Care & Cleaning of Aluminum Frames & Fixtures

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Anodized AluminumCare of Aluminum

Boat top frame tubing, radar arches and T-tops are often made out of anodized aluminum. It's a fairly stable, corrosion resistant and durable material yet as it ages some corrosion, pitting and white filming will occur. The best way to prevent this is to keep your aluminum clean and polished. If you have an old frame you will probably notice that the most severe corrosion is in the areas where snaps have been installed and where metal fittings meet. This may be due to a reaction caused when two different types of metal touch (galvanic corrosion). While this situation may be unavoidable, (snaps are brass or stainless steel), using aluminum pop rivets, or neutral-nylon plastic fittings will increase the life span of an anodized aluminum frame.

Aluminum Frames & Fixtures

  • Mix a solution of dish soap and water or your standard boat top wash, (Dreft solution).
  • For general cleaning, wash the tubing using a cloth or sponge.
  • Pitting and white residue may be scrubbed off using 3M Scotchbrite pads. Do not use steel wool - the fine scratches will be imbedded with tiny particles of steel wool which will rust and cause further corrosion.
  • Rinse thoroughly, because detergent, soap or cleanser residue may slowly deteriorate the anodized coating causing discoloration and corrosion over time.
  • Thoroughly dry.
  • Application of a metal cleaner and/or polish is recommended - polish will provide additional surface protection.
  • Silver polish works well on aluminum.

Do Not

  • Don't use steel wool on aluminum, stainless or brass.
  • Do not use ammonia based-window-cleaner.

Do

  • Use rubbing alcohol to clean bad stains.
  • Apply a metal polish or wax after cleaning to prevent corrosion.