How would you clean this aluminum trim?

Exterior, Paint & Bodywork

  1. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I would have tried Brasso, I used to work my fingers to the bone polishing brass for my mom, but I tripped over this first. My reaction to this was ‘just like brasso’. So I will get some and compare.
     
  2. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I would buy one if I thought immersion would work. Maybe my next experiment.
     
  3. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Yes, but Brasso isn't vanilla scented...
     
  4. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Yeah, brasso hits the palate like an industrial solvent and finishes with a hint of Sokolove lawsuit.
     
  5. Jon O.

    Jon O. Well-Known Member

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    Dip it in Muriatic Acid! I suggest wiping it in pledge after you clean it and buff it later and it will shine shine shine!
     
  6. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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  7. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I found my thresholds were heavily abraded vs. just plain filthy and tarnished like the grill. I did a pretty good job polishing my thresholds with a series of wet sands and a high polish buff on the wheel.
     
  8. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Mine are in decent shape.

    The ones on my 300 were rough. I bought two pair to get one decent pair. I had to do a lot of sanding and machine buffing to get them looking OK. The thresholds aren't anodized like the grille work is, so it's a little different animal. The Barracuda ones look mostly tarnished though and not a lot of battle scars. I'm hoping I can just clean them up... or at least clean them up for now and wait to do more with them.
     
  9. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Bought some brasso. It performed similar to White Diamond. Put it on, rb in a little till you get black, wipe off. But Brasso does have a distinct odor they worked out of the Wite Diamond.
     
  10. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Looking at the MSDS for both products, Brasso has silica as a polishing media and oxalic acid. White Diamond has aluminum oxide and stearic acid. So, based on the MSDS, they are very different products.

    I've used oxalic acid to remove rust. In fact, I have a gallon of deck wash that contains oxalic acid to soak rusty chromed steel. It works wonders, but you have to monitor it... and you don't put pot metal or aluminum in it. For more on the subject: How To Do an Oxalic Acid Bath - BMXmuseum.com Forums

    I've never tried Brasso on aluminum and it's my understanding that it's not recommended for use on aluminum. I wouldn't let it sit very long on aluminum. My fear is that it might etch the surface. It does work great on other stuff.

    I looked up stearic acid and it seems to be used in soaps mostly. It's also supposed to lower your LDL cholesterol.... But let's not get into that. I haven't gotten the White Diamond yet (mail should be here in another hour) so obviously I haven't tried it.
     
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  11. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    OK... Since today is a sit on my heating pad and eat Tramadol day, I did a little test.

    I tried to take some pics, but found that the results really weren't reflected (pun intended) in the final pictures.

    I used two of my favorite weapons of choice, Simichrome and Collunite 840 and compared them to the White Diamond polish on an oxidized aluminum threshold. I did these tests on two seperate areas, one area was stained heavily and the other just oxidized.

    First test.. I applied WD to a small section. Smelled nice. That's a plus. Following the directions, it seemed to go on nicely and after waiting the recommended minute, it wiped off easily. The area was better, but not finished. It removed most of the oxidation and polished the surface.

    I next applied Simichrome. It was a little more effort, but the results were a little better than the WD. It also did a smaller area. It polished the surface well, but I felt that it took more work to remove the oxidation.

    Collunite 840 did its usual thing... No real polishing, but the oxidation was removed. I've been using a combo of Simichrome and 840 with decent success.

    Second test. Re-applied the WD on the same spot. The results were much better and I would call that oxidized area done and the heavily stained area about as good as I'm going to get by hand.

    A second application of Simichrome gave slightly better results than the first. Again the area was smaller but the WD area was better.

    I didn't bother with a second application of the Collinite.

    So... End results.... First, I've managed to over analyze polishing some thresholds and bored the heck out of everybody... Nothing new.

    The White Diamond won out. Not as much effort for a larger area with better results. That's a winner for me.

