Better brushes, better technique, better cleaning (2023)

Figure 1
A cup brush cleans a weld, removing impurities and slag. Photo courtesy of Weiler Corp.

Power wire brushing removes burrs and cleans impurities off various surfaces. Brush types abound—wheel brushes, cup brushes, end brushes, and specialty brushes reach into corners and crevices like few other finishing tools can (see Figure 1). Like grinding down weld metal with an abrasive disc, though, cleaning and deburring with a wire brush remains by and large an intensely manual process. Choosing the right brush for the job and using the right technique can have a dramatic impact on throughput.

Unlike a coated abrasive, a wire brush isn’t a metal removal tool. Sure, it’s possible to work a brush really hard and remove a bit of metal, but it’s not recommended. The brushes won’t last long, simply because they aren’t designed to accomplish the tasks of an abrasive grinding disc.

Also unlike their coated, bonded, or nonwoven abrasive cousins, wire brushes will not load up with previously ground particles. When surface material like rust is cleaned with a wire brush, there’s no place on the brush for the particles to accumulate.

Before refining brush selection and technique, it helps to understand how a wire brush actually cleans and deburrs. “A wire brush really consists of thousands of little impact tools on the surface of metal,” said Debbie Gaspich, director of product management, thin wheels and construction products North America, at Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Worcester, Mass. “Time and time again, the wire tips are attacking the surface to remove the adherence, be it rust, paint, oxidation, slag, or anything else.”

Rich Pavlek, technical services engineer for Brooklyn Heights, Ohio-based Osborn, used a soft wire finishing brush to illustrate. Try gently running your fingers across the tips of those wires, and you’ll of course feel a scratching sensation. Push down into the bristles below the wire tips, and that scratching sensation goes away, because the tips aren’t making direct contact with your skin.

The tips of the wire do the work, and nothing else. If the tips aren’t at or near perpendicular as possible with the workpiece, they aren’t making full contact. If they aren’t making full contact with the workpiece, they aren’t working efficiently.

Brush Selection

Material. “One of the biggest concerns we hear about is cross-contamination,” Gaspich said. “When you’re working on carbon steel, you use a carbon steel brush. But when you’re working with stainless steel or aluminum, you need to use a stainless steel or aluminum brush. If you use a carbon steel brush on stainless, the carbon from the wire brush will start to contaminate the stainless steel and will cause it to oxidize and rust.”

She added that an operator can use a stainless steel brush on carbon steel. But once that stainless wire touches the carbon steel, it should not be used for stainless steel.

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Sources recommended that fabricators label and perhaps even color-code their brushes to ensure operators never use the wrong brush for the material (see Figure 2). One color may indicate stainless, another color carbon, and so on.

Brush Shape and Diameter. A stringer bead wheel brush can work well for cleaning pipe and similar welds between passes. A cup brush works well for cleaning surfaces. Narrow end brushes work well for cleaning in confined spaces, like holes. The logic behind brush selection goes back to how brushes behave in operation. If used on a flat surface at a high speed, narrow end brushes will flare out. This means that the wire tips don’t have direct, near-perpendicular contact with the surface, and so they fail to work as they should.

Figure 2
This wheel comes color-coded in red, indicating its intended use for certain materials. Photo courtesy of Saint-Gobain Abrasives Inc.

Cup brushes clean surfaces well because they have a wire arrangement that flares only slightly at the right RPM. Use an end brush in the same situation, and the wires will flare out significantly, hindering cleaning efficiency. “The end brush really is designed to be used in an application where the flare is controlled,” said Brian Mills, product manager-industrial production at Weiler Corp., Cresco, Pa. “It will typically be used in a tube, hole, or channel that will restrict the flare.”

The application’s surface feet per minute (SFPM) requirements and available power tool sizes dictate wheel or brush diameters. In fact, the diameter variable intertwines with speed SFPM requirements (see the Speed section).

Wire Diameter. Thin wires (like 0.014 in.) are more flexible and resist fatigue, but they’re also less aggressive; thicker wires (such as 0.025 in.) are stiffer, more aggressive, but also are less resistant to fatigue. “You always want to choose the finest wire diameter that will get the job done,” Mills said. “That’s because the larger the wire is, the more susceptible it is to breakage.”

Wire Style. Twisted or knotted styles produce the most aggressive action, while crimped wires are less aggressive. “If you’re cleaning away light surface oxidation or rust, a crimp style will work well,” said Pavlek. “But if you’re working with heavy scale, then you want a knotted or twisted product.”

Wire Density. As sources explained, greater wire density also can help extend brush life, because more wire tips are there to do the work. Such wire density can be a benefit for some applications, especially in extending brush life, but a detriment to others, because high wire density makes the brush less flexible and conformable to some surfaces.

Trim Length. A shorter wire extending from the brush hub has less give and will tend to have more aggressive action. This is the case with encapsulated wire brushes, which leave only the wire tips exposed around the hub circumference.

