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How to Polish Aluminum

How to Polish Aluminum

Aluminum tends to tarnish over a period of time. If you wish to regain its original sheen, the following sections provide you with some very effective ways of doing the same.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Aluminum is one of the most abundantly found materials around us. From automobile parts and kitchen appliances to heavy machinery, it is widely used. However, aluminum also tends to get dirty very quickly and loses all its shine in some time. Here are some techniques that will help you polish it satisfactorily.
Best Way to Polish Aluminum
Using sandpaper is one of the easiest ways to polish aluminum. Use sandpapers of varying grits to give the surface a smooth shine. To polish aluminum in this way, you will need sandpapers in grit ranges of 320 to 2000, liquid detergent, rags, soft wash cloth, paint thinner, buffing pads, brown cutting compound, and rouge cutting compound.
Clean the aluminum surface with the liquid detergent to get rid of grime and dirt. Apply the paint thinner to the surface to prepare it for sanding. Once it dries, use a 320 grit sandpaper to sand the surface. Gradually shift to higher grit sandpapers and make sure to sand the entire surface with every sandpaper. The next grit sandpaper should remove all the markings of the previous one.
When you finally sand the surface with grit 2000 sandpaper, it should have become visibly smooth and shiny. Buff the surface with the buffing pads and brown cutting compound. Rebuff it using the rouge cutting compound.
Polishing Wheels
Aluminum wheels surely look elegant, but when they are exposed to heat, humidity, and salts, they wear out pretty quickly. For polishing them, you will require an oven cleaner, aluminum bright, clear car polish, and a 400 grit sandpaper.
Start by washing the wheels with a dish soap to remove the dirt clinging to the surface. While the wheels are still wet, spray some oven cleaner on the surface. Once they have dried, begin sanding them with the sandpaper. Work uniformly throughout the surface in order to remove pitting. Rinse the wheels after the sanding is done. Apply a coat of aluminum bright as per the manufacturer's instructions. Seal it with a clear car polish.
Polishing Aluminum Intake
Clean the aluminum intake with a dish or liquid soap. Wipe it clean with a soft wash cloth. Use a drill to sand the intake. Using a 40 grit disc with a backing plate for the drill is recommended. Run the drill on 3000 rpm or less and work uniformly over the intake. Repeat the procedure for higher grit discs until 1000. Clean the sanding debris with a microfiber rag. Buff the surface with an appropriate cutting compound.
Polishing Valve Covers
Remove the aluminum covers if they are out of reach for cleaning. Scrub them with a steel wool to remove the grime. For more stubborn residue, use a steel brush. Clean the valve covers, apply some aluminum polish to them, and wipe the excess residue.