Cleaning aluminum?

After every ride, I like to clean all the black boot marks off my frame.  I've been using just a regular scotch brite pad and wd40 which does a good job but I'm now noticing fine scratches/swirls in the aluminum.  Should I use a different method to clean the aluminum and also, how can I get rid of the fine scratches?

I like flitz polish the best, but there are other products that will work, like Mirror Glaze Swirl Remover 2.0. Or any othert fine rubbing compond. Use scotch brite long enought and you will wear through your frame! Aluminum is a soft metal, comparatively speaking. :ride:

Edited by singletracmind

Then what should I use to clean the frame if scotch brite is too abrasive?

You're not going to live long enough to "wear through your frame" with a green scotch bright pad.

True, but it will remove material and as stated by the op, will leave scratches. A polish is a better choice IMO.

If you can find some stuff called MAAS, it is great stuff, it does a great job of polishing, cleans up well, and even smells nice.  A little lasts a long time.  You have to use it kind of like Brasso and keep rubbing once it turns black from the oxidation it is removing.   Its the best stuff I've used.  It holds up really well and really prevents oxidation.  I know Ace hardware sells it, and maybe even Walmart.  It works on every type of metal too.  I have used it to polish quite a few parts on my street bikes. 

Try Eagle One aluminum wheel cleaner. The stuff works awesome !

Get some frame guards mate  :thumbsup:

Steel Wool soap pads :thumbsup: .


If you have them in the US get the "Steelo" brand in the yellow box.

Aluminum brightener which is typically used on trailers works great. Just spray on and hose off. You need to be careful with it. Dont spray on areas you polish because it will make it dull. Its great on cases.

Thanks for the info. I want to stay away from polish because I don't want the "polished" look.  I want the stock brushed look.  I polished the frame on my old kawi and it looked sick but it was a pain to keep up with.

I have just started a 600 rebuild and was told by workmates to use Maguire's metal polish. It seemed ok until one the guys down the pub told me about this metal polish called Autosol. It comes in a toothpaste form of packaging. I have never seen results like it. Un-f@#&^%g-believable!!! I'm not sure if you guys get it in the US but here in Oz you can pick it up at any decent auto shop. Don't quote me but it maybe a German brand.

Keep the aluminum wheel cleaner off your engine case. my buddy used it and got some on his motor and it looks discolored and patchy 

Mothers aluminum polish worked on removing tiny scrathces on various aluminum stuff I had a friend reccomened it to me worked really well havent been able to find it in auto zone as of recent but sure wal-mart would have.

Most , if not all , aluminum wheel cleaners are caustic (corrosive) and IMO sould not be used on a bike you care about . There are a lot of places on a bike it can get into and cause corrosion to start.

Edited by singletracmind

Most , if not all , aluminum wheel cleaners are caustic (corrosive) and IMO sould not be used on a bike you car about keeping very long. There are a lot of places on a bike it can geet into and cause problems.


thats why i wash my bike with water only :) clean the airbox with dulited simple green but thats about it . I dont mind the black from boots on the frame but keep a clean bike otherwise

I use a good stiff nylon brush and some simple green or purple power to clean the boot marks off,and it doesn't leave a polished look.

I have used aluminum brightener on the frame of my CRF.  It now looks like the day I bought it back in 08.  In order to use the brightener on the frame I had to completely strip it of all non-aluminum parts.  If it touches anything made of steel it will run onto the aluminum and stain it.  You can fix it by going over it again but it's best to avoid it in the first place.  For my engine cases I would NOT use aluminum brightener I used on the frame which was extremely powerful and extremely toxic.  I ended up using some mother aluminum brightner on the cases which worked pretty well.  Completely different acid and a much weaker solution.


Here is a pic of the frame so you can see how awesome it came out.


I'm using magic eraser to remove boot mark on my frame and it work awesome!

I only use the brightner on cases that look like shiot. If your cases will clean up with mild washing that is definately the way to go.

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