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Moonshine Aluminum Polish (very strong)

thumbs up sign Last post in this thread was about three years ago, but then I saw that there is an anniversary ahead: 20 years of requesting and sharing greenish concoctions with various degrees of toxicity in this thread. Slowly but surely. Much to the chagrin of several generations of moderators, I might add.

Metal polishing in the US fascinates me. Practices and tools differs considerably from Europe. This is very notable when it comes to polishing aluminium, which is not much of "a thing" around here, but an industry in the US.

The recipes that have been presented here have all been variations of Gord's aluminum polish [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , which was patented in 2005. When I read the patent it struck me that behind all the technical jargon, it looked like somebody had dumped a piece of fairly dry green rouge [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] into a bottle of mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] (low on grease and tallow but with stearic acid [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] ). Then I stumbled on this thread and my life is now complete. The patent is a useful read since Gordon did all the leg work to make it a legitimate product. But it's still moonshine polish: 10-15% "dryish" green rouge (chrome and aluminium oxides mixed with stearic acid [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] ) and 85-90 % "odorless" mineral (white) spirit. Grate, mix, wait, shake. Green rouge in a bottle. For longer lasting shine (but less "bite" due to the added lubricity) add some paste wax (or pure carnauba wax [affil links] if you want to be fancy). No ammonia. No alcohol.

A "recent" post suggested "octane booster" as solvent. I disagree. It's not that it's a worse than mineral spirits, in fact it is probably better, but "octane booster" is not a unique blend and some are real health hazards. My guess is that the "octane booster" suggested by a fellow polisher (whose recipe has clear merits) is a mix of toluene and rubbing alcohol. As a solvent, toluene is a more powerful and fast-evaporating, but also has stronger odour and is more aggressive on your skin. Toluene is banned in Europe. However, there are also "octane boosters" that contains naphta, which is usually a "dryer" form of mineral spirit, and that makes more sense in this mixture. Nevertheless: since "octane boosters" can contain toxic chemicals (as in hazardous, not the bland "toxic to Europeans" variety) I strongly advise against it.

That being said, for those that do not fancy the idea of stove-top naphta being part of their cuisine, "moonshine" polish can be bought, e.g., Gord's [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] and "Time 2 Shine Aluminum Metal Polish". "Gord's" is available in gallon jars/bottles and therefore gets extra "moonshine points" from me, not to mention the fact that label clearly states that it has been "oil field tested"! "Time 2 Shine" is probably the better product and contains wax. Both are produced by actual family businesses and worthy of our patronage IMHO.

Jonas Dahlqvist
Hobbyist - Greater Stockholm, Sweden
June 9, 2023

⇩ Related postings, oldest first ⇩

Q. I bought some polish from a guy at a truck stop. The polish was a homemade mixture in a 20 oz coke bottle, green in color it had a powder base at the bottom, and liquid at the top until you shook it up. The guy was polishing big truck wheels and tanks for $5.00 a wheel and $10.00 a tank and I'm talking commercial trucks. Now before I saw this stuff in action and I heard how much he charged, I was picturing myself with some Mothers or Blue Magic or any store bought polish, you know REALLY PUTTING THE ELBOW GREASE INTO IT.

So I'm thinking this guy is a guy with a lot of time on his hands or he has got some STRONG STUFF . Well, he had some strong stuff. You could very lightly rub an oxidized or faded aluminum spot or surface and automatically black residue, in seconds it was shining and I'm talking fix your hair in the reflection shine And you don't have to wait a while for it to come to a dry haze like the others, you could almost instantly wipe it off. Now this stuff is what I call MOONSHINE POLISH because it's homemade and you can't buy stuff in stores as strong as it is. Now I asked the guy what he had in it. All I remember is rust inhibitor and a little Blue Magic polish [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] along with many other things I didn't catch. If what he told me was true... I don't know. Now I'm familiar that there are many people that hang out at truck stops with similar products.


