How to Clean and Maintain Aluminum Patio Furniture

Aluminum is popular metal used in outdoor furniture for many reasons. It is durable, versatile, and requires very little care on the part of the owner. It is commonly known that aluminum generally does not rust. There is a unique science behind this carefree material. When exposed to air, aluminum will develop a microscopic layer of oxide on its exterior. This oxide layer acts as a barrier which protects the metal from the elements and prevents corrosion. This quality is the most appealing characteristic when it comes to choosing a material for making outdoor furniture. It will weather any climate and any amount of precipitation. Aluminum furniture is a dependable option for outdoor living.

There are three different types of aluminum construction for outdoor furniture: Wrought Aluminum, Tubular Aluminum and Cast Aluminum. Wrought Aluminum furniture is usually used to create furniture Victorian in style that similar to styles also found in most wrought iron outdoor pieces. Tubular aluminum techniques in furniture are most common as it is the lightest and easiest to shape and form. Cast Aluminum outdoor furniture is made using a process, called casting, where molten aluminum is poured into a mold. This process produces the most pure and resilient aluminum. Cast Aluminum outdoor furniture is caste in pieces and then welded together, which seals out water and the elements. As cast aluminum is solid, the resulting product is much heavier than wrought and tubular aluminum furniture.

Aluminum furniture does not need to be covered or protected they way that wood furniture may need to be. However, some aluminum furniture comes with a powder-coating. This gives the aluminum color and helps to reduce the aluminum being scratched and dented. This coating often has great visual appeal as well as giving strength to the oxide layer, however, it does require a little extra care to maintain the original appearance. The coating, while protective and durable, can be scratched by a reckless owner or be eroded by harsh, salty environments. It is important to consider this possibility to maintain reasonable expectations of your cast aluminum furniture.

Quick Tips:

You need to know that aluminum will not rust and this is what makes it perfect for outdoor furniture. But, aluminum will get affected by pollution in the air and water and its surface will discolor or become rough. Though aluminum does not rust it does oxidize which can result in discoloration, but will not affect the structural reliability of the metal.

Here are helpful hints for the care of aluminum outdoor furniture:

” If you notice that there is slight discoloration on you aluminum furniture, then it should be washed with mild soap and warm water. It helps to add a gentle natural acid like lime or lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar. Important! Do not to add ammonia, TSP or Soda. Always do this cleaning after the change of seasons.

” If the aluminum has become pitted or is rough to the touch, it can be polished. Smooth the surface with steel wool and soap as a cleanser and lubricant. Remember to remove all traces and residue of the steel wool from the surface of your aluminum outdoor furniture or else it can rust and stain the surface of the

The Three Types of Aluminum Cookware

Aluminum cookware has been around for quite a while and has received much improvement since it became available. Together with cast iron and stainless steel, it is a greatly favored kind of cookware. In fact, in excess of fifty percent of all cookware in today’s marketplace is made of aluminum. Certain research has hinted that aluminum can be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, however, there is no definitive evidence that aluminum cookware plays any part in the onset of this ailment. For safety reasons, the use of aluminum pans when cooking very acidic or salty food should to be avoided since low quality aluminum cookware may exude small portions of aluminum as the pans become pitted.

There are some different types of cookware on the market such as pressed, cast, and anodized. Lets see the different types.

Pressed aluminum is the less expensive and is generally located in the cookware section of a supermarket or some other retail establishment. Its sale price is cheap and it is known for its screw-in handle and thin construction. In addition, it comprises the highest percentage of aluminum utensils being manufactured today. But these aluminum utensils typically do not last long as the handles become loose or fall off completely and it is really a matter of getting what you pay for. So, I can not recommend this sort of aluminum cookware because over time your costs will be greater and the taste of your food will be inferior.

