To clean oxidized aluminum, scrub it with grease-cutting detergent, and soak it in boiling water, lemon juice, cream of tartar and vinegar. This 45-minute procedure requires rubber gloves, oven mitts, water, grease-cutting detergent, a stove, lemon juice, white vinegar, cream of tartar, steel wool, a towel and a sponge.
- Eliminate greasy residue
Put on rubber gloves, and scrub the aluminum with grease-cutting detergent. Use a large, thick sponge dipped in very hot water. Scrub baked-on food residue with a steel wool pad and additional detergent. Do not use chemical abrasives. Rinse the aluminum in hot water, and remove your gloves.
- Remove the oxidation
If the aluminum object is a cooking vessel, put it on a stove over medium-high heat. Otherwise, set a large pot on the stove, and set the aluminum object in it. Fill the vessel halfway with water. Add 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 tablespoons cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, and keep it there for 15 minutes.
- Inspect the aluminum
Put on oven mitts, pour the solution out, and inspect the aluminum. If some oxidation remains, repeat the previous step as many times as necessary.
- Dry the aluminum
Spread a towel on a flat surface, set the aluminum object on it, and leave it there until it is totally dry.
If the piece isn't completely clean after this, complete the process again; it may take several tries to get rid of all the oxidation. Use half a lemon dipped in salt or some lemon juice and salt on a cloth to clean difficult spots. However, avoid rubbing the surface too hard, as salt can scratch it, too.