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How to remove water stains from aluminum

Updated February 21, 2017

Water stains develop when you leave a glass of water on your aluminium surface, or if hard water dries on the surface of the aluminium. Water stains on aluminium could appear lighter or darker than the aluminium surface. Hard-water stains will also look chalky. Regardless of the appearance of the stain, it will mar your aluminium surface. You can remove it using careful cleaning techniques that will not damage the metal surface.

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  1. Wet the aluminium surface.

  2. Apply 1 drop of liquid dish soap to the aluminium water stain.

  3. Scrub the stains with superfine steel wool. Do not use coarse steel wool, as it will damage the aluminium surface.

  4. Soak a clean cloth in white vinegar if the water stains are still visible.

  5. Lay the cloth over the water stain and let it soak for 20 minutes. This acidic solution will help remove any alkaline hard-water stains.

  6. Rinse the aluminium with clear water and dry it completely. Do not let it air-dry, as it will show streaks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Cloths
  • Super-fine steel wool
  • White vinegar

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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