how to clean aluminum - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:28 PM   #1
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We've got the old style jalousie windows. They have aluminum sills and frames. Anybody know a good way to make them shiny?
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:33 PM   #2
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I have used steel wool.It worked ok for me.
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Old 06-16-2006, 05:57 PM   #3
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I tried steel wool, Mother's Mag Wheel Polish and countless other things. Then I tried something that was mentioned on an earlier thread, "Never-Dull". It's available at Canadian Tire in the Automotive Cleaners section. Stuff is effortless and amazing.
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Old 06-16-2006, 06:34 PM   #4
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Oooh! Effortless and amazing is exactly what I want. I tried the steel wool. I'm sure it works but it is a difficult job. I am beginning to lose interest in shiny aluminum. We have been slogging away with an abrasive cleanser....the windows are a little cleaner but so far the reward is not worth it. Thanks for the replies
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Old 06-16-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
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these fames have a clear anodize on them and steel wool will take it off and you will find yourself trying to keep them clean forever. Try cleaning them with WD-40 and it won't harm the anodize but will take off the scum.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
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Apparently, steel wool in not good because there is a chance that bits of the steel embed in the aluminum, and rust, creating small rust spots...this was mentioned on this forum by others.....I used a non metalic abrasive Scotch Brite pads and I found that the gray ones, that body shops use to scuff paint, are better than the green household ones or the coarse brown ones....follow with Never Dull or a product called Quator,(pron. water), if it`s still made, available from semi truck outfits , which drivers use to polish their aluminum on rigs....both of the first two are a treated wadding, or you can follow with liquid Brasso or Silvo or even try these, if you have them around the house, without using the abrasive pads first ...... good luck...Benny
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:19 PM   #7
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I decided to see what I could find. This seemed of interest to me.
http://web1.msue.msu.edu/imp/mod02/01500288.html

This article was written by Anne Field,
(Michigan State University) Extension
Specialist, Emeritus, with references from Mary Ellen
Delsipee and Isabel Jones, Previous Extension Specialists,
and the Aluminum Association.
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Old 06-17-2006, 03:07 AM   #8
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Aluminum is interesting stuff. Steel oxidizes away to rust. Aluminum is self-healing. That dull patina that aluminum gets is aluminum's way of protecting itself. If you remove that protective patina, in order to keep it shiny, you have to polish it and wax it regularly. As the article Mike found says, aluminum will oxidize and pit if left in too harsh conditions for too long, but under normal conditions, it just turns dull and then stops at that.

Roger
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:19 AM   #9
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I am about to put another coat of vertglas on the trailer and it says it will seal the aluminum too. I thought if I could shine it up it would last awhile. I'm not really into perfection, generally speaking, but it is fun to see how new I can get this trailer to look. The window sills have black bumps on them that seem to hold more crud. I'll try the Never Dull. If it works, great, if not, I'll embrace the vintage patina look. Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:05 AM   #10
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<span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%">Nevr-Dull</span> http://www.nevrdull.com/



Name:   Nevr_Dull.jpg
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:51 PM   #11
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I have found I am not well suited to aluminum polishing. I don't like this job. I think many products will work (sort of). I could only find nevr dull wadding. It is a can of chemical soaked material. You pull off a piece and polish with it. Didn't like it. It put a lot of black tarnish in solution. What an unpleasant mess. The biggest bang came from aluminum jelly. Similar to naval jelly. You brush it on and hose it off. I wiped it off with a wet rag. It gets the aluminum quite a bit lighter. Strangely there is no black residue with this stuff. You have to do multiple coats and the results are somewhat splotchy. The problem is the windows are a lot of fussy little strips of aluminum, and life is too short. I decided to get the sills as shiny as possible and seal them. The rest can go back to its natural state. Love the patina! Thanks everybody
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:49 PM   #12
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[quote]<span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%">Nevr-Dull</span> http://www.nevrdull.com/


Attachment 3530

I'm having flashbacks to Navy Boot Camp!

Embrace the Patina!
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:55 PM   #13
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Your boots were aluminum?????
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:26 AM   #14
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Your boots were aluminum?????
The admiral has issued orders to confine you to your quarters.
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Old 06-18-2006, 07:30 AM   #15
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Hi Maggie,

One product which is overlooked is Autosol. It comes in a tube or can and goes on with a soft cloth. The results are incredible on aluminum, chrome, stainless steel, etc. You don't need steel wool, as it tends to scratch aluminum. Autosol is made in Germany and can be purchased at most automotive stores. Another product which is similar yet a finer paste is Flitz. I have purchased it at car shows and use it for motorcycle restorations. It is a finishing polish and leaves a slight protective residue which should last about six months in outdoor conditions. Type in either name under Google and you can get their product information. If you want to shine the outside aluminum trim on your trailer, start with the Autosol. It will make the most tarnished aluminum look like chrome. In real tarnished situations a fine grade Scotch Brite pad with Autosol is recommended over the soft cloth as a first step. (Rubber gloves will keep the black aluminum residue off your hands. I buy the Nitrile gloves by the box for about $10.00 at auto supply/safety businesses.) Once you start you will not be able to stop. Not to mention the smile and satisfaction it will create.

The inside window components can be cleaned as well. A soft tooth brush is probably going to work very well in corners, etc. The only downside to polishing the window parts excessively is the sun may reflect excessively and become a bit annoying. Another, less abrasive cleaner (household cleaning product) may be the ticket to wipe the window parts off, depending on the circumstances. Good luck!

Brock
Thank you for responding. I might try this product sometime. Right now I just want to finish up and be ready to roll.
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