We recently purchased a 1950 Star and are debating between leaving it oxidized or biting the bullet and doing the polish!  Does anyone know an in between option?  Something to wash it with that might brighten it but not require the all intensive labor of polishing?  We are open for suggestions. We found a product called 'Luther's' in NC but the trailer is in CA and we can't ship it or fly with this product.  We would need to find somthing in CA.

Tags: aluminum polishing, how to polish aluminum trailer, restore aluminum

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Simple green makes an aluminum cleaner that works great. You can order from amazon dot com. It washes and brightens. I used an sponge to test an area of my trailer. Looks good. Once roof sealed I will do entire trailer.

Met all is the aluminum polish I am going use.
This is trailer airplane metal 1959 boles aeros. Hand rubbed not buffing with wheel yet. Using met-all aluminum polish!!! Washed with white vinegar and water and dish soap dawn first.

Trucker friends use simple,green aluminum cleaner and water mixed 50/50% on their truck! shiny stuff too
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I can't say this is any better than any of the ones already mentioned but I found years and years ago that Never Dull does an exceptional job of cleaning almost any metal and retaining a bright and shinny finish. It was used when I was in the Air Force to polish the fighter and bomber aircraft; we always said that also reduced drag on the aircraft increasing their air speed - but I have my doubts.

Never Dull comes in what looks like a huge wad of cotton treated with what ever kind of magic does the job. The cotton padding is easy to separate into small useable pads of what ever size you desire. It is available at most hardware stores and in various size containers. I keep a small can for doing our 57 Chevy parts, our motor home and vehicles. It can be used on almost any type

metal and for cleaning hard to clean windows/glass.

A friend swears by that!!

I ran across this Never Dull product at the Puyallup Fair years ago. A vendor was demonstrating it on several different kinds of metals and it worked amazingly well. We bought a small can of wadding just for my wife's jewelry but I never tried it on aluminum. I would have had to buy a much larger amount to do my Airstream years later. I loved the results I got from Met-All but it was a lot of labor. The truckers aluminum acid I am familiar with took more than just water to neutralize after application, we had to use a specific soap with the neutralizer in it but that may have been just the product we used to wash trucks with. There may be other truckers acid that does not require a neutralizer other than water. The set up my friend had for his commercial truck cleaning business consisted of two 3500 psi pressure washers mounted in the rear of a large cube van. The 100 foot hoses were in retracting hose reels and he had a 3 way switch mounted near the wand trigger for water, acid or soap. We started by blasting down the entire truck and trailer with water to remove heavy dirt and chicken poop, then we blasted the acid on to all the aluminum surfaces around the vehicle then we blasted the entire vehicle with soap and then rinsed the entire vehicle with water and moved on to the next rig. I accompanied him on a few trips to Foster Farms to wash there fleet of trucks on numerous occasions, he charged $90 for cab and box trailer and $65 for cab and flatbed trailer. He should have charged more for the flatbeds since they were covered in chicken poop!!! I must say that the Alcoa wheels, fuel tanks and diamond plating did shine like new when we were done. Foster had a couple of very old Great Dane refrigerated trailers they used solely for stationary refrigerators that were on blocks that had heavily tarnished aluminum corners, 12" wide base strip under the side panels and aluminum doors. The owner asked if we could clean them up since they sat out near the publics view at the entrance to the truck lot and I was totally amazed at how they turned out when we washed them, the aluminum was brilliant again. We purchased 55 gallon drums of soap and acid for this system so I do not know the product name but I do know that my friend eventually had to shut his portable business down due to the EPA cracking down on groundwater contaminates. The Foster truck parking lot had storm drains that our products ran into so I do see their point. If any of you do use the acid cleaner please be responsible and don't allow it to enter our fish and wildlife streams and rivers! The drive through truck washes have an extensive recovery system in place just for this reason. The Alcoa wheels and most others are already smooth polished  surfaces unlike the trailer panels so they shine up easily with acid but to get the mirror finish on my 52 Airstream required more than just the acid wash I initially gave it. Hand rubbing removed all the light surface scratches the trailer had from numerous hand washing and life on the road. There are a lot of power buffing options available now that were not around when I polished my Airstream but if I were to do it again I would definitely go that route. It took me two weekends and an entire week of evenings after work to get a mirror like finish one panel at a time out of my 52 but it was worth the results. My neighbors brought out lawn chairs and cheered me on during this entire process. The acid wash looks good going down the road but the blemishes are still there up close when your RV'ing neighbors come over to admire your classic at that evenings stopover, getting out of a gas station can be tough when you have so many admirers approach you. That is why I chose to go a step further and hand polish my rig, the entire interior was in exceptionally great condition especially the Birch so I had to match the exterior to the interior. Good luck with whatever method or product you choose and I commend you for taking the time to restore your vehicle! You can actually see which test panels (and Door) that I had hand polished in the photos after the acid wash. The entire trailer looked like them when I was done, unfortunately I cannot find those photos. The access door on the rear of the trailer was not latched down during one of my trips and a young police officer pulled me over because it was blinding him when it flipped upwards. He was very polite and astounded at the condition of my trailer and toured it from top to bottom inside and out. We chatted for about an hour before he took off after a speeder. I wonder if he ever polished his old aluminum Larson boat he inherited from his grandfather with all the information I gave him!?!?     

I am going try a bit of her never dull on my trailer door handles etc, maybe a spot on back and see. Met-all is work: wax on, then buff with buffer. My finish not a mirror shiny gleam. Simple green aluminum cleaner half and half with water what some friends who drive truck use on their shiny parts. I do like the shine on your trailer.
My friend does metal finishing for a living. In her bag of tricks is a can of never dull (looks like a bunch of rags wadded up in a can) and Windex. The never dull she buys at Aco hardware store. She rebuffed a spot on trailer, sprayed Windex and wal-lah!!! Super shiny!!! Of course it has rained a few days. She is coming back to play more. Windex!! Owners of aluminum trailers for years told me to wash with vinegar and dish soap prior to buffing; usually I make homemade window cleaner: white vinegar, water, sometimes squeeze of lime juice. The never dull she took some rags out of can, wiped off door handles. WOW!!!

maybe asj  member Jana, she's in So Cal and very knowledgeable.  also, google our friends of click on their link for Sierra Trailer Restoration.  Bet if you called them they might have some answers.  My 2 cents is that she looks pretty as she is. 

Use one of the new app services to have someone drive it in. I can't remember the name, but it was cheap as heck. Basically, you post a "job"....like "take my package to so cal"....and someone accepts. II didn't do any jobs simoly BECAUSE it was so cheap lol.

Anyone ever use 'Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner/Restorer 87764' to clean and restore the aluminum around the windows in older canned ham campers?  Looking for something to clean off 40 plus years of tarnish and general dirtiness, LOL

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