The Q&A Archives: cleaning malaysian gold antiqued aluminum framed patio chairs.

Question: my hamilton bay chairs are antiqued malaysian gold aluminum framed not wrought iron like i thought and are supposedly rust-proof. i left them out this winter and now they're covered with white spots. a home depot worker said it probably was from the snow. he told me to paint it with rustoleum, but they dont have colors matching my chair. soap & water didnt work. please help.

Answer: Aluminum doesn't rust, however it does oxidize. This type of corrosion actually protects the metal from the elements, however it is not nearly as brilliant as the piece looked originally. This can be rectified by using a metal polishing paste. This paste has very fine abrasives, which actually remove the oxidation. Once polished up, protect this surface with an automotive paste wax. Bad oxidation may cause pitting which looks like small specks, however the metal polish will not be able to remove deep pitting. Alkaline cleaners will cause oxidation, so avoid chemicals like ammonia (found in Windex), and TSP so the best product to use is a metal polishing paste and some elbow grease. Good luck with your project!

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