Aluminum is one of the light metals. Unfortunately, over time it always seems as if it has tarnished and doesn't look as nice as before. However, this is quite normal: If the metal comes into contact with oxygen, a so-called oxidation layer forms which contains dirt and protects the light metal from corrosion. You don't need a chemical club to get aluminum clean again. Out of love for nature and your stainless steel surfaces, biological stainless steel cleaners or simple household remedies are the perfect solution.
What advantages does aluminum have?
Aluminum has a long service life and optimum corrosion resistance. The light metal is weather-resistant and insensitive to frost, rain, sun and UV radiation. Furthermore, the raw material is extremely stable and can be easily shaped into any shape you can think of. All of these advantages make aluminum a popular material that is not only used indoors, such as in kitchens or bathrooms, but also for kitchen appliances and garden furniture. Due to the different refinements, the material not only gains an optical advantage. The care of aluminum is also made easier by the various finishing processes.
What is the surface finish of aluminium?
The light metal has various surface properties. In addition to the already mentioned oxidation layer, which is formed on contact with oxygen and is a natural protection against corrosion, there are also these:
In the anodizing process, the natural surface of the light metal is converted into a protective oxide layer and the material is additionally reinforced. This gives the material a satin silver color. This process is used particularly often with smartphone housings.
Ground or brushed aluminum
The purpose of the grinding process is to roughen the surface of the light metal a little. This refinement of aluminum gives the material a slightly matt appearance with a minimal sheen. When cleaning, on the other hand, you have to pay attention to a few things: Never wipe in circular movements, but only in the direction of the material structure.
With the help of a powder coating, the light metal achieves an optimal color spectrum. In addition, the material gets a higher protection against corrosion and is therefore better protected against external weather influences and harmful UV light.
Cleaning aluminium: This is how you get light metal clean again!
One thing in advance: Anyone who thinks that the oxide layer can be removed when cleaning aluminum and that the material will never tarnish again, we unfortunately have to disappoint. This would require treating the light metal with either nitric or sulfuric acid, which is used in some manufacturing processes but is very dangerous in the home. This means that when cleaning, you can only remove the dirt and grease deposits, but not the entire oxide layer. It is important to preserve this protective shield, as otherwise the material would no longer be optimally protected against external influences. The result: rust and corrosion. To prevent this from happening, you should do the following:
These home remedies remove dirt & grease
Acetic and Citric Acid:
Typical home remedies that everyone has at home are acetic acid and citric acid. Simply rub the aluminum with a soft cloth or sponge and one of the natural acids, leave to take effect and then rinse off with clear water. Good tip: The peels of apples and lemons are also acidic. So you can also use them to clean the material.
Baking soda also removes heavy dirt from aluminum surfaces such as the extractor hood or the shower wall. To get rid of dirt, mix baking soda with a little water to make a paste. This is then applied with a soft sponge or cloth. Then leave it on for about ten minutes and rinse off with plenty of water. Good tip: Always wear gloves when cleaning.
Small objects made of aluminum can be cleaned wonderfully in a water bath. To do this, all you have to do is heat a pot of water. Then add a few lemon peels. The acid it contains ensures that all dirt particles are removed from the surface of the aluminium. This treatment is considered to be particularly gentle. How long the objects have to stay in the prepared water bath depends on how bad the dirt is. It's best to check the progress from time to time. When you think your alu is clean again, you can remove it from the pot, rinse it, and then polish it.
Yes, you read that correctly: Ketchup also cleans and polishes aluminum to a high gloss. The acids contained are responsible for this. And this is how it works: Apply ketchup with a soft cleaning tool and polish into the material in even movements. Finally, rinse off with lukewarm water and polish with a microfiber cloth. You will be amazed by the result.
Organic cleaners remove dirt and grease without any questionable ingredients!
Make sure you never use chemical cleaners to clean aluminum! The aggressive bases and acids can permanently damage the material. Scouring milk or cup brushes made of steel or wire as well as scratchy kitchen sponges are also not suitable for cleaning. Even the dishwasher is taboo for non-alloyed aluminium! Aluminum is a very soft material and would be irreversibly damaged if treated with cleaning utensils like these.
The solution: Sustainable cleaners such as Emma Grün Aluminum & Stainless Steel Grill Cleaner . They are based on natural ingredients that act powerfully against dirt and grease, but are gentle on sensitive surfaces. Other plus points: they are biodegradable, suitable for cleaning aluminum with all surface properties and can therefore be used in a variety of ways. Even brushed aluminum looks like new again. So from today you only need one cleaner, save money and do the environment a good service.
Polishing aluminum: you can't do without it!
Regardless of whether you clean your aluminum surfaces or objects with a household remedy such as baking soda or with a sustainable cleaner: To ensure that no water stains remain on the material after treatment, the material must be polished to a high gloss at the end. As already mentioned, you should always use a soft microfiber cloth for this. Only then can you be sure that no scratches will remain on the sensitive material and your aluminum will look like it did on the first day.