Chad H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- LaGrange, Georgia

A. Hello Chad,
I'd suggest tuning your CB radio to channel 19, and wait for somebody to advertise it. I've heard it myself, however this guy was selling chrome polish, truckers seem to get into their chrome parts and lighting effects. I don't know if a rust inhibitor is the right additive, that would be for steel, maybe he meant a corrosive inhibitor? If I were you, I'd track down the formula and then start writing ads for it.
Good luck,

Jake Koch
G. J. Nikolas &Co.,Inc.
supporting advertiser
Bellwood, Illinois
nikolas banner ad

A. Blue Magic and other polishes contain ammonia which can cause aluminum to oxidize and tarnish a lot faster than it should. Products with ammonia seem to work really good but they do more damage in the long run. Be careful what you use!

Philip M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Linn Kansas

A. Just remember that someone selling moonshine in old bottles from the back of his truck is not under any regulatory agency to safeguard the public. You don't know what is in the bottle, you don't know if gases will build up if you leave it on your shelf for six months, you don't know what to do if you splash the stuff into your eyes.

If the stuff is that good, next time you see the salesman, buy some of the product. You would have a lot better chance of having someone help you with the formulation if you could give us a hint. Acid or base, smells of what? ammonia? chlorine, what?

The powder base at the bottom must be some kind of compound like you would get in a can of polishing compound. Fine enough to polish without leaving scratches. I wouldn't guess on the liquid part unless I knew more about it.

tom pullizzi monitor   tom pullizi signature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania

White Rouge

(affil links)

Green Rouge

(affil links)

A. Funny that I should happen across this today as I have just finished making my first batch of "home brew" aluminum polish.

I am using a white buffer wheel compound ⇨
which also comes in green ⇨
depending on the abrasive quality you need. You can purchase these "bricks" of compound at your local truck stop for a tad over 10 bucks and they will go a long way. The liquid is mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] and I'm told you can add a little bit of lemon juice to it also for oxidation purposes. The trick is to get the compound from brick to powder form and for this I used a coarse wood rasp. I'll forewarn you to not use your good rasp as the compound will wear out the teeth after a while. I'm still playing around with the formula to get it right but that's pretty much it. I'll be trying it out on my Mack work truck tomorrow so wish me luck.

Mike W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- New Orleans, Louisiana

A. Ingredients for coke bottle mixture: 1/4 bottle jewelers rouge (white or green) ⇨
comes in square brick block at local truck stop. Need to shave block with hard knife or saw put shavings in bottle. Add not quite 5/8 mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , shake well, and allow to dissolve 1/8 bottle liquid ammonia [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] . Allow time to dissolve to creamy consistency.

Kelly B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- St. Amant, Louisiana

A. Chad I do believe from your description of the product it was Gord's aluminum polish[this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] ,
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.

Richard Spencer
- Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies

Mineral Spirits
on eBay or


(affil links)

Q. I was wondering if any other solvents could be used besides Mineral Spirits. Does Mineral Spirits have any special additives that make it better for polishing, or is it just a handy solvent that people have become accustomed to using? I am wondering this because I cannot find it where I live. Thanks.

Andy N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Brandon, MB, Canada

Ed. note: We've added a sourcing link to your posting, Andy.

thumbs up signI found the mineral spirits and made up some of the polish. It works great. The mineral spirits is a great solvent because it is not hard on your hands.

Andy N [returning]
- Brandon, MB, Canada

A. 2/3 mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 1/3 baking soda [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links]

ROD T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Regina, SK, Canada

A. If you want a good polish, try Speedy Metal Polish [affil links], it's on the net, & works just like you describe. A lot of the homemade polishes don't have a wax content. This is what keeps the oxidation down. If you insist on making it yourself, get a bottle of carnauba wax [affil links]. You'll thank yourself in the long run.

Tom H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Smithton Illinois

A. One of those truck stop polishers told me that you can use the green rouge [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] with lighter fluid [affil links] and some carnauba wax [affil links]. Works like a charm.

Floyd P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Jasper, Alabama

A. You can get mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] at Walmart, Home Depot Lowes, pretty much anywhere but I know those 3 sell it for sure. I've bought it from all 3. Hope this helps.

