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Cleaning Aluminum Extrusions

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Mark Carew, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Builder Resident Builder

    Jun 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Anodizing aluminum is not always perfect process and sometimes the extrusions will have anomalies like a white calcium build up from the wash tank or gummy tack from packing tape etc... stuck to the surface. Also from my experience black extrusions (from shipping or even just stacking them in the warehouse) can have what looks to be scrapes through the anodizing but turn out to be aluminum surface 'rubs' that leave a silver looking streak. Although these makings and discolorations will not hurt the performance of the extrusion they just don't look very nice and cleaning them up makes a wold of difference. So I thought I would share what we use to clean V-Slot here in the OpenBuilds warehouse.
    Clean_1.JPG View attachment 88

    My Dad is the one who showed me this 'trick' years ago while working on an aluminum screen room pool enclosure. The extrusions always had marks and scrapes and as a kid it was my job to clean them before we installed them :)
    Back in the day we used Comet because its exfoliation power was awesome and really did the job well. Today we use GoJo hand cleaner. It has that same exfoliation properties but has a few advantages in that it does not require water, comes in a squeeze or pump bottle and smells nice :)
    We take a paper towel with a few drops and rub it on scrubbing over any problem areas then with a damp paper towel we wipe it clean. Sometimes it can dry with a caulk film but that can be wiped again with the damp paper towel to complete the job.

    There can be stains that are tough to get off and for these you may want to use something like a scour pad with a little GoJo on it. You can rub though the anodizing if you go to hard so be mindful of that Sometimes on the more stub ones I will let the GoJo soak in a little longer before go at it. This technique will not work for all problem area but it does help most of them and even though you may have a area that looks a little rough if it is smooth to the touch thats really the most important aspect. Especially of linear rail systems like V-slot. Function before fashion :)
    GOJO Hand Cleaner Link
    Hope this is helpful.
    If you have any other helpful cleaning tips please share
    Thank you
    #1 Mark Carew, Aug 5, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
    eddiejr and Marios like this.
  2. Blades

    Blades New

    May 24, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Dude! That Is brilliant ! I bet that can be used on older tired Harley parts made of aluminum.

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