How Do You Remove Aluminum Oxidation?

To remove aluminum oxidation, clean the surface, prepare an acid solution, apply it with a stiff brush, and scrub away the oxidation stains. If necessary, follow up with sandpaper to remove pits and lingering oxidation on the aluminum.

  1. Prepare a cleaning solution

    Fill a bucket with hot water. Add an abrasive soap, and mix well.

  2. Wash off the dirt

    Put on protective gloves. Soak a rag in the cleaning solution, and wipe away the dirt with the soapy rag, pausing to rinse the rag often. If necessary, use a brush to scrub off stains. Rinse off the soap solution.

  3. Prepare an acid solution

    Make an acid solution by heating 1 quart of water, adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar and mixing well.

  4. Apply the acid solution

    While wearing protective gloves, dip a stiff brush into the acid solution. Apply the solution to the aluminum surface, and scrub vigorously. Rinse the solution off with hot water.

  5. Sand away any remaining oxidation

    Sometimes, oxidized aluminum has a pitted surface, which intensifies the oxidation. To get rid of this surface, use 400- to 600-grit sandpaper to remove pits and lingering oxidation stains.

  6. Smooth out the surface

    Wipe away the dust from the first sanding. Use fine-grain sandpaper to smooth out the surface. If possible, seal the aluminum surface to prevent future oxidation.