Cary Welch
Detail cars for a hobby - Dallas, Texas
November 18, 2021

thumbs up sign Indulge me for just a little background. I'm Chaplain at a Pilot in TN. In an effort to raise support for our outreach to the community, as well as truckers, we've been looking into getting into the polishing service. Half the money raised goes to support local church youth mission trips. The other half is for chaplains, ministry supplies like tracts and bibles, and support for ministries to drivers and families.

Now that you know why, here is what we've come up with. Over the last year we have had several polishers set up shop at the truck stop. As you know, they don't stay long for a variety of reasons. Last week we had a couple there that had been to our weekly fellowship dinner. I told them about the plans we had and they shared the formula for the green soup. I asked for it because of the fantastic job it had done on the tractor they were doing. I made my first batch yesterday morning before heading to the truck show here at the fairgrounds. I tried a little on a friends tractor in really bad spots that had no shine at all. I purposely avoided the wheels and tanks because I didn't want to do any damage if the soup wasn't any good. It was fantastic. I'll be doing his wheels and tanks this afternoon, and post a full report regarding the success. There's no sense in putting out the formula until I'm convinced it's the best.

Please pray for our success in this service.

Chuck (hopehauler)

Chuck Sonn
Hope Haulers / Highway Fellowship - Nashville Tennessee

A. 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] . Take a bar of white jewelers rouge ⇨
and a bar of green jewelers rouge ⇨

White Rouge

(affil links)

Green Rouge

(affil links)

Get an electric burner [affil links] 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 carnauba wax [affil links] or other aluminum polish that works great to the recipe. You can also buy Dupont teflon lubricant [affil links] 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 [affil links] is good also to keep the water beading off it. Some of the polishers at the shop use fuel injector cleaner [affil links]. Some use lighter fluid [affil links]. 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 [affil links]. NOT gas. My polisher makes polish all the time like this. The homeless that live around the truck stops use camp fires. But they are brave. DVDMAN

Jimmie L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- San Antonio, Texas

Ed. note: boiling a witches' brew that includes flammable solvents like mineral spirits, lighter fluid, or fuel injector cleaner is still terribly dangerous even with an electric burner.

Q. What exactly are mineral spirits? is that mineral water?

Tom V [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
driver - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

A. We appended your inquiry to a letter that answers the question by hotlinking to sources, Tom. But mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] is rather like turpentine [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , differing in turpentine coming from pine trees and mineral spirits being derived from petroleum.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Mineral Spirits
on eBay or


(affil links)

A. You can also use lighter fluid , charcoal starter, and a good carnauba, or teflon wax for a sealer. paint thinner can also be used.....

KENNETH W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- ROME, Georgia

A. Mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] is oil based paint thinner. You can get it at any hardware store or big box store (Lowes, Home depot, Menards). Just go to the paint dept. and ask for low odor paint thinner/ Mineral Spirits.

William Ray Castleberry
- Cunningham [Kentucky?]
October 14, 2021

Q. Hi, I am looking for a recipe for aluminum polish for my uncle Merl who is a truck driver and heard some people on his radio talking about this home made polish that works wonders. He told me it had jeweler's rouge [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , Turtlewax liquid car polish [affil links], Rain X [affil links] and lighter fluid [affil links] 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

Ed. note: Hi Collin. This page has many recipes. Asking for "the" recipe won't work any better than herding cats though, because thousands of different people tweak it their own way.

A. 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 fluid is a corrosive and 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

Q. 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 used 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 -- "Lightning-Shine" is the brand name (bought at a Petro truck stop)

Lee D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
driver - Bloomington, Illinois

Q. 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...

[on eBay or Amazon affil links] , kerosene or mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] (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 I am just going to add the whole bottle; this will give my polish a nice thick consistency (comparable to Magic Mix [affil links] or Hoosier Metal Polish [affil links]). 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 marketed 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.

Lee D [returning]
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 hazards.

