How to Clean Oxidized Aluminum Windows With Denatured Alcohol

Written by kallie johnson
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How to Clean Oxidized Aluminum Windows With Denatured Alcohol
Exposure to outdoor elements can cause aluminium window frames to oxidise. (window with flowerpot image by Stanislav Pepeliaev from

Window frames are exposed to outdoor air, pollutants and weather. Because of this, metal frames, such as aluminium, are susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation can cause aluminium to have black or white spots and it may look cloudy or powdery. Routine washing with soapy water can help remove small amounts of oxidation, however, it's ineffective against large amount of oxidation. Denatured alcohol can be used to safely remove the oxidation from aluminium window frames. If desired, a protective coating can be applied to the frames after they are cleaned to prevent oxidation and rusting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Microfiber
  • Synthetic steel wool
  • Hose
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Paint brush
  • Protective coating

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  1. 1

    Fill a bucket with water as hot as you can stand to touch and liquid dish soap.

  2. 2

    Dip a microfiber cloth in the soapy water. Clean the oxidised aluminium window frames with the soapy water to remove all dirt, dust and build-up.

  3. 3

    Dip a piece of synthetic steel wool into the soapy water. Scrub away any remaining stains or spots.

  4. 4

    Rinse the soap away from window frames. This can be done by spraying them with a hose, or rinsing the soapy water from the bucket, refilling it with water, dipping a microfiber cloth in the clear water and wiping down the frame.

  5. 5

    Allow the frames to air-dry or use a clean towel to dry the aluminium.

  6. 6

    Dampen a microfiber cloth with denatured alcohol. Rub the cloth into the aluminium window frames to remove any remaining oxidation. Allow the frames to air-dry.

  7. 7

    Rub or apply a protective coating to the aluminium window frames, if desired. This will prevent further oxidation and rust from forming. Dip a paint brush into the protective coating and paint it on the window frame once it is completely clean. Allow it to air-dry. Apply up to two more coatings, as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • Never use isopropyl alcohol instead of denatured alcohol. Isopropyl will cause aluminium to become cloudy.

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