Here’s the best way to clean aluminium

Give that crusty aluminium the love it deserves

How To Clean Aluminum

Finger prints, tarnishing and those inevitable splodges of pasta sauce can all make aluminium look dull and lack-lustre. But give it a bit of tender, loving care, and it will sparkle.

Luckily, if you know how to polish aluminium it can take on a whole new lease of life, however well-loved it might be. Whether you want to know how to clean an aluminium pan, how to remove oxidation from aluminium or how to polish aluminium furniture, you’re in the right place with Plenty.

Tip

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), which 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 and polish aluminium sinks, then look no further!

What you’ll need

And here's how to clean aluminium sinks:

  1. 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.
  2. You can use an old toothbrush dipped in washing-up liquid to clean around the plughole and drain.[2]
  3. Next, slice a lemon and dip it into salt.
  4. Scrub the sink with the salt-infused lemon.
  5. 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.

If your sink is steel rather than aluminium, check out our tips for cleaning stainless steel without scratches.

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 aluminium sink with the salt-infused lemon, rinse thoroughly and wipe down with a strong Plenty paper towel, designed to hold together even when it’s sodden. It’ll get right into any neglected corners!

Plus, if you're looking for alternative cleaning products, take a look at our list of DIY cleaning products you can make using common kitchen cupboard items. They're kind to the environment and to your wallet!

 

2. How to clean an aluminium pan and utensils 

Cleaning aluminium pans and pots with an acidic solution is a great way of bringing them back to their shiny best.

What you’ll need

  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar
  • Plenty kitchen paper (It’ll hold together and do the job, even through scrubbing!)
  1. Clean away any food debris.
  2. Combine the lemon or vinegar with enough water to fill your pan and boil on the hob for 10 minutes (with utensils in if you’ve got room).
  3. Once the pan has cooled you can get to work with the sheet of kitchen paper – a little bit of elbow grease is all that’s needed, and then it’s job done.

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. And if you want to give your space the full deep cleaning treatment, take a look at our ultimate kitchen cleaning plan.

Tip

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

  1. First, clean your outdoor aluminium furniture with detergent and warm water.
  2. Then move onto combining vinegar and water to make your polishing solution. Mix equal parts of each.
  3. Use a sheet of kitchen paper to work on the surface.
  4. Finally, grab your hose and rinse thoroughly to make sure all of the solution is removed.

When dry, you can apply a little polish (or even car wax) to polish aluminium garden furniture and give it that extra shiiiiine.

So that’s how to clean aluminium pans, sinks and garden furniture covered, but what about dealing with oxidised aluminium?

 

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.[3]

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. Our top tip for polishing aluminium at home: it’s all in the buffing 

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 remove oxidation from aluminium and make it shine, the key is buffing.

  • For smaller items: give them a spray with specialist aluminium polish or a bit of cream of tartar and get the kids to help you administer the final buffing with a piece of kitchen paper.
  • 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 when you polish aluminium in this way.

Even though these tips show you how to clean aluminium pans, sinks and outdoor furniture, you can actually give them a go on any aluminium surface. You also now know how to clean aluminium oxidation.

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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