How to brighten cast aluminum

Updated April 17, 2017

Aluminium is used in a wide range of products, from cast-aluminium cookware to automobile parts. While aluminium resists rust, it may dull from everyday use and wear. Gray discolouration and a dull patina also can result from regular cleaning or exposure to weather. You can revitalise and restore the lustre of cast aluminium without speciality cleaners by using minimal household supplies.

Put on rubber protective gloves.

Place 2 tbsp of distilled white vinegar and 1 quart of water in a plastic bucket.

Soak a sponge in the vinegar-water solution, and use the sponge to scrub the cast aluminium until the item is clean and you achieve the desired patina.

Rinse the cast aluminium thoroughly with clean water.

Dry the item completely. Use a cotton towel to prevent scratching polished surfaces.


Using warm water makes cleaning and restoring cast aluminium easier. For heavy stains, use a more concentrated solution of 1 cup vinegar per 1 cup warm water.


Cast aluminium has a composition is similar to the composition of wrought and tubular aluminium, and each should react to a vinegar treatment in the same way. Cast, tubular and wrought aluminium, however, can vary in other metals they contain that increase their strength. Because of this variation, treat only a small, unnoticeable portion of the surface first to determine the effect before treating large, visible surfaces. Do not use a vinegar-water solution to clean painted, anodised or powder-coated cast aluminium.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber protective gloves
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Plastic bucket
  • Sponge
  • Cotton towel
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About the Author

Jonathan Morgan began writing for Demand Media Studios in 2011. He contributes his expertise in business, personal finance and taxation to several online publications. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the United States Military Academy and is pursuing a Master of Taxation from Nova Southeastern University.