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How to polish aluminum scratches

Aluminum is used to manufacture all types of everyday items from cars and wheels to refrigerators and kitchen equipment. It can be polished to make it very shiny, even mirror-like, and is a cheaper alternative to stainless steel and chrome. If you want to get scratches out of something like an aluminum refrigerator, oven, cup, car wheel, bicycle part, chair or any other piece of aluminum, you can try polishing them. As long as aluminum does not have any super deep dents and dents, you can polish off scrubs and scratches with some base supplies and a little elbow grease!


[[[[Edit]Remove light showers with a scouring pad

  1. Mask away non-metallic areas around the scratched aluminum with tape. Use strips of blue masking tape or masking tape. Cover sensitive or delicate parts of the aluminum object that you do not want to scrape off or get polishing compound on during the polishing process.[1]
    Polish aluminum scratches Step 1 version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you want to polish scuffs of something like an aluminum stove or refrigerator, you may want to mask things like control panels if they are near the scratched area.
    • This method works for much less chafing and scratches. Keep in mind that you will not be able to make the aluminum look like it is straight from the factory, but you will be able to hide the scuffs and light up the metal.
    • You get the best results with this method if you polish the entire aluminum surface, not just the worn area, so that the surface looks evenly shiny when you are done. But if the worn area is not so conspicuous, for example in a corner of an aluminum fireplace door, you can just polish the scuff marks and mix it into the surrounding metal as much as possible.
  2. Rub a scouring pad back and forth over the worn area and go with the grain. Hold a scrubbing plate in your hand and gently press it against the scratched area on aluminum. Rub it back and forth over the area with slowly controlled movements until the wear marks disappear and the metal begins to look shiny.[2]
    • Most aluminum has a unidirectional grain, which are actually brush marks caused by the original polishing process that the aluminum underwent. Never rub the scouring plate over this grain, otherwise you may get worse.
    • If the aluminum object you want to polish does not have a visible grain, just select one direction to rub in the scrubbing plate and just move it back and forth in this direction. Do not change directions or move it in a circular motion, otherwise you may just create more wear marks.
    • Scrubbing pads are also known as polishing pads. The finer given, the better for this job. You can get a fine-grained scrubber in a retail store.
  3. Apply metal varnish to aluminum with a microfiber cloth. Press a small drop of metal polish on a microfiber cloth. Scrub the metal pole in the affected area and the surrounding aluminum surfaces using back and forth motions and join the aluminum grain.[3] Continue rubbing until the varnish disappears into the metal and the surface looks nice and shiny.
    • You can use a special aluminum polish or whatever type of metal polish you have. Both work to illuminate the surface.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth to apply metal wax or sealant to aluminum. Fold a microfiber cloth around the index finger and dip it in a container with metal wax or sealant. Rub it over the aluminum surface with even strokes in alternating directions until the wax or sealant is absorbed and there are no streaks on the metal.[4]
    • This seals aluminum and protects it from oxidation.
    • You can get metal waxes and sealants in a retail store.
  5. Remove any tape you have applied to mask certain areas. Peel off the masking tape or blue masking tape. Throw it in the trash.[5]

[[[[Edit]Grind out deep scratches

  1. Spray WD-40 over the aluminum you want to polish to lubricate it. Cover the scratched aluminum surface evenly in WD-40. This lubrication helps to remove the metal particles that you remove during grinding.[6]
    • This method is known as wet sanding. You can do it with water too, but WD-40 is the best lubricant when sanding bare metal.
    • You can use this method to, for example, sand and polish pavement damage to an aluminum wheel or bicycle crankshaft.
    • Because you actually remove a metal layer with this method, the final results will look best if you grind and polish the entire aluminum object, not just the scratched part. For example, if you want to polish scratches from the face on an aluminum wheel, grind down the entire wheel.
  2. Sand out the scratches using 220 grit sandpaper. Attach sandpaper with 220 grains to a sanding block, an electric sanding machine or use it only by hand if the scratched area is small. Press the sandpaper firmly against the scratched area and move it back and forth over the scratches in alternating directions until they disappear.[7]
    • Keep in mind that if there are very deep dents and grooves in the aluminum, you will not be able to polish them completely by grinding. However, you can at least make them less visible and restore the gloss to the surrounding surface.
    • Make sure the sandpaper you used is marked as safe for wet sanding. Most fine sandpaper is OK to use for wet sanding, but double check the packaging or the back of the paper to be safe.
    • Wear goggles and a dust mask when grinding metal, especially if you use a powerful electric grinder.
  3. Change to 1500 grit sandpaper and sand the aluminum to smooth it out. Move the sandpaper back and forth in alternating directions, applying hard pressure over the entire area from which you just sanded the deep scratches. This will get rid of the small scratches and scuffs made of the coarser sandpaper to smooth the surface and begin to gloss it up.[8]
    • If you do not have exact sandpaper with 1500 grains, it is good to use another very grainy sandpaper. Anywhere between 1000-gravel and 2000-grit is good for this step.
  4. Give the aluminum a final sanding with 3000 grit sandpaper. Change to 3000 grit sandpaper and go back over the entire surface you have sanded. This makes aluminum very shiny.[9]
    • If you do not want a super-shiny, mirror-like surface, you can use sandpaper that is slightly smaller than 3000 grains to finish sanding. For example, something between 2000-gravel and 2500-grit.
    • If there is no more WD-40 left on aluminum in this step, spray a little directly on sandpaper to lubricate it for the final round of sanding. This will make the aluminum extra shiny and transport away fine metal particles so that they do not stick to the surface.
  5. Rub aluminum varnish on the surface with a polishing mat or cloth. Apply a little aluminum polish on a clean area on a polishing mat or a polishing cloth. Work the paint in aluminum with circular motions, starting in the middle and working your way to the edges.[10]
    • You know that polish does its job when the polishing cloth or cushion starts to turn black. If you do not see this black residue on your cloth or pillow, rub harder and continue processing polish all over the surface until you do.
  6. Buff the polish with a clean, soft cloth. Rub a clean, soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth, vigorously over the entire polished surface with circular and alternating movements back and forth. Continue polishing aluminum until it is evenly shiny and there are no traces of polish left on the surface.[11]
    • You can continue to polish aluminum until you reach the gloss level you want. But when there are no streaks or other residues from polish left on the surface, you are welcome to stop.


  • Do not polish aluminum that has any type of special coating, such as a Teflon coating, otherwise you will only damage the coating. You can only polish scratches made of bare aluminum.
  • Do not use sandpaper that is coarser than 220 grains on aluminum, otherwise you will only make deeper scratches in the surface.

[[[[Edit]Things you need

[[[[Edit]Remove light showers with a scouring pad

  • Skurdyna
  • Metal polishing
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Metal wax or sealant
  • Masking tape or masking tape (optional)

[[[[Edit]Grind out deep scratches

  • WD-40
  • Sandpaper with 220 grains
  • Sandpaper with 1500 grains
  • 3000 sandpaper
  • Electric grinding machine or grinding block (optional)
  • Aluminum polishing
  • Microfiber cloth



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