We are often asked, “What is the proper way to clean my aluminum equipment?” If your operation uses aluminum equipment, you want to keep it clean and free of dirt, grime and fingerprints. There are some simple tips and tricks you can follow to make sure your aluminum stays shining like new. Read on for our top tips on how to clean aluminum foodservice equipment.

Normal Care & Cleaning

To retain the original appearance of all types of aluminum finishes, it’s important to keep the finish clean and free of any dirt accumulation. For periodic routine cleaning, we recommend washing with water containing any mild, nonabrasive soap or detergent such as those found around the house or recommended for washing automotive finishes. Also, any of the numerous nonetching, nonabrasive aluminum cleaners available at grocery stores, department stores, hardware stores, and automotive stores can be used.

To apply these cleaners, use a soft cloth or sponge for smooth surfaces and a medium bristled brush for embossed or patterned surfaces. Follow the cleaning with a thorough rinsing of the surface with clear water and dry with a chamois or cloth to prevent spotting or streaking. To help keep the surface clean, protect the finish from minor scratches or abrasion, and facilitate later cleaning, a coat of nonabrasive liquid or paste wax, such as those recommended for the care of automotive finishes, should be applied to the clean, dry surface.

Stains & Stubborn Soil

When not too severe, these stains or spots can be removed by applying a liquid or paste automotive wax to these areas. While the wax is still “wet”, rub lightly with pads of 00 or 000 grade stainless steel or mild steel wool in the direction or “grain” of the metal’s finish. If spots and stains are unusually stubborn and resist removal by the above method, try making a water paste of mild scouring powder, such as those used around the house in cleaning windows, porcelain fixtures, and cooking utensils. Apply with either a dampened soft cotton cloth, steel wool pads, or soap-filled steel wool pads. Here again, rub in the direction or “grain” of the metal’s finish. If scouring powder is used, rinse well with clear water and wipe dry. After the stains have been removed, follow with a thorough waxing as previously described.

Quat Sanitizers

Quat sanitizers are normally designed for use on equipment that comes in direct contact with food. If quat sanitizers need to be used on aluminum equipment, the sanitizer must be wiped dry so that the naturally occurring aluminum oxide can form again, protecting the aluminum. If quat sanitizers have been used on aluminum equipment and corrosion has formed, it can be stopped by thorough cleaning of the area with mild detergent rinsed and wiped dry. The naturally occurring aluminum oxide will then form and stop the corrosion. If the corrosion is very heavy, a scouring pad can be used to remove the corrosion, then cleaned with a mild detergent, rinsed down and dried. Once again, the aluminum oxide will naturally occur, and the corrosion will be stopped.

HDPE Polytop Cutting Boards

Use hot water with cleanser or any granular detergent along with a stiff bristle brush. The abrasive cleaning action is very important. Merely wiping or rinsing the board will not do a sufficient job cleaning. Scrub the boards thoroughly and rinse with hot water. After rinsing, a small amount of bleach can be used to maintain the sanitary appearance. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

HDPE Cutting Boards are dishwasher safe, but they should be allowed to return to room temperature on a flat surface rather than remain in the dishwasher during the drying cycle. HDPE Cutting Boards are not trivets or hot pads and can be damaged when subjected to temperatures of 160° F or more. Store them in a flat position. Leaning your board against a wall or inside of a cabinet can cause the board to warp unless kept in a cutting board rack or perfectly upright.

New Age Industrial is a leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of foodservice equipment in the United States. We design and manufacture lightweight, aluminum products to meet your exact needs. We work with various industries including foodservice, supermarket, and material handling. For more information, feel free to visit our website or contact us today, and our team will help find you the perfect product that fits your needs!