The finishing.com Hotline: Serious Education ... plus the most fun you can have in metal finishing. Ted Mooney, Webmaster
MOONSHINE ALUMINUM POLISH (VERY STRONG)
I would like to tell every one that wants to clean their aluminum and keep it shining for a while, they can follow some of the recipes below. 1 gallon of mineral spirits [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. Take a bar of white jewelers rouge and a bar of green jewelers rouge . . .
Get an electric burner you plug into your house. They cost about 8.00 dollars at Walmart. Get an old pot out and pour the mineral spirits and rouge into the pot. If you break the rouge up it will melt quicker. Turn the electric burner on high and stir the formula and it will start to boil. Melting the rouge. You can add Carnuba car wax or other aluminum polish that works great to the recipe. You can also buy Dupont Teflon Lubricant and put about 8 ounces in the polish. This seals the aluminum and keeps dirt away from it. Watch how the water beads of it. There are many items you can add. Rain X is good also to keep the water beading of it. Some of the polishers at the shop use fuel injector cleaner. Some use lighter fluid. I have heard lighter fluid leaves the tanks with a rainbow color after being washed. Do not use ammonia; it turns the aluminum brown after a while.
Remember, use an electric burner. NOT gas. My polisher make polish all the time like this. The homeless that live around the truck stops use camp fires. But they are brave. DVDMANJimmie L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Antonio, Texas
Green Jeweler's Rouge
Ed. note: whether electric heater or campfire, boiling a witches' brew that includes flammable solvents like mineral spirits, lighter fluid, or fuel injector cleaner is terribly dangerous.
(2006) -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread
What exactly are mineral spirits? is that mineral water?Tom V [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
driver - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
We appended your inquiry to a letter that answers the question by hotlinking to sources, Tom. But mineral spirits [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] is more like turpentine.
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
YOU CAN ALSO USE LIGHTER FLUID , CHARCOAL STARTER, AND A GOOD CARNUBA, OR TEFLON WAX FOR A SEALER PAINT THINNER CAN ALSO BE USED.....KENNETH W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- ROME, Georgia
Hi, I am looking for a recipe for aluminum polish for my uncle Merl who is a truck driver and hear some people on his radio talking about this home made polish that works wonders. He told me it had jeweler's rouge [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], Turtlewax Car Polish [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], Rain X and lighter fluid in it. and this moonshine aluminum polish sounds like he was talking about so if anyone knows the recipe can you please get it to me asap.Collin S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
aluminum polish for truckers - Vanderhoof, BC, Canada
Remember do not use anything like lighter fluid, barbecue fluid etc. It will allow the material to absorb dirt much faster than normal. even if you use a wax, because the fluids a corrosive and are a solvent and does not allow the wax or polish to be absorbed to the metal, Also if you run the northern country you will find the salt will turn your wheels and tanks BLACK within DAYS!Daryl K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Stratford, Ontario, Canada
I was talking with a guy who had a bottle of this homemade green liquid he got from a guy working the truck stop lots in Baltimore. The guy said it had the green rouge mixed with kerosene and some liquid wax (to help reduce water spotting) He was polishing on his tanks and wheels with this stuff....using just an old rag..the tanks were oxidized and with little effort, he got them shinier than my tanks (I had using Magic Mix...with a lotta elbow grease). He hadn't even buffed with the towel and his stuff already raised a super shine.
Is kerosene safe to use as a liquid with the rouge? I also have a bottle of liquid wax....."Lightening-Shine" is the brand name (bought at a Petro truck stop)
driver - Bloomington, Illinois
I was going to suggest just wrapping the brick in a heavy material...like...canvas....and then smashing it down to powder with a hand mallet/sledge.....the canvas will catch all the powder and then you can empty it into a bucket to mix with your other ingredients.
