Polishing Aluminum With Steel Wool? (Step-By-Step)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

An aluminum object will tarnish after exposure to air, which often occurs in people’s homes or apartments when windows are open.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to remove this tarnish if you have some steel wool on hand! Of course, it’s better to use fine steel wool, but other types also work fine. 

You’ve probably used steel wool to scrub your sink or clean the stove, but did you know you can use steel wool to polish aluminum?

While it may seem unlikely, steel wool and aluminum are a match made in DIY heaven, especially if you need to give an older piece of aluminum some new life. Here’s how to clean your aluminum by polishing it with steel wool.

You can use steel wool to polish aluminum, but doing so is not the most effective approach as it won’t have a particularly glossy sheet. Instead, you can polish aluminum with steel wool using steel wool clean and aerosol metal polish; you can polish aluminum with steel wool. 

Can You Polish Aluminum With Steel Wool?

Polishing Aluminum With Steel Wool

You can polish aluminum with steel wool, but it’s not the best method. The steel wool will clean the aluminum but won’t give it a high-gloss finish.

You’ll need to use a commercial aluminum polish like Mag Aluminum Polish or Autosol Metal Polish to provide it with a high gloss.

If you’re looking for homemade aluminum polish, try steel wool and metal polish, but even that combination isn’t as effective as a commercial aluminum polish.

Steel wool alone will clean a surface, but it won’t give you that extra shine. For example, many people assume you can use steel wool to polish aluminum, and while it’s true that steel wool will clean a surface, it won’t do much more.

So, for example, if you have an aluminum dish with stains, steel wool may get rid of them.

Cast aluminum pans are more suited to being cleaned with steel wool than sheet aluminum pans. It scratches sheet metal pans, but if you don’t mind, it’s a great option.

Steel wool removes particles and food stains, also reducing pan stickiness. Also, steel wool with a blend of baking soda can recover blackened aluminum.

You can easily remove black coatings and dirt, leaving the pans shiny. Steel wool can corrode anodized aluminum pans and leave behind metal particles.

Also, avoid scrubbing too hard with steel wool on aluminum cookware. Extra pressure also causes scratches.

Before using steel wool to remove challenging stains, dip your pan in vinegar or apply a blend of baking soda.

Step by Step Process on How to Polish Aluminum With Steel Wool 

Even while aluminum may be polished more effectively using steel wool and metal or aluminum polish, you cannot use steel wool on your pan in this manner.

It would help if you always exercised extreme caution because you should never swallow these polished components.

What happens if you scrub the pan, and this polish isn’t all removed, and then cook using it? It is in everyone’s best interest to eliminate that occurrence.

Polishing these aluminum pans is straightforward. You can complete it while you are washing the pots and pans.

Follow these steps to polish aluminum with steel wool:

#1. Method 1

Step 1All you need is some water and dish soap to complete the task. Steel wool should be used rather than a sponge when washing the pans and pots with soap.
Step 2Apart from cleaning the pans with this method, you will also polish them to a shine. After being rinsed, the pans will be spotless and shiny due to the cleaning process.

#2. Method 2

You could also use some cream of tartar to polish aluminum with steel wool.

Step 1Add one tbsp of tartar cream to the pan before adding two quarts of water you have boiled. Please give it a rest for around three minutes.
Step 2After pouring everything out, buff the pan’s surface with some moist steel wool until it is smooth.In addition to that, using steel wool will remove the lingering stains.

#3. Method 3

Using Mag aluminum polish in addition to steel wool, follow these steps:

Step 1It would be best if you gathered your supplies. You will need a can of Mag Aluminum Polish, a piece of steel wool, and a clean cloth.
Step 2Next, open the can of Mag Aluminum Polish and pour a small amount onto the steel wool.
Step 3Rub the steel wool over the aluminum surface in a circular motion.
Step 4Continue rubbing until the aluminum is shiny and oxidation-free.
Step 5Wipe any residue with a clean cloth and inspect your work.
Step 6Repeat until you achieve your desired results.

Would You Use Steel Wool On Aluminum Wheels?

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We often use steel wool to clean and polish aluminum. You can use steel wool on aluminum wheels, but it’s essential to be careful.

If you’re not careful, you could scratch the surface of the aluminum. I suggest using a light touch and being mindful of any dirt or debris on the steel wool.

Aluminum wheels are susceptible to scratching when cleaned with steel wool or other abrasive brushes, which also leave behind metal particles.

These particles rust, giving the impression that the wheel is corroding whenever moisture is present, or water spills on it.

If you don’t scrape off these rust pieces from the wheels as soon as possible, the wheels may also begin to rust.

Steel wool restores and smoothes wheels well after sanding the wheels, though. First, smooth the surface with sandpaper, then finish with steel wool.

After grinding aluminum wheels, use steel wool with metal polish to avoid leaving particles.

Opt for a product like autosomal metal polish or homemade aluminum polish if you want to polish your aluminum wheels.

You’ll find that these products will do a better job of removing scratches, scuffs, and other surface imperfections.

Be careful with steel wool when using it on any metal, as you can easily scratch or dull its surface.

You can use steel wool to polish your aluminum wheels by following these steps:

  • Firstly, clean your aluminum wheels of dirt, grime, and debris. Mix soap and water, then use a sponge and baking soda to remove stubborn stains.
  • Before polishing aluminum, sand the surface to remove scratches. The grit of sandpaper depends on wheel condition.
  • Dry steel wool can rust aluminum wheels, so don’t use it dry. Instead, spread your preferred polish on the wheels, then use steel wool to polish gently until smooth and shiny, or put the steel wool into the polish to scrub the wheels gently.
  • Polish the wheel with a soft cloth. It removes extra polish from the wheel.

Does Steel Wool Scratch Aluminum?

You can use steel wool to polish aluminum, but you must be careful. Steel wool is very abrasive and can easily scratch your aluminum surface.

If you’re not careful, you could have many scratches on your metal. The best way to avoid this is to use a very light touch when polishing with steel wool.

Go slowly and be careful not to press too hard. You should also avoid using steel wool on aluminum that has been anodized or powder coated.

Steel wool is a good choice if you’re looking for a fast and effective way to polish aluminum. You can easily find steel wool at your local hardware store.

It’s affordable and easy to use, making it an excellent option for do-it-yourselfers and professionals.

Steel wool is also super versatile because you can use it on many different materials and surfaces.

Is Steel Wood Good For Polishing Aluminum?

We often use steel wool for polishing metals, which works well on aluminum.

The metal fibers in the steel wool will cut through the aluminum oxide layer that forms on the metal, revealing the shiny metal beneath. Be sure to use a fine grade of steel wool to avoid scratching the aluminum.

When using steel wool to polish aluminum, you should first use a coarse grade of steel wool on any dirty spots or significant areas that need polishing.

After that, you can use medium-quality steel wool for final polishing; a satisfactory grade will give it an even shine.

Once you’ve used steel wool on your aluminum, rinse it off with warm water to prevent any residue from hardening and scratching your metal.

To avoid scratches on your aluminum, you should use steel wool to remove rust or oxidation before polishing.

If you prefer a chemical method, try applying an acid like vinegar or lemon juice and then scrubbing it off with steel wool.


Polishing aluminum with steel wool is possible, although it will damage your aluminum if not done correctly.

To polish your aluminum with steel wool, you must use a metal polish with steel wool to give it a shine. Just be careful when doing this so as not to damage your aluminum.

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