How to polish your aluminum dock frame
Though aluminum is the industry standard for docks, being that it is lightweight, rust-free, and strong, it does have one downside. Aluminum can tarnish over time. Especially in water, aluminum will not always sparkle like the day it was first rolled or floated into the lake.
When aluminum appears old, it is due to the process of oxidation. When aluminum reacts with the air and water (which docks will often be exposed to both), a thin coat of aluminum oxide forms on the surface of your frame. Some aluminum alloys are not rated for water, and others are, but aluminum alloys that are marine grade will still show a dark gray or powdery film. Most can appreciate the fact that marine grade aluminum does not rust, but what about that unsightly discoloration?
Good news! You don’t have to settle with oxidized aluminum! Aluminum can be polished so the new look of aluminum can be mostly restored. Aluminum polish removes the aluminum oxide and chemically restores your dock surface.
How to polish aluminum docks:
- Let your dock dry in any location where you want to treat the aluminum.
- Gather your materials: 1) Aluminum polish 2) Clean rag
- Rub the polish into the affected areas. For heavy tarnish, loosen the affected areas by polishing the aluminum by rubbing gently in acircular motion.
- Wipe residue.
Which aluminum polish is recommended:
Brasso Metal Polish is available on Amazon or at your local Home Depot. There are cleaners for aluminum that work wonderfully as well, like Alumabrite. Just make sure your polish is rated for ALUMINUM. Some polishes are rated for specific metals.
This technique will restore the look of your older aluminum dock and keep it clean. Now it’s time to clean the boat…