The more I am reading other articles....I am concluding that a very good mix would be..
green jeweler rouge...kerosene or mineral spirits (both are clear and would be residue free)...lemon juice (to eliminate oxidation)....and finally a high quality liquid wax (to promote water beading and prevent water spotting)...I would mix the whole brick...so there is a very high content of "grit" to work with...I think the kerosene would be a better choice over mineral spirits...just for fact it is better at cutting road filth...I like the idea of adding lemon juice....and wouldn't be too stingy with it...as far as the liquid wax....am just going to add the whole bottle....this will give my polish a nice thick consistency (comparable to Magic Mix or Hoosiers)....will use the kerosene or mineral spirits to thin the final mix down to proper consistency.
If anybody wants to elaborate on this.....please feel free...I'm open to any and all suggestions.....I have tried many of the marketable polishes and am not very pleased with any of them. For what they charge....they really don't get the desired results and the quantity you receive is little compensation for the cost.
driver - Bloomington, Illinois
Ed. note: All we can do is to continue to warn the readers how dangerous it is to work with such volatile substances as kerosene, and that mixing even household ingredients in ways that weren't intended by the manufacturer can generate other hazards.
I didn't take time to read all the posts, but I am a driver myself and I tried the jewelers rouge in liquid form pre mixed at the truck stops. I started with brushed aluminium tanks, and used the white mixed about 50/50 with the green. this should remove the oxidation. then I would finish off with the white. works pretty good. but now I make my own like one other post says use the bricks of white jewelers rouge, and mix it with mineral spirits. I mix it about 30/70 to 50/50 having more liquid is better. no buffer needed. Just wipe it on and let it dry then just wipe the powder off with a clean terry cloth. you can play around with the mix, but I have found that liquids with ammonia turns the aluminum brown in spots that aren't protected very well. All I do is polish my tanks about every 3-4 months and then use window cleaner or something similar with out ammonia to clean them every week. to polish 2 100 gallon tanks it only takes about 15-30 min depending on how clean they are when I start. the only purpose of the mineral spirits is to for a liquid, and faster drying time. you can also mix zippo lighter fluid to slow down the drying time.Jason [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bradford, Ohio
I have been working on an aluminum polish for a few weeks now. The ingredients that I have been working with are producing a good smooth high gloss finish; however, I am still unable to produce the black residue during the hand polish process with my formulation. This black residue should also help remove scratches during the polish of the metal. Can anyone help me with the name of the ingredient needed to produce this characteristic to the polish.Richard R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
chemical blending - Carrollton, Georgia
I just stumbled on to this site and enjoyed reading about the polish in its various forms.
To clear up what seems to be some confusion, mineral spirits is paint thinner, sometimes with an additive or refining difference to reduce the odor. In the painting business the two are interchangeable, and should be interchangeable in the polish formulas as well. Any paint supply store or home improvement center will have one or the other, probably both.
Heating either one on an electric stove or any other heat source is begging for a serious fire. It is not as volatile as gasoline, but is not something you want to heat, unless you are addicted to games like Russian Roulette.
The various items listed in the various formulas will all dissolve in the spirits or thinner over night. Do not get in a big hurry and kill yourself either by starting a fire or by breathing the fumes given off by the heat.
- Long Beach, California
This is A the best site I have found about making metal polish. This is what I found out so far about metal polish.
You can by the brick of buffing compound at all the T/A truck stops in my area they have Flomax brand for $7 Or $8
the Peterbilt deal have Zephyr Pro 40 brand just a little higher $10 to $13 and smaller Brinks Home Depot has small 4 oz
tubes of Ryobi.) These are the places I get my stuff from. I mix
5 Oz. of the white Flomax
4 Oz. of the white plastic Ryobi
2 Oz. Maxx red Zephyr
1 Oz. of Fruit Fresh found at Wal-Mart in canning stuff. all it is powdered citric acid.
12 Oz. of mineral spirits
Heat in old pan on electric burner outside just in case of fire, stirring at all times. Bring to boil- it's really fast at boiling; take off heat, let it cool. Now stir in 2.oz. of stop wax bought at Home Depot. Split it in three 25 oz. empty, rinsed, dish washing liquid bottles. Top off with mineral spirits and this makes a mirror shine. Average cost of bottle
If heavy oxidation I use the green and white Flomax mix then go over it with this mix for mirror shine.
