How to Remove Aluminum Oxide

Aluminium is a lightweight, silver-coloured metal. Lacquer or other coatings are often used to protect aluminium, but some aluminium surfaces such as those used for cooking are left bare. Aluminium is porous and forms a thin coat of oxide when it reacts with air. There are several ways to remove aluminum oxide.

Fill aluminium cookware with a quart of water and add two teaspoons of cream of tartar. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for ten minutes. Rinse and dry the cookware. If you don't have cream of tartar, put lemon or apple peel in the water and use the same procedure.

Remove aluminum oxide from utensils by using them to cook tomatoes, rhubarb, or other food with a lot of acid.

Put the piece of aluminium in a plastic dishpan. Add equal parts of white vinegar and boiling water. Let it sit for one hour and rinse it with water. Repeat the process if necessary.

Remove aluminum oxide from aluminium with silver polish. Rub the polish into the surface with a damp rag. Rinse and dry the aluminium with a soft, clean cloth.

Use Barkeeper's Friend or Copper Glo, available in supermarkets and department stores, to remove aluminum oxide. Rub it into the surface with a wet rag. Wash the aluminium with a mild, nonabrasive detergent. Rinse and dry it with a clean, soft cloth.

Protect aluminium not used for cooking by coating it with lacquer or wax.


Soap-filled steel wool pads can scratch aluminium. They should only be used when you have to get burnt on food off the aluminium.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Cream of tartar
  • Lemon or apple peel
  • Rags
  • Cloths
  • Tomato
  • Rhubarb
  • White vinegar
  • Plastic dishpan
  • Silver polish
  • Bar keeper's friend
  • Copper Glo
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About the Author

Cathryn Whitehead graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987. She has published numerous articles for various websites. Her poems have been published in several anthologies and on Whitehead has done extensive research on health conditions and has a background in education, household management, music and child development.