General Cleaning Of Aluminium Features
- CSI Division:
- Division 5 - Metals
- Metal Materials
- Last Modified:
Technical Procedures Disclaimer
Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
A. This procedure includes guidance on cleaning burnished aluminum. This may include lighting fixtures, banisters and radiator grilles. GENERALLY, THIS WORK SHOULD BE PERFORMED BY AN EXPERIENCED CONTRACTOR.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines cover the following sections:
- Safety Precautions
- Historic Structures Precautions
- Quality Assurance
- Delivery, Storage and Handling
- Project/Site Conditions
- Sequencing and Scheduling
- General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing this procedure and should be followed, when applicable, along with recommendations from the Regional Historic Preservation Officer (RHPO).
C. For general information on the characteristics, uses and problems associated with aluminum, see 05010-08-S.
A. Aluminum Association,
900 19th Street NW, Ste. 310,
Washington, DC 20006.
A. The Procter & Gamble Co.
P.O. Box 599
Cincinnati, OH 45202
B. ProSoCo, Inc.
755 Minnesota Avenue
P.O. Box 1578
Kansas City, KS 66117
800/255-4255 or 913/281-2700
C. 3M Consumer Products Group
St. Paul, MN 55133-3053
612/737-6501 or 800/364-3577
A. Mild soap
B. Phosphoric acid cleaner with a pH of 0.9
C. Clean, potable water
A. Soft, natural bristle scrub brushes (non-metallic)
B. Mildly abrasive scrubbing pad
A. Surface Preparation: Prior to beginning work, mask and protect all surfaces that may be damaged or altered in any way by the cleaning operations.
A. Remove any surface protectant from the aluminum surface using a standard solvent and a clean, soft cloth.
B. Wash the aluminum surface to remove atmospheric oil and dirt:
- Apply a mild soap such as "Ivory Liquid", "Joy" or "Thrill" (Proctor &Gamble Co.), or approved equal using a damp sponge or a soft cloth. Scrub lightly with a natural bristle brush if necessary.
- Wipe the surface with a clean soft cloth.
C. If this method does not sufficiently clean the aluminum, apply a dilute phosphoric acid cleaner mixed with water, such as "Sure Klean Aluminum Cleaner (ProSoCo, Inc.), or approved equal. Follow manufacturer's written instructions.
D. For very stubborn dirt, apply detergent using a silicon carbide abrasive pad such as "Scotch-Brite" (3M Company), or approved equal.
E. After cleaning is completed, protect the aluminum surface by applying a protective wax.
- For areas not likely to come in contact with human touch, apply a wipe-on surface protectant such as "Aluma-Care" (Coricone Corporation), or approved equal. Apply using a clean, soft cloth.
- For other areas vulnerable to human touch, apply a paste wax to the surface with a clean, soft cloth. Buff the surface using another clean, soft cloth.
NOTE: THE SURFACE PROTECTANT SHOULD LAST 12-24 MONTHS; THE PASTE WAX SHOULD LAST 1-3 MONTHS BEFORE NEEDING TO BE STRIPPED AND REAPPLIED. THE NEED FOR REAPPLICATION IS EVIDENT BY A DULL OR DISCOLORED APPEARANCE.