Author Topic: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum  (Read 5651 times)

rbtarp

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Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« on: September 11, 2005, 01:29:12 AM »
I read the cleaning methods at the top of the front page but there must be an easier solution to cleaning a bunch of Guardian Service Pans. Has anyone tried the Electrolitic method on them? I tried Mothers on a small section and it cleaned nicely but would be a lot of work for the whole pans.

Offline C. Perry Rapier

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2005, 07:15:26 AM »
I never tried to clean aluminum with electro before but from what has been said on here, others have said that it does not work well. Like I said, I have never done it and I am just going by what others have said. Why don't you try it with a piece and let us know what your results are?

Offline Greg Stahl

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2005, 09:33:58 AM »
http://www.wag-society.org/Electrolysis/aluminum.php

tried this?

Also, if you remove all wood and iron pieces (just leaving aluminum), you can also try the self cleaning oven method.  I've heard that it is safe and also that it can warp items.  I've never warped anything, but I'm not very experience either.
"NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY!!" Alice Cooper.

gt

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2005, 01:04:18 PM »
Iíve been using a spray can of this stuff, Carbon-Off, on the outside of a couple of aluminum things and it works great but seems slow to me. †Iíve let it soak in a plastic bag for several hours or overnight but Iíve had to repeat it several times to get it really clean. It doesnít do anything for the oxidized inside. †Itís also expensive; I think I paid $10.90 for the 19 oz can. †I got it at a nearby restaurant supply store.

http://www.discoveryproducts.com/index_carbon_off.html

Anyone else used it?

 †
« Last Edit: September 11, 2005, 01:05:22 PM by gt »

Ian

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2005, 01:28:06 PM »
Boiling rhubarb in an alu pan will get most stuff off the inside.

rbtarp

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2005, 07:33:59 PM »
I put it in the soup this morning about 9:30 and about 11 I checked it and some was loostening especially on the bottom. It is still in there, I will keep it in the soup overnight and see if it comes clean. It is lifting like on cast iron but the hammered finish is slower than the flat bottom. †I took a picture before I started for a before and after for Perry.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2005, 07:34:31 PM by rbtarp »

Offline Tom Neitzel

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2005, 09:45:15 AM »
I think there are actually two types of darkening that need to be removed from aluminum.  The first is the traditional black, fat or oil based coating from just plain cooking.  That's the one that lye takes off cast iron and electrolosis works well for on iron.

The other is a corrosion caused by a reaction between the aluminum and whatever has been cooked.  Things with ammonia in them will cause this darkening.  A weak acid solution (a couple tablespoons of cream of tartar in a gallon of water) removes this easily.

I don't know the acid that is in cream of tartar (other than it is tartaric acid).  I think the acid in rhubarb is oxalic acid.  I suspect that it works the same as cream of tartar because of this.

I haven't found a chemical cleaner that works easily, although I have used full strength cleaning ammonia to cut some grease.  It turned the pan a nice even black that I was able to instantly turn back to normal with cream of tartar.   Not for the faint of heart though.

A final buffing of the clean pan with 0000 steel wool really puts the polish back on without leaving visible scratches.  I don't use a powered wire wheel, it does clean, but to me it leaves an unnatural polish that the hand work does not.

I prefer the self cleaning oven.  If I can't remove non-aluminum parts (like a waffle iron with riveted on steel coil handles), I now use walnut shells in my sandblaster.  Work like magic, but a big mess.

Tom

It will be interesting to follow the results of your test.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2005, 09:46:24 AM by tomnn2000 »

gt

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2005, 11:58:30 AM »
Tom or others,

What kind of corrosion would you call the black spots in this pan?  The Carbon-Off stuff didn't remove it and last night I boiled 5 Tbs of Cream of Tartar in 3 quarts of water in it and that did essentially nothing.

Offline Tom Neitzel

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2005, 12:14:12 PM »
It looks like pitting with cooking residue in it, not corrosion.  Might not even be pits, just carbonized oil/fat that sticks like concrete.  Likely the result of many years of good service.  It won't hurt anything if you just want to cook with it.  The acids won't touch it.  Self-cleaning oven cycle burns this stuff out.

