Many people have various types of aluminum devices in their homes. From coffee pots and cookware to window frames and furniture legs, aluminum is a part of many different household items. Fortunately, the process of cleaning aluminum is relatively easy to accomplish in just about every instance.
Cleaning aluminum cookware can be a chore, especially if there is food residue burned onto the surface. One of the easiest ways to clean aluminum products with this type of problem is to prepare a mixture of white vinegar and water. Boil the water and add one part vinegar to two parts of the water. Immerse the cookware in the mixture for a half hour to an hour. The vinegar will help to loosen the burnt-on food residue so that it can easily be scraped off using a non-abrasive cleaning pad.
Vinegar is also an effective aluminum cleaner for the exterior of tea kettles. Add a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar to two pints of water and mix well. Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and gently rub the exterior of the kettle. Not only will the vinegar and water clean aluminum with relative ease, it will also leave behind a pleasing shine to the exterior.
It is also possible to clean aluminum kitchen utensils by immersing them in a bath of vinegar and hot water, or applying the vinegar and water mixture directly with a clean cloth. If you have some of the colorful aluminum glasses that were popular in the mid-20th century, they also clean up nicely using vinegar and water.
In order to clean aluminum window frames that are not painted, mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water. Apply with a clean washcloth or sponge. For the detergent, use something along the lines of dishwashing liquid. Many liquid hand soaps will also work fine for this type of household cleaning job.
This same mixture of mild detergent and water will also work well when you need to clean aluminum legs and armrests on your lawn furniture. Apply with a soft cloth or sponge, then rinse thoroughly. If you want to add a layer of protection to your clean aluminum furniture, apply a thin coat of car wax after the metal has dried thoroughly.
Generally, it is not a good idea to use abrasive pads or cleaners on aluminum, as the metal will scratch easily. If you must clean aluminum using some type of abrasive, try applying baking soda to the surface and then rubbing with a moist cloth. This will work as well as most scouring pads and is less likely to create deep scratches in the surface.