Cleaning aluminum is not difficult and can be performed using common household solutions. By using some simple cleaning procedures and little elbow grease, you can keep your aluminum cookware shiny and clean for years to come.
Aluminum is used in many household appliances, cookware, and tools because it is durable and resistant to corrosion. It is also a natural metal to strengthen by merely adding some extra alloys. It is light-weight and has an attractive bright silvery appearance. When aluminum comes into contact with the air, it reacts and creates a thin oxide coating.
This coating serves to protect the aluminum and causes the bright silver appearance to turn into a darker gray color. Many appliances and tools will be coated with paint or lacquer or run through a process known as anodizing, to prevent oxide coating formation.
Cooking and eating utensils that are made from aluminum do not have any protective coating applied to them. Anodized cookware is expensive but has gone through the anodizing process, so it will have a hard and dark grey coating that cannot be removed. Most aluminum cookware, however, has not been anodized and requires some cleaning to brighten it up.
Cleaning aluminum utensils is easy
Cleaning aluminum cookware can be performed using some simple household substances. You will want to avoid using soaps or chemicals on the inside of cookware, as that is where the food you eat will be cooked. Simple natural aluminum cleaners can be found in the form of household vinegar and cream of tartar. Boiling the inside of an aluminum pan or pot with two teaspoons of cream of tartar or vinegar will remove some of the natural coatings of oxide and brighten the metal surface.
Use two teaspoons for every quart of water that you wish to boil. This process will happen quickly, usually in about ten minutes. Some naturally acid foods may also be boiled in pots or pans made of aluminum to clean them up a little. Examples of some of these acidic foods include apples, rhubarbs, or tomatoes. Forks, spoons, knives, and other utensils can be added to the interior of the pots during this process to clean them up as well.
Vinegar and cream of tartar are excellent cleaners; you can also add a tiny amount to the bottom of aluminum pans occasionally to prevent and remove stains or boil them in tea kettles to remove hard water stain deposits. These household substances also are great for fixing aluminum that has become discolored.
Avoid using chemicals
Avoid using cleaners or chemicals to remove food that is burnt on or stuck on grease. Soaking these trouble spots with hot water and letting the pot sit will work to loosen the grime. After an hour or so, these will be easier to scrap off. When scraping, use plastic or wood to avoid scratching and damaging the metal. Many people also add baking soda and water to crusty leftover foods and grease and allow the mixture to warm up. It will help dissolve the stuck-on spots.
When cleaning the outside of aluminum cookware, you may choose to use a series of cleaners, solvents, or polishers. Avoid products with abrasive qualities as they will leave nasty scratch marks on the cookware, especially if the aluminum itself has been anodized or painted.
Always test any product you intend to use on aluminum on a tiny portion first to gauge whether or not the product will damage your aluminum. Following instructions is essential to avoid damaging your aluminum, and in the case of many cleaning product types, it may be crucial to your safety. Cleaning aluminum is easy to do and is well worth the effort. This sturdy and resistant metal will give you years of quality service with just a little maintenance.
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