Acids used to clean and brighten aluminum include vinegar (acetic acid), lemon juice (citric acid) and cream of tartar (tartaric acid).
You can use any type of aluminum polish or cleaner. For painted aluminum sheeting on enclosed trailers, any non-abrasive, mild automotive cleanser can be used (car wash soap, i.e.). Aluma-Brite and Citra Brite are two brands used and recommended by dealers and owners.
Use a paste, foam, or spray polish made for aluminum and apply it to a small area of the trailer. Rub it in with a rag then use another rag or a buffer to buff the area while the polish is still wet. Repeat over all aluminum areas of the trailer. Many people stop there, and that’s fine.
To maintain its original appearance, periodically treat and polish your aluminum trailer after washing. After you rinse your trailer and let it dry, apply polish in the form of paste, foam, or spray to a small area. Rub it in with a rag, then, while the polish is still wet, use another rag or a buffer to buff the area.
If you are cleaning a large aluminum surface, soak a cloth in vinegar, then wipe it across the oxidation. Scrub with a soft-bristled brush, then wipe away the vinegar and lifted oxidation with a damp cloth. Don’t use abrasive materials like steel wool or sandpaper to scrub the surface of the aluminum.
Buffing aluminium to a mirror finish you will need a polishing mop and compound. For aluminium it is important not to heat the metal too much as this will cause it to harden, making it difficult to finish. … You will need to have a more precise finish from sanding to use this mop.
A simple solution of vinegar and water will not only clean aluminum surfaces but also polish the aluminum to restore its original shine. In a spray bottle, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray directly onto the surface and wipe away with a soft cloth.
Using aluminum foil or a scouring pad, scrub the affected area, then rinse with water. If you’re using this on chrome, you definitely do not want to let it sit too long, or it can actually eat away at the finish. For rusted hardware or tools, place them in a cup or bowl of Coke overnight.
Using a DIY Solution to Clean Oxidized Aluminum
Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water in a bucket or use this ratio to make a larger amount, depending on what you are cleaning. Wet a cloth or non-abrasive pad in the vinegar-water mixture and then use it to clean the aluminum surface gently.
Yes, vinegar can harm aluminum. Vinegar is acidic in nature. If you allow the vinegar to sit on your aluminum without rinsing for extended periods of time, it can cause further damage and corrosion to aluminum.