Aluminum, over time, tends to oxidize and blacken –how to clean aluminum? What remedies can we use to make it shine again? Here are some useful tips. Before explaining how to clean aluminum or clean aluminum pots, it is good to know the reasons that lead these objects to oxidize.
Aluminum: the causes of oxidation
Aluminum is a beneficial non-ferrous material and is often used to make cooking pots, but not only. Among its main characteristics, we find the durability, strength, and malleability of the material: for this reason, it is widely used in numerous areas.
However, it is a metal subject to deterioration, although keeping it bright is possible thanks to the cleaning and polishing of aluminum.
The blackening of aluminum is due precisely to oxidation, a natural process caused by contact with air, and to be precise, with oxygen. We can’t do much to prevent oxidation, but we can remove it and make the pots or other objects made of this material shine back.
In addition to natural oxidation, a common cause of the blackening of aluminum pots is washing in the dishwasher: aluminum pots must strictly be washed by hand.
How to clean aluminum: remedies
Aluminum is present in our homes not only in the form of pots: we find this material also on fixtures (such as doors and windows) and many other objects that, perhaps, we do not even realize. Before cleaning, it is good to assess the state of the aluminum that we are going to treat: are we dealing with polished or opaque aluminum? Anodized (treated with an artificial oxide patina) or painted?
Clean aluminum pots
If we have to clean untreated aluminum like a pot or blackened predella, I must remind you that it is absolutely forbidden to wash them in the dishwasher and that you will have to use non-aggressive detergents that can ruin them hopelessly.
The best method of washing blackened pots is the expensive old hand wash – just a mixture of hot water and bicarbonate and a little elbow oil to bring back the shining pots as they used to. If you want to bring blackened aluminum back shiny and shiny, too, you can put a little milk on the fire and bring it to a boil: this technique is beneficial to remove dark spots.
If the pot or pan is filthy, leave them soaking in advance for one night before cleaning.
Anodized aluminum of fixtures: how to clean it
The aluminum of the windows, always in contact with the external agents, oxidizes much more easily than pots and pans stored in the house. For this reason, fixtures are usually treated with anodizing, i.e.electrochemical oxidation that is performed to increase the metal’s resistance to corrosion and atmospheric agents.
To clean the anodized aluminum fixtures, we will first have to dust them to eliminate surface dirt. It will be enough to clean the fixture with a wash with Marseille soap and water, helping yourself with a microfiber cloth.
Stained aluminum: how to clean it
When dealing with aluminum surfaces with stains and grease residues, for example, in pots, the classic mixture of hot water and bicarbonate proves very effective in removing dark spots. For stubborn stains, apply a little thicker hot water and baking soda, helping you with a cotton swab, and let it act for a few minutes.
Polished aluminum: how to clean it
If we have to clean polished metal, we can rely on products specifically designed for metal polishing, such as the well-known Sidol, which, thanks to its creamy formula, removes dirt and oxide halos without scratching the metal.