Here’s the best way to clean aluminium

Give that crusty aluminium the love it deserves

How To Clean Aluminum

Those inevitable splodges of your homemade pasta sauce (the secret ingredient is love) can build up to make aluminium look dull. But put as much passion into cleaning your aluminium surfaces as you do for your recipes, and they’ll sparkle.  

Luckily, if you know how to clean aluminium properly, it can take on a whole new lease of life, however battle-hardened it might be. Whether you want to know how to clean aluminium pots or if you want to know how to polish aluminium furniture, you’re in the right place.  


When trying a new homemade cleaning method on aluminium test it out on a small, inconspicuous area first, to ensure it doesn’t have any adverse effects.

1. How to clean aluminium sinks 

Sinks work hard in the kitchen (almost as hard as you do when you accidentally offered to make 7am breakfast the night before), and that can leave them looking grimy and dull. But with a little know-how, it’s easy to bring them back to their shiny former glory. If you’re looking for the best way to clean aluminium sinks, here’s what you’re going to need: 

What you’ll need

Begin by cleaning the sink with washing-up liquid (or your choice of aluminium cleaner) and a sponge to get rid of most of the grime. Next, slice a lemon and dip it into salt. Scrub the sink with the salt-infused lemon, rinse thoroughly and wipe down with a paper towel like Plenty, which is strong enough to hold together even when it’s sodden, and it’ll get right into any neglected corners.  

2. How to clean aluminium pots, pan and utensils 

Cleaning aluminium pans and pots with an acidic solution is a great way of bringing them back to their shiny best. Here's what you'll need:

What you’ll need

  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
  • Scouring pad

After cleaning away any food debris, combine the lemon or vinegar with enough water to fill your pan and boil on the hob for 10 minutes (stick any dirty utensils in too if you’ve got room). Once the pan has cooled you can get to work with the scourer – a little bit of elbow grease is all that’s needed, and then the job’s a good’un. Want to know how to make aluminium shine? For the exterior of the pan, use a mild polish and buff it to a high shine using a piece of dry kitchen paper 


The more effort you put into buffing, the higher the shine will be. Try Plenty The Original One for paper towels you can use to scrub, reuse and soak up any excess polish.

3. How to clean aluminium outdoor furniture

When it comes to cleaning aluminium in the garden you should do it on a day that’s neither very hot nor very cold. So, almost any day in the UK.

What you’ll need

  • Scourer
  • Hose
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Detergent

After cleaning your outdoor aluminium furniture with detergent and warm water you can move onto combining vinegar and water to make your polishing solution. Mix equal parts of each and use the scourer to work on the surface. Finally, grab your hose and rinse thoroughly to make sure all the solution is removed. When dry, you can apply a little polish (or even car wax) for extra shiiiiine. 

4. How to clean aluminium oxidation

Aluminium tends to oxidise as time passes, which results in that dull, chalky look. If you’ve seen that on your items, you’ll want to learn how to remove oxidation from aluminium. Fortunately, you can bring back a nice clear appearance with the right know-how – and a popular sauce. Yep, that’s right, you just need to open your kitchen cupboard again and bring out the ketchup – another acidic powerhouse.[1]

What you’ll need

  1. Cover the item with a thin layer of ketchup.
  2. Leave it for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Use the soft cloth to rub the aluminium vigorously.
  4. Rinse with water straight after (otherwise you might risk spots and streaks).
  5. Polish with a piece of kitchen paper to dry it completely and bring out the shine.

Ketchup is also a surprisingly effective product for cleaning silverware!

5. How to polish aluminium at home 

Cleaning aluminium pans, sinks and outdoor surfaces will bring a certain amount of sparkle back in its own right, but if you really want to know how to make aluminium shine, it needs some buffing. For smaller items give them a spray with specialist aluminium polish or a bit of cream of tartar and get buffing with a strong paper towel. For larger areas and sheet aluminium you’ll get the best results with a rotating buffer tool – just make sure you wear your safety goggles.   

Even though these tips show you how to clean aluminium pots, sinks and outdoor furniture, you can actually give them a go on any aluminium surface. Got loads to clean? Enlist some helping hands and start your own aluminium cleaning production line. It’ll feel like you’re living in a mirror-world in no time! 

Got loads to clean? Enlist some helping hands and start your own aluminium cleaning production line. You’ll have the place shining in no time! Now you’re in the zone, make sure you check out all of the cleaning tips on our website, from how to clean floor tiles to how to clean windows properly.

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