Aluminum Windows - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-26-2015, 12:14 PM   #1
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Name: Shelley
Trailer: 1974 Trillium
British Columbia
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Aluminum Windows

I read online (a link via Pinterest) that the easiest way to clean aluminum window frames was to use a dry SOS pad. I tried it and it did work, but it took a lot of pads. So far I've only done half of the windows on my 13' 1974 Trillium....and my fingers were tender after all that rubbing and scrubbing.

My question is, is there another way (possibly easier)? And is there a way to protect it from further pitting and corrosion? To paint them would be such a huge job.

Thank you.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:54 PM   #2
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Name: John & Sarah
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What about a metal polish? We just picked some up from Canadian Tire over the weekend and it's brought a lot of shine back into our frames. It'll be in the auto care cleaning section.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:03 PM   #3
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I hate to be the one to say it but the corrosion IS what protects the aluminum. It forms a layer that prevents oxidation (rust) of the metal. Surface is sacrificed to protect it from deeper damage.

Aluminum polish as a follow up, one that contains a silicon or other barrier to protect the aluminum would be your best bet. Be prepared aluminum polish creates black residue that will stain.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendations and knowledge. Some portions of the windows/frames had developed that 'white' rust/corrosion.

Does the black residue never go away? I will just have to remember not to brush up or rub against the windows.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:18 PM   #5
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The black residue forms on the aluminum and transfers to whatever cloth you're using. The metal ends up shiny... the cloth ends up black and stained.
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:27 PM   #6
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Name: Shelley
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Eh, so long as it is just the cloth and not a permanent rub-off situation. Thanks again.

Oh...do I still continue with the SOS pads to get the grunge/rust off, or will the polish take care of that?
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:34 PM   #7
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I imagine the polish will take care of most of it. Whatever works though... maybe a combination of both?
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Old 07-27-2015, 04:55 PM   #8
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Great. Thank you.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:18 AM   #9
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Abrasive pre-cleaning such as SOS pad, green scrubber or bar keepers friend is a good idea. Polish is just that a polish some will have a measure of ability to remove oxidation but if it is heavy oxidation you essentially want to "smooth" out the metal first with abrasive that is appropriate to amount of pitting then polish.

In my case I did a bit of steel wool but you MUST make sure to get every bit of the steel fibers rinsed off (steel and aluminum corrode each other) Followed by bar keepers friend and some of those green scrub pads. Used some Nevr-Dull (link at end) tarnish remover. Finished off with this product. Simichrome leaves a film behind that helps protect and provides a brilliant shine.

Amazon.com: Simichrome Metal Polish: Automotive

Simichrome can be found at some auto parts stores as can NevR-Dull but I think I got the NevR-Dull at Ace Hardware.

I did run blue masking tape along the trailer surface next to the aluminum to prevent black polish residue getting on fiberglass. I removed tape as soon as I finished each section. I have an old somewhat porous FG surface and getting the black out of it was a PITA.

Nevr-Dull link http://www.amazon.com/Basch-N-D-Neve.../dp/B0014IGAWO
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:38 AM   #10
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Name: Shelley
Trailer: 1974 Trillium
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Thank you for sharing your knowledge! Much appreciated. Turning out to be a much bigger job than just washing the windows and frames. It will look great once done though. My trailer is a '74, so probably a very good idea to tape off areas.

Thanks again.
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