How Do You Shine Aluminum?


Quick Answer

Shine aluminum by making a paste of water and cream of tartar and rubbing or brushing the paste onto the piece before washing it off with clean water. For some aluminium pieces, applying a special aluminum polish can provide a higher shine. However, aluminum polish is toxic and cannot be used on cookware, dinnerware or utensils from which anyone is going to eat or drink.

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Full Answer

Make the cream of tartar paste by mixing some of the powder with enough water to make a thick but easily spreadable paste. Cream of tartar is one of the ingredients in baking powder, and is available from most supermarkets in the baking section. Do not use other household cleaning products such as baking soda, ammonia or bleach, as all of these substances can permanently discolor aluminum.

If the aluminum piece is very dirty or dull, use a toothbrush or cleaning brush with soft bristles to clean the problem areas. Because aluminum is a rather soft metal, using steel wool, scouring pads or metal brushes when cleaning can seriously damage the surface. For the same reason, do not use abrasive cleaning products such as scouring powder or borax on aluminum pieces.

Only clean and shine raw aluminum pieces. Anodized aluminum has a special coating that protects the metal, and it can come off with harsh cleaning.

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