A. 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 another post says use the bricks of white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , and mix it with mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] . 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 without ammonia [affil links] 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 form a liquid, and faster drying time. You can also mix Zippo lighter fluid [affil links] to slow down the drying time.

Jason [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Bradford, Ohio

Q. 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

A. 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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.

Bob P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Long Beach, California

A. This is the best site I have found about making metal polish. This is what I found out so far about metal polish.
You can buy 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 will have Zephyr Pro 40 brand just a little higher $10 to $13 and smaller bricks. 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 -- white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links]
4 Oz. of the white plastic Ryobi
2 Oz. Maxx red Zephyr -- [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links]
1 Oz. of Fruit Fresh found at Wal-Mart in canning stuff. All it is is powdered citric acid [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] .
12 Oz. of mineral spirits
Heat in old pan on electric burner [affil links] 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 $5.00
If heavy oxidation I use the green and white Flomax mix then go over it with this mix for mirror shine.

Dave M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- St.Louis, Missouri

A. I have switched to the Blue Moon made by Flomax brand now it works great finished shine cleans well with a fine 00 steel wool [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] pad. Yes the brown is due to the ammonia; try my new recipe for yourself.

3 oz Blue Moon buffing compound [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links]
1 oz of stearic acid [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links]
16 oz mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links]
heated in pot on an electric burner [affil links], outside 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

Dave M [returning]
- St.Louis, Missouri

A. I got a bottle of "green stuff" and it worked o.k. but, I tried one that's called Britemax [this product on eBay affil links] Britemax polish 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

Q. 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

Q. 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
February 25, 2008

Green Rouge

(affil links)

A. If you want to make green polish you can get 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 buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] or even the blue rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links] 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 [affil links]. My blue mix works great for my big rig; when it rains I just have to wipe it off 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 [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links] on a clean soft cloth just pour it on the cloth and go over polished metal to help wipe off any polish that is left behind. Maybe next time I'll have some pics of fuel tank or wheels

David M [returning]
- St. Louis, Missouri

Ed. note: Nothing is as short-lived as most web links :-(
Those manufacturer sites still work, but the page links don't.

A. I'm back. ok this is my new recipe for polish home brew.

2 Oz crushed formax blue moon compound (blue rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links]) found at I80 truck stop, effingham,il
2 Oz stearic acid [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] found at hobby lobby; it's also used to make candles so any candle supply hobby shop should have it.
1 Oz WD-40 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , yes WD-40 -- helps clean the metal and also protect it (after all the WD stands for Water Displacement).
15 Oz odorless mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] found at Wal-Mart

Heat to 150 °F (Do not heat too high, this is Flammable). Heat outside away for your house just in case. Use electric burner [affil links] not gas to heat.

I use a cooking thermometer [affil links] and a Presto deep fryer [affil links] that I turned into a melting pot; you can find out how to make one by doing a google search for it, look for this.
6 Quart wax melting pot [affil links]
This is a Free Recipe Use At Your Own Risk.
You don't want to have to tell your wife you blew up the house.
I like Free Things.

David M [returning]
driver - St. Louis, Missouri

Q. I want to produce green compound but I don't know which wax I can use or other binding agent please advice me

owner - Nashik, India
April 16, 2008

thumbs up signMe 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

thumbs down signI'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

A. 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

A. 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 buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] and blue rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links]), 1 gallon 100% mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] (paint thinner) and 1/4 pint carnauba wax [affil links]. 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 overflow. Shake well. There you go guys: now you know how to make it so get to polishing.

Todd Coriell
- Chesapeake Virginia

Ed. note: It still strikes us as horribly dangerous, and doing it in a kitchen unthinkable. Maybe if you take your microwave outside...

A. Just a quick note. Paint thinner is 100% mineral spirits

Danny B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Astoria, Oregon
October 22, 2008

A. 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 rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links] and [on eBay or Amazon affil links] bar of something from the Petro melted down and mixed with mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 1/2 gal. This stuff really works.