This looks like a SilverSeal pan (made prior to 1936).    They're more delicate than Guardian Service but I've never hurt any in the oven.

tom

(Nothing's easy when cleaning aluminum)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2005, 12:16:21 PM by tomnn2000 »

gt

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2005, 01:04:15 PM »
Ok Tom thanks.  I don't have a self cleaning oven so that's out but I may go get some 0000 steel wool and see what that does.  The pan is a Griswold A2128.  I bought it to sell on eBay and also learn how to clean aluminum but I'm beginning to wonder about the cleaning.

The lid and handle are in good shape but the pan itself is high in the center and wobbles.  I have a heavy duty apple press and I'm thinking of pushing down in the center of the bottom to see if I could flatten it but I think it's risky.  This pan is probably going to be just a learning experience.

Steve_Stephens

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2005, 09:52:38 PM »
Quote
the pan itself is high in the center and wobbles. †I have a heavy duty apple press and I'm thinking of pushing down in the center of the bottom to see if I could flatten it but I think it's risky.
Gary,
You're in luck; aluminum is malleable and you can get the bottom just as flat as the day it was made and it's really easy.  I put my pans (aluminum) on a flat, hard surface and use a plastic or hard rubber mallet to tap the bottom flat.  I go around the bottom in circles gently (probably harder than gentle) tapping until the pan is flat.   If you go too far you can turn the pan over and do the other side.  I don't think you can hurt the pan doing this.  I've had excellent results with the few aluminum pans I've done.

Steve

gt

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2005, 10:24:07 PM »
Steve,

Really, I tried moderate pressure with the apple press this afternoon and it didn't help so I gave up.  I have a large rubber mallet so I'll try that tomorrow.  It would be nice to get rid of the wobble without hurting the pan.

Tom,

You're right the black spots are really on there.  I tried 0000 steel wool and Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish and neither did much to the spots.  I'm going to try the Carbon-Off again

Thanks Gary

Offline Will Person

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2005, 11:34:34 PM »
I have pounded out aluminum pans with a mallet.   I did the same to a very bowed Wagner #3 wood handled aluminum skillet.   You can't tell that it was bowed.   Just don't take the bow out in one pound.   Little by little.   I use a 6" electric buffer and finish it with Nevr-dull by Eagle One.


Will Person Jr. ;D

Offline Will Person

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2005, 11:35:00 PM »
After

Offline Tom Neitzel

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2005, 07:54:53 AM »
Nicely done Will.

Tom

Offline C. Perry Rapier

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2005, 08:06:26 AM »
Quote
Boiling rhubarb in an alu pan will get most stuff off the inside.


Ian, that is wonderful information. Is there any reason that it won't work on cast iron also?

Ian

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2005, 03:02:26 PM »
I don't see why not. It's one of those little tips that just gets picked up along the way. I suppose its from the days when just about everybody had a clump of rhubarb at the bottom of the garden. I used it to get a particularly stubborn tide-mark (it looked as though someone had seasoned the pan but only half way up) off my round roaster. Worked atreat but now the rr has a really shiny tide-mark about 1Ĺ" from the not-quite-so-shiny top.

Offline C. Perry Rapier

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2005, 03:14:58 PM »
Ian, I already been thinking about that. You need to get a bigger pot and boil the smaller pot in it. That'll take care of that 1 1/2 " line you're talking about.

gt

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2005, 09:07:49 PM »
Update on my aluminum pan.

The hard rubber mallet worked great to flattening the pan.

My rhubarb patch is about played out for this year.  There are no big red stalks like earlier in the summer but I cut a few smaller half-green half-red stalks and boiled them in the pan.  It did shine or brighten the inside but it didn't do anything for the black spots.

Thanks for the suggestions - Gary

Offline Brian Vick

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Re: Cleaning Hammered Alluminum
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2005, 04:51:40 PM »
John,
Good advice about the oxalic acid, spinach, and believe it or not cranberry juice were on my list of do not consume too much after my second oxalate kidney stone a few years back :'( (OUCH) there are several others but some of the stuff we think is good for us can in some cases cause a problem everything in moderation is good advice...except you can never have too much iron ;D ;D ;D
The other Brian