- St.Louis, Missouri
I got a bottle of "green stuff" and it worked o.k. but, I tried one that's called that has 2 types for the highly oxidized tanks. Diamond plate comes clean, the product comes with directions for use and its consistent because its professionally made. Cooking flammable mineral spirits on my stove top sounds a little risky.bob m [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Brooklyn, New York
I have been using a mix I got from a friend and it has turned my wheels brown in color. Is that from the ammonia. I don't know what is in it but it works very well. but in a few weeks it turns my wheels a brass or a brownish color. Any idea why?
How do I get the jewelers rouge to melt or dissolve? I melted the jeweler's rouge on the stove. I tried to let it dissolve but it would not work.Michael S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - West Virginia
I Have Switched to the Blue Moon made by Flomax brand now it works great finished shine cleans well with a fine
steel wool [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] pad. yes the brown is from the ammonia try my new recipe for your self.
3 oz Blue Moon
1 oz of Stearic Acid
16 oz mineral spirits
heated in pot on a elec burner out side just in case of fire
put all ingredients in the pot and heat to around 175 F
stir until all is dissolved that's it let it cool works good
makes 20 oz bottle
- St.Louis, Missouri
February 25, 2008
I have read a lot about making my own polish. I used to have a polish that you would use a buffer the first time on rims and then when you needed to shine up you just wiped it on and off and it looked just like the buffed job. I would like to make my own because I can't find it anymore need specific recipe or close to try.Jeff Harley
DRIVER - Wooster, Ohio
March 29, 2008
I'm back. ok this is my new recipe for polish home brew.
2 Oz crushed formax blue moon compound found at I80 truck stop, effingham,il
2 Oz stearic acid found at hobby lobby its also used to make candles so any candle supply hobby shop should have it.
1 Oz WD 40 yes WD 40 helps clean the metal and also protect it
after all the WD stands for Water Displacement.
15 Oz odorless mineral spirits found at Wal-Mart
heat to 150 degrees Fahrenheit ( Do not heat too high, this is Flammable ) heat outside away for your house just in case. Use elec not gas to heat
I use a cooking thermometer and a presto deep fryer that I turned it to a melting pot you can find out how to make one by doing a google search for it look for this
6 Quart presto candle & soap melting pot.
This is a Free Recipe Use At Your Own Risk.
You don't what to have to tell your wife you blew up the house.
I like Free Things.
driver - St. Louis, Missouri
April 16, 2008
I want to produce green compound but I don't know which wax I can use or other binding agent please advice meVIJAY SATPUTE
owner - Nashik, India
April 20, 2008
If you want to make green polish you can get Formax green Chrome Rouge at most TA truck stops in USA. The green is good to start with but really needs to be followed up with the white or even the blue which is real fine. Here are some web sites for compound.
and most Sears have compound too, hope this helps.
follow up for my last post I added 1 to 2 ounces of any good liquid car wax I use mothers Carnuba Liquid Cleaner Wax [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. My blue mix works great for my big rig when it rains I just have to wipe it of and just wipe a thin layer on and wipe it off and the shine is on.
