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topic 294

Cleaning anodized aluminum


(1996)

We are looking for ways to clean anodized aluminum on an exterior application. I have been told anodized aluminum can oxidize no further but this appears to be the effect we're trying to remove.

LAURIE S DAVIS


Lane's Wheel Cleaner

 

Hi, Laurie. Anodizing can eventually corrode, especially outdoors.

Anodizing, believe it or not, is nearly glass clear. It is even used on highly polished reflectors such as most street lights and many dentist's lights. So I don't think you would want to remove the anodizing. But unfortunately, anodized surfaces look like a honeycomb; and if they are not well sealed they readily absorb dirt into the honeycomb that is very difficult to remove.

Aluminum cleaners work at least somewhat, but I think you're going to find it hard to get a bright and durable finish put back on that aluminum in place.

One possibility is to strip the anodizing, polish the aluminum to a good shine, and clear coat it -- but let's see what additional comments your letter gets. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

(1996)

Can exterior anodized aluminum siding be cleaned, primed and repainted? My siding was installed 28 years ago, but the finish is now beginning to run and discolor the stonework. Does anyone out there know of some way to refinish this product?

j collins
- Canada


Hello, J. You can paint anodized aluminum siding. Scrub it well and use a primer for metal, and I think you'll be satisfied. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(2000)

To get off anodized finishing, Easy Off oven cleaner works well. it contains a solution based on lye, so I suppose lye itself would work if of a lesser concentration.

Allan Stewart
- Worcester, Massachusetts



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