon, or rhubarb. If you don’t feel up to that, fill your pot or pan with water and add two tablespoons of vinegar cream of tartar, or lemon juice for each quart of water. Bring this aluminium cleaner to a boil, and let it roll for at least fifteen minutes. Feel free to throw in any aluminium utensils you might have. After the fifteen minutes are up, dump the pot out and check the results. This works very well, but it may need to be done several times. If the thing being cleaned isn’t a pot at all but will fit in one, this is a great way to clean smaller aluminium items.
- Try to avoid any harsh abrasives. It is frequently suggested that if there are really stubborn bits of baked-on nastiness or heavy oxidation you can remove them using either plain steel wool or Brillo Pads. The problem with this is these have a tendency to leave your aluminium riddled with little scratches that make it harder to clean in the future. If you feel you must use steel wool, use the finest grade you can find, use it as sparingly as possible, and apply as little pressure as possible. Go with the grain of the metal and don’t use circular patterns.
- Cleaning aluminium surfaces. Whether it’s the outside of the aluminium pot you just cleaned or a different hunk of aluminium altogether, the method is the same. More acid. Grab a lemon from the fridge, cut it in half, dip the cut side in some salt, and start rubbing. Don’t rub too hard, as the salt is slightly abrasive. If you don’t have an actual lemon, bottled lemon juice and a rag will work, too. Wet the rag, sprinkle it with salt, and start rubbing (gently).