We just picked up 2 unique mid-century modern, outdoor wall lights that need some 'cleanup'. Specifically, there appears to be areas where there is oxidation of the aluminum which makes it a slightly darker shade.
Can anyone offer tips on how we can best clean the brushed aluminum? We would ideally like to restore these back to original condition (or at least close to it). Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
For about 5 bucks you can pick up a cleaner at any auto store, Kragen etc...
the stuff is called NEVER DULL. it comes in a can, and is a cloth like material soaked in some sort of cleaner. You rub it onto the aluminium then wipe off with a clean towel. This will make the aluminium have a mirror-like finish, until it oxidizes again, which, will happen...
There's a product by Duro called "Aluminum Jelly" that I'm using to clean my aluminum door frames (including darkening). It came recommended by a friend who is a cleaning artist ;-) You can buy it at Orchard Supply (OSH). You apply it, wait 5 minutes then wash (or wet rag) it off.
With any cleaner, follow directions closely. And be sure to try it in an inconspicuous spot first. You wouldn't want to ruin your great find :-)
You should not use NEVRDULL on brushed aluminum. It's a great product when applied to chromed finishes or stainless steel, but it will remove the "brushed" effect of the aluminum. I'd use the finest steel wool you can find soaked in a regular aluminum spray cleaner.