Tonio Folk
- Suffolk, Virginia
January 26, 2009

Q. Can you mix the two different colors together or two different bottles?

Lee Roberts
dump trucks - Columbia, Missouri
March 13, 2009

A. 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 anymore 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
March 13, 2009

thumbs up signI 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] and black wet-or-dry 1000 grit sandpaper first. I hit it with the buff using [on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 30, 2009

A. This is My Top recipe I use to polish trucks with. I have even sold this stuff it is so good; but I'm not in it to get rich, so here we go:

3 to 4 oz of crushed blue rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links] compound made by Formax

16 oz of Wal-Mart brand charcoal lighter [affil links]

10 ml of boiled linseed oil [affil links] found at Wal-Mart in paint section

Here's 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 cooking thermometer [affil links]. Heat the charcoal lighter fluid and the buffing compound to 150 °F; 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 too to help shake it up when I use it. That's 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

David Martin
- Addieville, Illinois
May 7, 2010

Q. 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, Mike

Mike Mc
fireman - Thousand Oaks, California USA
November 16, 2010

A. 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 [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] paint thinner from Walmart a gallon is around 12 bucks and I buy the Zephyr [on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 an 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 20 oz bottle. Normally I can make about 5 to 6 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 an 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 that's it, you will have one of the best polishes 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 an 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 of 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 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 [affil links]. 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 20 oz 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 [affil links] rouge bars are better and it seems to be 10x easier to wipe 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 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 [affil links] in stages of 240 grit, 400, 800, 1000 then I use an angle grinder [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] with a 6 inch firm yellow buffing wheel [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] you can get from Lowe's and the brown tripoli buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] and I buff the aluminum, I myself also use high speed grinder/buffers with airway buffing wheel [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 of polishing wheels and tanks on commercial trucks because I sure don't want to 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.

Chad Sarver
- Salisbury, North Carolina

Q. 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

Tee Pate
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 20, 2011

A. 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 anything!

Here we go, this is how I make my polish. First thing you'll need to do is to get all the things you will need together. One Bar of buffing compound I use the blue rouge (polishing/buffing compound) [affil links] but white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] will work; I get mine from but you can find the white at most TA truck stops. Three 32 oz bottles of charcoal lighter [affil links] fluid, one gallon odorless mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] . One thing of boiled linseed oil [affil links] and one can of tung oil [affil links] finish. Presto deep fryer [affil links] and a cooking thermometer [affil links] 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 150 °F using the cooking thermometer to keep a eye on it (DO NOT HEAT OVER 150 °F) 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 [affil links] finish when the melted bar mix cools 75 °F stir it up and then pour it in the pot and stir until it is mixed up completely. That is it. You now have kick ass metal polish like Dave's Blue Moon Metal Polish. Here is why: the oils used does not dry completely for a long time so it lets the polish come off easy; the tung oil [affil links] finish dries to a water proof finish it is the best oil to use on outdoor wooded things keeping the water from getting to them. This will make 1 1/2 Gallons of polish.

Dave Martin
- Addieville, Illinois
February 20, 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
August 2, 2011

A. You can use corn starch [affil links] to thicken your polish. It works just fine. Add an eighth of a bar of black emery [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] 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 carnauba wax [affil links] for protection

Harry Baker
- Rhinelander, Wisconsin
March 26, 2012

Coconut Soap

(affil links)

The white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] contains sodium tallowate (animal fat based soap) and white calcined alumina (aluminum oxide) powder, the 1200 grit or 3-5um size.

The green rouge contains sodium tallowate (animal fat based soap) and chromium oxide (for stainless steel, chrome polishing)

The red is ferrous oxide powder based.

coconut soap [affil links] is high in lauric acid and is an amazing cleaner.

Darren Olson
- Toronto Canada
May 19, 2012

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 then wipes of the excess.

Is it necessary to sand the tank or perform other cleaning operations prior to applying the formulas?

Donald Gryder
- Johnson City, Tennessee
December 13, 2013

Q. So where would I find all the items listed in this moonshine aluminum polish formula? Can they all be purchased at the Home Depot? Has anybody had any luck creating the moonshine formula so that it is wipe on and off to leave a shine like those homeless (usually) people do at the truck stops for $5 a wheel?