One other thing I do when I shine my truck is when I get done with it I take baking soda [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] on a clean soft cloth just poor it on the cloth and go over polished metal to help wipe off any polish that is left behind. May be next time I'll have some pic of fuel tank or wheels
- St. Louis, Missouri
May 3, 2008
Me and my dad made some polish about a year or so ago. sounds similar to what your talking bout. We made about 2 gallons of it. It is good. I can't remember exactly what ingredients we used, I'll have to find the recipe. I know we used lighter fluid, mineral spirits, a couple different bars of rouge. We also used a pressure cooker to get if to mix. I'm bout to make some more and start selling it. We gave the biggest part of what we made away. It didn't take long for word to get around that it was good polish, then everybody was wanting it. When I find the recipe I'll post it.Clint Halcomb
- Connersville, Indiana
May 23, 2008
I've been in the truck polishing business for 30 years and have never made my own polish. I let the professionals do that. Some of those mixtures could really harm you PLEASE BE CAREFUL!Vic Caliva
truckwash and polishing co. - Montebello, California
September 12, 2008
I have made some of the polish myself, you can get a better mixture if you melt down the bars of jewelers rouge. Careful when heating it, can be flammable when using the mineral spirits and add a little alcohol to help it dry quicker.Michael Glidewell
transportation - Stoutland, Missouri
^-- this reader rates this thread:
September 21, 2008
i have been making and selling polishes and machine polishing trucks for 20 years now and the base for making your own polishes is 1 bar of rouge(i use white and blue)1 gallon 100% mineral spirits(paint thinner) and 1/4 pint Carnuba Wax [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] break the bar in half and put in a 2 qt microwave-safe bowl add 2 cups mineral spirits microwave on high for 8 mins (1000 watt microwave) or 13 mins (600 watt microwave) I have been doing this for a long time without burning anything (remember a microwave creates heat by vibrating molecules therefore there is no fire or spark to ignite the fumes) stir well put paste wax into hot mix stir well again pour hot mix back into gallon jug of spirits (you will have to remove about 3/4 pint from jug or it will over flow shake well. there you go guys now you know how top make it so get to polishing.Todd Coriell
- Chesapeake Virginia
^-- this reader rates this thread:
Ed. note: It still strikes us as horribly dangerous, and doing it in a kitchen unthinkable. Maybe if you take your microwave out into the woods and wear a fireman's suit . . . :-)
October 22, 2008
Just a quick note. Paint thinner is 100% mineral spiritsDanny B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Astoria, Oregon
January 26, 2009
Hello everyone. I feel lucky I have one of those moonshine polishes in the garage. I must say that the stuff really works. I got it from a driver in Albany New York. I have no idea of the name of the products in it however I can tell you what's in it. One red and green bar of something from the Petro melted down an mixed with mineral spirit 1/2 gal. This stuff really works.Tonio Folk
- Suffolk, Virginia
March 13, 2009
Can you mix the two different colors together or two different bottlesLee Roberts
dump trucks - Columbia, Missouri
March 13, 2009
I must have met the same guy at the truck stop, told me his buddy made it in Quebec. It was green in color, sediment in the bottom and smelled like turpentine. I purchased a Quart for 20 bucks. Great stuff and used it all. 5 years later I found the same stuff at a Harley shop in Ottawa and bought some more.
Went back for more and they told me they can't sell it any more because the manufacturer does not have a government M.S.D. sheet and they can't or won't tell me who the manufacturer is . Still looking, but I know it comes out of Quebec, and the name on the label is "magic mix".Jeff Boyd
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
May 30, 2009
I am going to try your home brew recommendations, thanks to all on this list. Today, since my old Freightliner fairing steps were badly oxidized and had never been polished from 1990 I would guess, I used turpentine and black wet-or-dry 1000 grit Sandpaper [linked by editor to product info at Rockler] first. I hit it with the buff using green rouge stick and the area I tried ended up looking like chrome! Turpentine does not evaporate very fast so it is good for a base. Wet sanding like this first on severely dull aluminum works great.Lance Fontanne
auto & truck restoration - Rockford, Illinois
May 7, 2010
This is My Top recipe I use to polish trucks with. I have even sold this stuff it so good but I'm not in it to get rich so here we go.
3 to 4 oz of crushed blue moon buffing compound made by Formax
16 oz of Wal-Mart brand Charcoal lighter fluid
10 ml of boiled linseed found at Wal-Mart in paint section
Here the tricky part I personally use a deep fryer I customized with a spout on the side closed to the bottom. You will need a thermometer. Heat the charcoal lighter fluid and the buffing compound to 150 F degrees let buffing compound melt completely. Stirring it as it melts. Then turn off heat and let it cool. Now put the boiled linseed oil in the bottom of a 20 0z soda bottle when the other mix is cool stir it up real good then pour it in on top of the linseed oil I put two or three pennies in there to to help shake it up when I use it. thats all. I use on my stuff; works great
Pat. is Pending but if you want to make it for your own use you can. Let those trucks shine From Dave
at blue moon metal polish
- Addieville, Illinois
November 16, 2010
Hi folks, been researching diamond plate polish and didn't realize how difficult it was to find such a product that would work well. I am a Fireman in L.A and am trying to polish the diamond plate on the fire engine. The difficult part is the tailboard and running boards that get constant traffic from work boots. I came across some of these recipes but don't know how to make the product thick for application. Any help would be much appreciated. Thnx, MikeMike Mc
fireman - Thousand Oaks, California USA
November 18, 2010
Chad I do believe from your description of the product it was Gords Aluminum Polish, www.gordsaluminumpolish.com.
