An Easy Way to Polish Aluminum

by Megan Kelly
jante image by Jerome Dancette from

One problem that many people experience with aluminum is that is tends to tarnish quickly, leaving parts looking dull and unrefined. Because aluminum is a soft metal, you can easily polish it to a bright shine. Polishing your aluminum parts will add a shine to your car, bike or motorcycle that will make it look brand new.

Step 1

Remove the coat of acrylic or urethane lacquer seal using aircraft strength stripper, being careful not to let the chemicals come near your skin or any machines.

Step 2

Sand down rough aluminum parts with coarse emery paper, followed by medium paper and then fine paper.

Step 3

Apply the aluminum polish to your polishing cloth and work it into the fabric, making sure it is evenly applied.

Step 4

Polish your aluminum parts. As you polish, the cloth will turn black. This is a normal part of polishing aluminum.

Step 5

Use a clean, dry towel to remove excess polish from your part.

Repeat the process until you achieve the desired polish for your part.


  • Aircraft strength stripper is available online or at auto parts stores.
  • Always wear protective equipment when handling stripping chemicals and polish.

Items you will need

  • Aircraft strength stripper
  • Aluminum polish
  • Soft dry polishing cloth
  • Emery sandpaper
  • Dry towel

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