How to Clean Aluminum

Give your aluminum cookware, sink and furniture the shine they deserve with these simple aluminum cleaning tips.

Aluminum. Your pots, pans, utensils are probably made of it. Your outdoor furniture or sink might be made of aluminum, too. Like all metals, it gets dingy over time and with use. You can make your pots and pans shine again with our ideas on how to clean aluminum.

You can use commercial cleaners, like Brasso or Bar Keeper’s Friend to clean aluminum, but you can make natural cleaners from ingredients in your kitchen that are effective, affordable and earth-friendly.  

To clean the interior of a discolored aluminum pot, fill it with water. For each quart of water in the pot, add 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar and ½ cup of vinegar. Bring the water to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour the cleaner out and let the pot cool to touch. Wash as normal with soap and hot water. For tough stains, you may need to scrub gently with a steel wool pad. You can substitute lemon juice for the vinegar. If you have aluminum utensils that are discolored, put them in the boiling water and leave for 10 minutes. They’ll be clean, too, when you pour the water out of the pot.

Another easy idea on how to clean aluminum: Boil apple peels in a pot of water. Place apple peels in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Pour out the water, let the pot cool and clean with hot, soapy water. The acid in the apple will remove stains from the interior of the pot, and make your kitchen smell great, too. To clean the exterior of your pots, use Brasso or silver polish.

For larger items, mix a solution of one part water to one part vinegar. Wipe it on the item with a soft cloth and buff till shiny. Rinse and dry. You can also use this solution to clean the outside of an aluminum pan.

To clean an aluminum sink, sprinkle borax on the surface. Moisten a cloth with water and rub away dirt and grime. Rinse with water and dry. 

To clean outdoor furniture, mix a solution of mild dishwashing soap, vinegar and warm water. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe down the furniture with the cleaning solution. Use a hose to rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean towel.

Knowing how to clean aluminum will help you keep your pots, pans, utensils and sinks lustrous

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