I have used this product in the salty area of the Caribbean islands and the shine was great and it lasts under our severe conditions especially for aluminum tanks and items.
- Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
November 22, 2010
Hello fellow polishers, I run my own mobile polishing business called X-TREME POLISHING, I have read all the postings on how to make aluminum polish. I make my own polish too I use odorless mineral spirits paint thinner from Walmart a gallon is around 12 bucks and I buy the Zephyr green bar at the local TA or Petro truck stop and I take the green bar and put in a old pot and add about 3 to 4 inches deep of mineral spirit, I bring it to a boil on a electric stove outside of my home because the fumes are strong and well I wouldn't recommend breathing it plus I don't want to take the chance of burning my house down but after the mineral spirit comes to a boil I turn the heat down just enough that it doesn't boil anymore and then I stir it until the whole bar has melted down then I let it cool down until it isn't steaming anymore then I pour about a inch of the mixture into a 20oz bottle normal I can make about 5 to six bottles using this method after pouring the inch worth of the mixture into the bottle then I add more of the mineral spirits to fill the bottle the rest of the way up leaving just a little space so that when you shake the bottle it has space to shake up then I drop a old nut or anything round that is small enough to fit into the opening of the bottle so that it will help shake up the mix just like the little ball bearing that you normally hear moving around in a spray paint can.
And thats it, you will have one of the best polish for aluminum that you can find it does just as good as Zephyr Pro 40 metal polishing that you can normally find in a TA or Petro truck stop. It also is great to polish chrome,silver,copper,diamond plate,stainless steel. If you want to see the magic of how good this formula polishes metal take a old black tarnished penny and use some of this mixture on the penny and I guarantee you that it will polish that penny to where it looks like it just come out the mint.
As for adding waxes, rain-x,WD-40,etc etc, Just food for thought the black,brown,green,white,blue,red rouge bars are compounds in which are made of wax/compounds so natural wax is going to displace water. About the only liquid wax that I myself would add to my mix would be Meguiar's Cleaner Wax [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. I myself prefer to stay away from Turtle wax of any form. if I was to add Meguiars to my mix I would add about 2 caps full into a 20oz bottle, that should put sufficient enough wax/sealant into your metal.
Some people say use the Formax brown,green,white,red rouge bars but I find that the Zephyr rouge bars are better and it seems to be 10x easier to whip the mix off of the metal surface.
Now with all that being said this mixture is good to remove tar, road grime,grease,rust,and brake dust off of your metal, now the trick with aluminum is that if the aluminum is smooth not scratched or pitted real bad then with this mixture you will definitely get a mirror shine, it is also good to clean your aluminum with 50% aluminum brite acid cleaner mixed with 50% water spray on your aluminum and let it set for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow the acid/water solution to pull the dirt out of the pores of the aluminum, DON'T SPRAY pure aluminum acid cleaner on your aluminum because trust me it will acid burn the aluminum and turn it white and it tends to make it a whole lot harder to polish out.
Now the reason you clean the aluminum with 50% acid 50% water is to pull the dirt out of the pores of the aluminum and it also makes the aluminum soft in which makes it easier to polish.
Now if your aluminum is badly pitted then the hand polishing method isn't going to bring the mirror shine, it will somewhat clean it up and it will look cleaner but it will not be a mirror shine reflection in the aluminum, now what I do is I sand the aluminum by hand or orbital sander in stages of 240 grit, 400, 800, 1000 then I use a angle grinder with a 6 inche yellow firm buffing wheel you can get from Lowe's and the brown rouge bar and I buff the aluminum, I myself also use high speed grinder/buffers with airway buffing pads they come in several colors red,yellow,blue,green,white it depends on the stages of cutting you need to decide which pads or methods to use.