    It is not a "wipe on/wipe off" product. It does require some elbow grease, but I'm going to keep going with it. It also makes a real mess of the micro fiber towel I used to apply it. Turned the area pitch black. Simichrome does the same, but not quite as bad. I may have to look at applying it with something cheaper and more disposable.
     
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  12. MarPar

    MarPar Meat Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    fuggedaboutit.jpg

    I look forward to all of your reviews and thoughts, Big John. I had been waffling on which one to buy, and your insightful review just swayed me to get some of the white diamond.

    :thumbsup:
     
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  13. Fast Eddie B

    Fast Eddie B Well-Known Member FCBO Gold Member

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    The guy at White Diamond said to rub until i got black then wait. Similar to brasso, but brasso you have to work it to get black. And it stinks. And Brasso blackens rags quick too. But i found the white diamond required the least elbow grease.
     
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  14. cantflip

    cantflip Old Jagoff with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I ordered some too... I have some tarnished brass keys I'd like to see how it does compared to Brasso.
     
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  15. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    To follow up on the White Diamond... I did some good stainless steel and was pretty happy with the results, although to be fair, the stainless was nice to begin with and I'd say that almost anything would have given the same result. Personal preference and YMMV.

    I did some more oxidized aluminum and I discovered something... Applying the White Diamond with a micro-fiber cloth isn't the way to go.

    I buy a big bag of micro-fiber cloths from Costco. Cheap enough and decent quality for things like windows, wheels and interior. Some guys use them as disposable, but I'm cheap, so I wash them and if they are stained, they get "downgraded" to polishing and then tossed. The Costco cloths are never used on the paint, but that's another subject.

    Anyway.... I have a bunch of these stained micro-fiber cloths and I started using one with the White Diamond. The aluminum piece I had was the same as I did the first time, but it was just a bit more oxidized. My results weren't as good... I found that a little confusing... Then I thought to try a paper towel instead of the micro-fiber. That was a night and day difference. The paper towel had the polish turning black faster and doing a much better job. ..And yes, the bottle says to use a clean cloth to apply and remove, then final buff with a micro-fiber.

    Lesson learned... The paper towel doesn't absorb as much and is a little more abrasive. That's fine... As I said before, the stuff does get the rags really dirty and now it's cheap paper towel that's going in the trash.

    In using the stuff (I still really like it) I decided that I would do a final wipe down with the Collinte cleaner to remove any residue, but I think that's just more personal preference and that I know I'll be applying some other type of "wax" once it's bolted to the car.
     
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  16. Knebel

    Knebel Senior Member

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    I have used Mothers Aluminium and Mag polish recently to polish a stainless/alu revolver. Makes a mirror finish but turns rags black quick too!
     
  17. CudaChick1968

    CudaChick1968 The Mistress of Metal FCBO Vendor

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    It's been a couple years. How is it holding up?
     
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  18. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    Being a grille, or any bright metal on the nose of a car, it will likely be slightly to heavily pitted from the "sandblast" effect of being in the wind for so may miles. All the pitted areas, weather you can see them or not, will be comtaminated with road dirt. First thing is to clean them. I use brake clean for this. It will disolve the dirt/oil in the pits. To remove the tarnish I use "Bright Boy", a commercial brand, restaurant quality cleaner/polish. White diamond is a good product but I perfer Bright boy. Like mentioned above, apply with a cloth until the surface turns black.
    Buff, wash and polish. You'll have to go to a pro polisher to improve on these results.

    Not cheap but lasts a long time.....
    https://www.amazon.com/Brite-Boy-Me...=1587663338&sprefix=bright+boy,aps,282&sr=8-2
     
  19. Mike66Chryslers

    Mike66Chryslers Well-Known Member

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    Since this thread was brought back up, I'm interested to hear why you won't use the Costco micro-fiber cloths on painted surfaces? I have a bag of those too, so would like to know if there's something I should be mindful of. Thanks
     
  20. xxcarguy

    xxcarguy Active Member

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    What takes the anodizing off headlight bezels?