Care & Cleaning of Aluminum & Stainless Steel
Frames & Fixtures
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.
- Don't use steel wool on aluminum, stainless or brass.
- Do not use ammonia based-window-cleaner.
- Use rubbing alcohol to clean bad stains.
- Apply a metal polish or wax after cleaning to prevent corrosion.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Boat Frames & Fixtures
Stainless Steel, being one of the most durable corrosion resistant metals available, is perfectly suited for fixtures and hardware in the harsh marine environment. This super material even has it's own natural anti-corrosive coating-an adherent oxide passive film due to a reaction with surface oxygen. Despite this, Stainless is not impervious to corrosion. Keeping stainless steel clean of contaminates and avoiding contact with other kinds of metal is the best way to preserve it's beauty, functionality and promote it's natural corrosion defense.
- Mix a solution of mild soap and water.
- For general cleaning, wash the tubing using a cloth or sponge-do not use steel wool.
- Rinse thoroughly, because detergent, soap or cleanser residue may interfere with stainless steel's adherent oxide passive film.
- Thoroughly dry.
- Application of a metal cleaner and/or polish is recommended-polish will provide additional surface protection.
- Don't use steel wool or sandpaper to scrub stainless steel.
- Do not use bleach.
- Clean frequently with mild soap and water.
- Glass cleaner is acceptable for stainless steel.
- Application of a polish is recommended.