But as your aluminum is smooth and it is just oxidized or looks hazy then this mix of polish will bring it to a mirror shine the best advice I can give you if you really want to know the stages of polishing aluminum is to goto youtube and I find that DCSUPERSHINE is the best instructor on how to polishing aluminum but watch all the videos on polishing aluminum and the go find you some aluminum and practice trust me practice makes perfect and trial-and-error is the best teacher. That's what I did before I decided to go into my own business in polishing wheels and tanks on commercial trucks because I sure don't want make someone mad by messing something up...
Be safe and have fun polishing because you have to love it to do it because it is a dirty job.
- Salisbury, North Carolina
February 20, 2011
Wow! Amazing, didn't even know this can be made at home. Just a ?: I recently sanded my aluminum rims down to a 1000 grit. Now I'm ready to polish them up can I use these recipes to polish them to a mirror shine? or are these recipes for rims that have already previously been polished and just need restoration?
Thanks in Advance
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 20, 2011
Making Metal Polish is Highly Dangerous so if you want to make your own you do this at your own risk. I am not Responsible for any thing .........
Here we go this is how I make my polish. First thing you' ll need to do is to get all the thing you will need together. One Bar of buffing compound I use the blue but white will work I get mine from www.formaxmfg.com but you can find the white at most TA truck stops. Three 32 oz bottles of charcoal lighter fluid one gallon odorless mineral spirits. One thing of boiled linseed oil and one can of tung oil finish. Presto deep fryer and a cooking thermometer that is the list of things you will need next we will start the mixing part. Here we go put two bottles of charcoal lighter fluid in the deep fryer and one bar of blue or white of Formax buffing compound heat to 150F degrees us the cooking thermometer to keep a eye on it ( DO NOT HEAT OVER 150F ) Stir this until the bar is completely dissolved then let cool. Then get a big 2 gallon pot you will put the rest of the ingredients in it you will put one bottle of charcoal lighter fluid and 64 OZ of odorless mineral spirits and 100ML of boiled linseed oil and 50ML of tung oil finish when the melted bar mix cools 75F stir it up and then poor it in the pot and stir until it is mix up completely. That is it you now have kick ass metal polish like Dave's Blue Moon Metal Polish. Here is why the oil's or used linseed oil does not dry completely for a long time so it let the polish come off easy the tung oil finish dry to a water proof finish it is the best oil to us on out door wooded thing keeping the water from getting to them. This will make 1 1/2 Gallons of polish.
- Addieville, Illinois
August 2, 2011
Q. I have noticed that a lot of the metal polish that I made is watery when finished. What would you have to add to make it more of a paste?Tom stone
hobbyist - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, united states
A. You can use corn starch to thicken your polish. It works just fine. Add an eighth of a bar of black emery to remove scratches from stainless aluminum.Scotty Medlin
- Cayce, South Carolina
A. Instead of melting the green bar, use an electric drill with a wire brush and use the brush to erode the bar into a powder and do it over a box with a garbage bag liner, Make sure the brush is steel and afterward use a magnet to catch any brush "hairs" that break loose so they don't scratch your wheels. You can also order other grits but only nonferrous compounds. then use a Carnuba wax for protectionHarry Baker
- Rhinelander, Wisconsin
May 19, 2012
The white rouge contains sodium tallowate (animal fat based soap) and white calcined alumina (aluminum oxide) powder, the 1200 grit or 3-5um size.
- Toronto Canada
December 13, 2013
Q. I was excited to read about the formulas but I must have missed how the formula is applied to aluminum fuel tanks.
Does it require the use of a buffer and if so what type of buffing wheel?
I read someone just puts it on by hand and them wipes of the excess.
Is it necessary to sand the tank or perform other cleaning operations prior to applying the formulas?
- Johnson City, Tennessee