How to Clean Aluminum

Aluminum RowboatAluminum is absolutely stunning when it is cleaned to a sparkling finish. This soft metal brings life to many items ranging from trailers, wheel covers and pots and pans.
However, aluminum isn’t always the easiest material to wipe clean. In fact, it can be downright frustrating to clean aluminum just to look back a little bit later to find smudges all over it. Yes, much like glass and stainless steel, aluminum reflects every tiny fingerprint that has ever come in contact with its surface.
Don’t give up hope. There are several approaches that can be utilized when it comes to aluminum.
Know what you want to accomplish. Cleaning aluminum hulls isn’t necessarily about scraping away layers of grime, grease and dirt. It isn’t about disinfecting the surface or making it so clean that you could eat off of it.

No, cleaning aluminum hulls is more about restoring luster and shine to worn-out metals that have been highly oxidized over time. It’s about getting the scum and muck off the hull that has accumulated during use.

Check out professional cleaning supplier Web sites like, which carries a complete line of wholesale commercial, industrial and marine cleansers from the Snee Chemical Company that are specifically formulated for many different applications.

Find an effective cleaner. While there are a million glass and stainless steel cleaners on the market, choices are more limited when it comes to aluminum cleaning products. However, it is essential that the proper product is used for aluminum. Window, glass and stainless steel cleaners may seem to do the trick at first, but over time may build-up residue or cause tiny scratches in the metal.

Marine Aluminum Brightener, manufactured by Snee Chemical Company, contains an effective combination of specially selected acids and stable wetting agents that are designed to clean and brighten aluminum trailers and other aluminum items. It a very popular hull cleaner that is widely used by vessel owners along the Gulf Coast.

Snee Chemical Company also makes a highly concentrated version of its aluminum brighter that is designed to clean, refresh and strip stains from any aluminum or fiberglass item.

Timing is everything. On first warm spring day everybody is outside taking care of  various chores they have been able to slide over the winter. It feels good to be back out in the fresh air working hard to improve your lawn, garden, car or boat.

However, make sure the air temperature is truly warm enough to apply your aluminum brightener product. In cooler weather, more streaking may result or, depending on the product you have chosen, the cleaner may need to be diluted more than during a typical application.

Safety first. Aluminum Brightener contains acid so safety precautions need to be taken to protect the skin and clothes. These are highly concentrated chemicals, so wear protective gear such as rubber boots, safety goggles and heavy-duty gloves at all times when handling the product.

Also, take care during the application process. Avoid using a spray applicator so the cleaner isn’t being carried through the air, for example.

Go beyond just cleaning. Remember that aluminum is subject to re-oxidization again as soon as the cleaning process is complete. Aluminum brighteners clean very well, but aren’t necessarily formulated for further protection. If you want to seal and protect the aluminum against any future discoloration or oxidation issues, invest in a product that will form a protective barrier. Use this type of product after you have completely finished the cleaning process.

This entry was posted in Acid Products, Marine Applications and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *