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How to Polish Old Aluminum

Hillary Marshall

Although it may seem to be so at times, it is not impossible to polish old aluminum so that it looks brand new. In fact, you can polish aluminum without having to invest in expensive cleaning products; and the task doesn't even take a whole lot of effort. With a few items from your cupboard, you can polish old aluminum pans and other aluminum items to a high shine in a matter of minutes.

Aluminum cookware will shine after you clean it with cream of tartar.
  1. Fill a dishpan 3/4 of the way with enough boiling water to cover the aluminum item you need to polish. While filling, measure the amount of water you are using. Add one teaspoon of vinegar for every one cup of boiling water in the dishpan.

  2. Submerge the aluminum item that needs polishing in the dishpan. Make sure the item is completely covered. Allow it to soak in the dishpan for about five minutes.

  3. Remove the aluminum item from the dishpan. Rinse it under a faucet with cold running water.

  4. Wash the aluminum item in a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Rinse it under cold water and dry it with a dish cloth.

  5. Soak the aluminum item again in a mixture of boiling water and cream of tartar, if it still isn't polished enough. Measure one quart of boiling water and two tablespoons of cream of tartar in a dishpan, and mix well.

  6. Allow the aluminum item in need of polishing to soak in the cream of tartar and boiling water for ten minutes. Remove it from the dishpan and rinse it under a stream of cold water.

  7. Wash the aluminum item with dish soap and warm water, rinse with cold water and dry with a clean dish towel.