Now, cast aluminum is not bad and worth the money that you put into it, being manufactured in a slower, although more costly, process, the final product being one which is typically thicker than the pressed aluminum cookware. Further, the bottom and the rims of the pots and pans may be fashioned to be of greater thickness than the sidewalls. The result of such construction is that the aluminum utensil will be less likely to warp or become “out of round.” Cast aluminum has a better heat retention quality than pressed aluminum since it is more porous. With the exception of copper, aluminum cookware is known to be the best in conductivity. You must exercise caution when purchasing the first two kinds of aluminum cookware and be certain that you read the label. Most brands are polished or coated, and so knowing exactly what you are buying can be extremely hard, and you certainly do not need to spend more than is necessary.

Lastly, anodized or hard anodized aluminum cookware is the top and this is the kind which I advise that you buy. Hard anodizing results from an electro-chemical procedure which enhances the natural oxide film found in aluminum. In addition, this procedure results in the aluminum having a hard, non-oxidizing finish that doesn’t stick and is resistant to scratching. There will then be no reaction between the aluminum and either salty or acidic foods. And the surface achieves a hardness greater than that of steel. It isn’t difficult to understand the durability which the aluminum then has. This type is the best of the three. Hard anodized aluminum cookware can be identified by the dark gray color it assumes due to the anodizing procedure. This kind of aluminum cookware is the most costly of all types, but it is well worth the money. Food will not stick, it is simple to clean and it is light weight. This kind of aluminum cookware is in the class of stainless steel, cast iron and copper cookware.

Tips for Polishing Aluminum Like a Professional

Aluminum is a widely used and highly purposeful non-ferrous metal. It is light in weight and easy to work with, making it a very popular commodity in countless industries throughout time. With this being said, you can understand why aluminum is so prevalent and found all around us. From bicycles to window frames, soda cans, airplanes, and more, aluminum is a highly versatile and valuable metal that has endless uses and benefits. When it comes to personal uses, aluminum metal is strong and resistant to corrosion, making it perfect for kitchen utensils, appliances, and other domestic applications.

Although strong and less likely to corrode, aluminum is lightweight and still vulnerable to certain wear and tear. This is why routine maintenance for aluminum is highly encouraged. One of the best methods for residential or commercial aluminum care is routine polishing. Continue reading to learn how to polish and restore worn aluminum.

Polishing Methods

Since there is more than one method for polishing aluminum, you must first decide whether or not you are restoring or cleaning aluminum. Depending on the application, the process to polishing aluminum will vary. For example, outdoor furniture is commonly made from aluminum or contain exposed aluminum parts. Outside elements like salt from the air, car exhausts, precipitation, dust, and more, can cause wear and tear over time. By implementing routine polishing for outdoor furniture and accessories, you can extend the look and life of your aluminum. Aside from furniture, other items can benefit from regular polishing as well; like grills, metal décor, fencing, playsets, water fountains, and more. Also, indoor commodities made from aluminum can also benefit from a routine polish, like countertops, sinks, plumbing fixtures, furniture, appliances, frames, décor, and more.

Aluminum Polishing Tips

For newer aluminum items, a less-aggressive polishing method is all you need. Simply use a clean cloth, gentle dish soap (a mild liquid dish soap is fine), and warm water to delicately cleanse, dry, and shine the exposed aluminum surfaces. This includes countertops, plumbing fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and décor.

To restore or polish older aluminum, a store-bought product is generally the most effective method. You will mostly likely need a wool scrubbing pad as well. Both of these items can be found at your local home improvement store or department store. Be sure to purchase a good quality polish that not only shines, but also fills in scratches, surface vulnerabilities, and more. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Use this method for outdoor items, doorknobs, and cabinet handles too.

Discarding Old Aluminum

If polishing your old aluminum is not something that appeals to you, you can simply discard it instead. But don’t just toss it in the trash, sell it to a scrap metal buyer for an instant cash profit. Aluminum is priced per pound, so be sure to gather as much as you have. Just be sure to sell your scrap metal to a reputable buyer who uses electronic scales and pays cash on the spot.