How to clean aluminum

Three aluminum pots hang side by side.

  • Give it a thorough scrubbing.
  • Clean off any burnt-on food.
  • Break out the acid.
  • Try to avoid any harsh abrasives.
  • Cleaning aluminum surfaces.
  • Call it a day.

Aluminum (aluminium) is the number one most abundant metal found in the Earth’s crust. With that being said, it’s no wonder that with our propensity for exploiting everything we can get our hands on, you will find something made from this metal in pretty much every home you see. I don’t mean to be an ass about it. I’m every bit as guilty as anyone else. Aluminum is cheap, it’s lightweight, and when it’s clean, it’s pretty nice to look at. You know, all shiny and silvery and stuff.

Aluminum by itself isn’t all that useful. It’s too soft. Under most circumstances it is mixed with other metals like copper, zinc, magnesium, or manganese to create an alloy with greater strength and durability. Even with other metals thrown in there, aluminum alloys are still quite malleable and can be used for an absolutely ridiculous number of things. You will find aluminum used for cans (of course), pots and pans, utensils, siding, boats, machinery, wheels, motors, gutters, blinds, electrical work, paints, and the list goes on and on and on. It makes good sense, along with being cheap, abundant, and easy to work with, the stuff is also very resistant to corrosion. This is due to aluminum’s affinity for oxygen. You know that dull gray that’s been taking over your nice new aluminum pot? That’s what I’m talking about. That’s aluminum oxide, and that’s what we’re here to get rid of today. Yes, it protects your aluminum from corrosion. But as soon as you clean it off, it starts coming back again. Your aluminum is still protected, and now, because that layer of aluminum oxide isn’t nearly as thick as it was, your pan still looks nice. The method for cleaning aluminum found in this article is intended for unfinished aluminum like (but not limited to) that found in aluminum pots, pans, plates, cups, and utensils.

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How to clean aluminum baking sheets

  1. Wash the pan
  2. Sprinkle some baking soda on it
  3. Pour hydrogen peroxide on top of the baking soda
  4. Add more baking soda
  5. Give it time to set in
  6. Wipe away
  7. Wash and dry again

You’re probably thinking right now, “I thought you said this would be easy.” Well, don’t let the long 7-step process fool you, it is unbelievably simple.

The miracle of peroxide and baking soda

I was stunned to find that when I removed the gunky build up of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, the nastiness that had built up over the years on the baking sheets went right along with it.

Want brand new baking sheets?This one comes with a silicone mat.

You might think, I was so amazed that I stayed behind to continue my mission of restoring the beloved baking sheets. But no, I was not that dedicated to my project. But I did take note of that moment, stored it in the back of my brain, and have been using this method ever since.

Get out your sponges! It's time to clean aluminum baking sheets.

Get out your sponges! It’s time to clean aluminum baking sheets.

Ever burn a little dinner?Here’s how to clean scorched stainless steel pans.

Wrap – Up

As time passed, I realized that people have been using this method to clean their pans for years. This hurt me a little because I thought I found something that nobody else knew about. But like they say, “There is nothing new under the sun.” No matter… if you weren’t aware of it before, I’m glad I got to pass down this apparent age-old trick to you.

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