Brandon Dunn
- Gainesville, Texas USA
May 6, 2016

A. Hi Brandon. We have now tried to offer Amazon links to all of the materials mentioned, except kerosene which you get at a gas station. I think some of the products are offered in auto stores, some in hardware stores, some at truck stops. But again, just because an indigent person risks their health for $5, which they shouldn't, doesn't mean you should. Some terribly dangerous materials and methods have been mentioned on these pages :-(


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Q. Hi, we have been polishing aluminum on semi trucks now for almost 10 years. My Ole man Randy had a thriving polishing business in Corning Calif about 6 or 7 years ago. He has made his own polish now about 29 years, we now live in San Francisco CA, and have begun building another polishing business here. He wants me to patent his polish ... can you or someone start me in the right direction? Thank you.

Randy Dunn
- San francisco, California
October 2, 2016

A. Hi Randy. You can read websites or books about patents, or you answer one of those radio ads for "an inventor kit", but if you're serious enough to be having a "thriving" business and to be opening a second location, you should immediately retain a patent attorney. S/he can probably tell you in a few minutes whether you have a patent case that would be worth pursuing, or whether retaining your knowledge as a trade secret would be a better idea. But if you just want free internet advice, mine would be to keep your formulation secret rather than patenting it because if you are successful in patenting it, your formula will be available right there on the web for everyone to read. And with thousands of truck stops and small-time entrepreneurs, how could you reasonably stop them from using your formula? But you might be able to license it after having buyers sign confidentiality agreements.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. 1 gallon mineral spirits [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , one bar of Matchless Purple [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , 1/2 bar of Matchless white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] , one bottle of fuel injector cleaner [affil links], 1/2 a bottle of rubbing alcohol [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] . Crush rouge into a fine powder put mineral spirits and rouge I to a large sauce pot cook on low heat and stir when you can pull the stirring spoon out of mixture without any clumps of rouge stuck to it add fuel injection cleaner let cook for another 10 to 20 mins take off heat and let cool then add the rubbing alcohol then bottle it up you will have the best hand polish you ever used.

Donavan Goodman
Best N Show - Leicester North Carolina USA
November 1, 2019

A. Okay, what you guys use is okay but I will give a secret to my polish ... I use the [on eBay or Amazon affil links] and white buffing bar [this product on eBay or Amazon affil links] bars 1/2 to 3/4 of the green bar, that's to help cut through the oxidation ... 1 whole bar of the white for the ultimate shine. And now octane booster. Ammonia, and mineral oil will leave a residue and after you use that it may look good at first then give it a few days and you will see a yellowish film.

That's why I use the booster ... shave the bars into a Gatorade bottle then slowly add the octane booster a little at a time -- you don't want it too thin or too thick. Then after that's done, then set it out in the sun or around a good hot heat source but not over a flame for it may catch fire ... and let it cook for a bit. The heat will help break all the components down but after every so often you will need to burp the bottle (because of it being in the heat it will expand).

Cooking time will vary so whenever you think it may be ready then it just may be. Then for storage, store in a cool dry place. One bottle will do about 10 or so trucks if used wisely. All I need is about some on a cotton cloth the size of a half dollar but, to make it go even further, after the first use keep the cloth in a ziplock bag and it can be reused time after time. The polish will get stronger as it sits but I will have no need for elbow scrubbing at all and myself I don't use a polisher it's all by hand and it takes me about 1 1/2 hrs to do 2 trucks. It will clean eat the oxidation and bring it to a wonderful shine.

Use a microfiber cloth [affil links] for the final buffing. When I start just rub in until a black residue sets, then let it haze over for about 2 to 3 mins depending on the weather. And now after it's all done you will be shocked of the work you have, and so will the driver; you will have a customer for life. Caution NO SMOKING WHILE POLISHING OR MAKING THE MIXTURE.

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Kenneth Carroll
- Ontario, California USA
January 30, 2020


June 6, 2021

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