Keep Metals Clean with Specialized Product

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Particular care is required when cleaning anodized aluminum and stainless steel.  Owners should give these materials the same attention they would other parts of their boat by washing them regularly with fresh water and Shurhold Industries’ Brite Wash and Buff Magic.

Aluminum tubing directly beneath a hardtop, T-Top canvas or radar arches doesn’t receive the natural rinsing of rainwater and is shielded from the sun.  This prevents it from drying completely or as quickly as the rest of the frame.  If the underside is overlooked, it may result in staining or pitting.

Anodized aluminum should be washed often to keep contaminants from building up.  Brite Wash, water and a soft towel or sponge is recommended.  Then, owners have to be sure to rinse thoroughly with direct fresh water.  Its important to clean and rinse anodized aluminum well.  When using metal protection products, they must be specially formulated for use with this material.

Even austenitic stainless steels are not completely free from corrosion.  The degree of surface oxidation is directly affected by local atmosphere and saltwater concentrations.  In some environments, all metals are subject to corrosion.

Stainless steel is able to form its own anticorrosive coating, through an adherent oxide passive film.  This natural resistance can only be accomplished in a clean, contaminant-free and oxygen-present surface.  Similar to anodized aluminum, regular fresh water washing with a mild non-abrasive cleaner will keep stainless steel bright and beautiful, lasting far beyond the life of the boat.

Brite Wash and water is also great for this metal.  Any cleaner safe for glass is usually safe for stainless.  Rust spots should be removed as soon as possible with Buff Magic or a stainless steel, brass, silver and chrome cleaner.  Irreversible pitting will develop under rust that remains for any period of time.

Bleach, chlorides and mineral acids must be avoided for both of these metals, since they have a tendency to leach on the material and can lead to staining and pitting.  Abrasive cleaning products, steel and brass wool, wire brushes, polishing wheels, rubbing and polishing compounds should also not be used to avoid pitting and rusting.  Concentrated, alkaline base solutions are best for cleaning.  Leaving stainless in contact with iron, steel or other metals can cause contamination leading to rust or corrosion, as well.