How to Clean Oxidation From Aluminum Windows

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Nylon scrub brush

  • White vinegar

  • Bucket

  • Stainless-steel wire brush

  • Rag

  • Citrus-based cleaner

  • Aluminum oxidation remover


To protect your aluminum window frames from further corrosion, dip a rag into car wax and apply a light coat to the aluminum. Let the wax dry then buff the frames with a clean rag. Apply a second coat of wax, let it dry then buff it with a clean rag. You can also apply two coats of specialized metal paint to protect the aluminum windows from corrosion.

Commercial aluminum cleaners intended for car wheels or marine applications are acceptable for use on aluminum windows.


Replace severely pitted or cracked aluminum window frames because these defects indicate a loss of strength.

Avoid cleaning aluminum windows with ammonia, baking soda or tri-sodium phosphate as they will discolor and harm the aluminum. Also, do not use steel wool to remove aluminum oxidation.

Oxidation on aluminum windows appears as a dull gray-brown cast and white, powdery spots. Aluminum oxidation's white, powdery spots chemically bind to the aluminum to protect it from further corrosion. Although self-protecting, the oxidization on aluminum windows severely detracts from the visual appeal of a home. Window manufacturers add a protective coating to aluminum window frames to protect the window from exposure to air, salt and cleaning products to prevent corrosion. Unfortunately, not all windows have a protective layer and do corrode.

White Vinegar

Step 1

Brush off any dirt and debris from the window with a dry, nylon scrub brush.

Step 2

Pour equal amounts of water and white vinegar into a bucket.

Step 3

Dip the scrub brush into the vinegar and water solution and scrub the aluminum window frames until the oxidation disappears.

Step 4

Brush the window frames with a stainless-steel wire brush if the aluminum oxidation still remains.

Step 5

Rinse the aluminum window frame with water and dry the surface with a rag.

Citrus Cleaner

Step 1

Brush away any dirt and debris from the aluminum window frame with a nylon scrub brush.

Step 2

Wet down the window frame with water.

Step 3

Apply a citrus-based cleaner to the scrub brush.

Step 4

Scrub the window frame until the oxidation is no longer visible.

Step 5

Rinse off the frame with water and dry it with a rag.

Commercial Aluminum Cleaner

Step 1

Clean any dirt and debris from the aluminum window frame with a nylon scrub brush.

Step 2

Spray a commercial aluminum oxidation cleaner onto a rag.

Step 3

Scrub the aluminum window frame with the rag to remove the corrosion.

Step 4

Rinse off the aluminum window frame with water and dry it with a rag.

Sal Marco

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.