“The downside to encapsulated products is that you lose flexibility,” Pavlek said. “But they give you aggression when you need it, because only the wire tips are exposed.”

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Longer wire lengths reach into tight areas and can be very effective at cleaning certain part geometries. For instance, if operators need to clean threads, they most likely will use a brush with longer wires, because the long, thin wires can flex down into the valley of each thread. “If you need to clean a standard V thread,” Pavlek said, “you wouldn’t want a short trim length. You’d rather go with a longer trim and, say, a 0.006-in.-diameter, depending on the threads you’re cleaning.”

“That’s a perfect example of what makes wire brushing great,” said Gaspich. “Wire brushes will not change the geometry of the threads [by removing material]. They’ll just go in and clean the threads.”

The Subtlety of Brush Selection

Just because wires flex doesn’t mean they can reach into every nook on every workpiece. The brush shape also plays a role. Say a finishing operator needs to clean a corner. So he uses a cup brush to finish a surface, then moves to an adjacent corner. From the operator’s perspective, the brush may be working just fine, flexing and conforming to reach in and dig out the impurities buried in that tight corner. But then he lifts the brush and sees that although the area around the corner is clean, the corner itself still has debris in it. So the operator tries again, to no avail.

Figure 3
When an operator bears down on a wire brush, the wire tips don’t make full contact with the work, the brush becomes less effective, and it wears prematurely. Image courtesy of Saint-Gobain, Norton Abrasives.

Operators should choose a brush designed for such a job, one with filaments that make full contact with all surfaces in tight corners and crevices.

Mills described one situation that exemplifies how subtle brush selection can really be. Say an operator is using 10-in.-diameter brush wheels with large-diameter wire and long trim length, and finds that the brushes aren’t lasting as long as he would like. What if he chose a smaller-diameter wire with higher density? This may help extend brush life, because more wires are there to do the work. The high wire density means the wires are tightly packed, which affects their flexibility (high density is less flexible than low density). That flexibility may be adjusted by altering the trim length: longer if the operator needs more flexibility, shorter if he needs more aggressive finishing action.

“It’s like an art,” Mills added. “There’s a fine line between what will work the best and what will barely get by.”

Spot On

Regardless of how much thought goes into brush selection, no brush will work as it should with the wrong power brushing technique. Here is where SPOT comes into play. Mills used the acronym to describe the basics behind wire brush selection and use: Speed, Pressure, Orientation, and Time. The more finely tuned the first three are, the shorter the last becomes.

Speed. According to sources, speed is one of the most misunderstood of all the variables, and much of it comes from misinterpreting the brush rating system. A brush speed rating gives its maximum RPM for safe use in a free-spinning state: the maximum safe free speed, or MSFS. A utility brush rated with an MSFS of 2,000 RPM is designed to be used on a low-RPM tool, like a power drill. “If you use that same brush on an 18,000-RPM die grinder, you will get a very dangerous result,” said Mills.

The MSFS is a safety rating only; it doesn’t represent an ideal speed for a specific application. A wheel may be rated to work safely at up to 20,000 RPM, but this probably isn’t the ideal speed for the job.

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Brush vendors publish charts showing recommended surface feet per minute for brushing applications. If a wheel is used to, say, remove burrs from a certain material or clean certain welds, the chart shows a recommended SFPM. “You figure it out by knowing the diameter of the brush and what RPM it’s running at,” Gaspich said.

Say an operator is using a 6-in.-diameter wheel running at 3,500 RPM. That equates to about 5,400 linear SFPM. As Gaspich explained, if an operator needs to clean welds, vendor-specific charts may recommend 7,000 SFPM or even higher, so that operator has the wrong brush and/or power tool for the job.

Sources emphasized that this is only a starting point. The true ideal RPM really hinges on the job at hand—the geometry, the type of burrs, brush characteristics, the material, and so on. To find the optimal speed, an operator can “tune in” the brushing application over time. And in many cases, the optimal RPM may be just a fraction of the MSFS.

The choice of power tool matters here, be it a right-angle grinder or anything else. Like the brush, the power tool should be matched with the application. In some cases, variable-speed grinders may be a wise investment, because they allow the operator to tune in and find the optimal speed for the brush and workpiece.

Figure 4
Operators approach workpieces at an angle that ensures the wire tips contact the workpiece fully. In this setup, the operator can take a closer-to-parallel approach, because he’s using a relatively low-RPM tool. Photo courtesy of Osborn.

Quite often speed problems don’t arise because of operator error, sources said, but simply because they don’t have the right power tool for the job. Say an operator has a 4.5-in. grinder with a single speed of 10,000 RPM. “To accommodate, you could drop the wire diameter down, just to give you a little more flexing,” Pavlek said. Of course, this isn’t ideal.

MSFS is a key factor, of course, and should be considered at the outset when matching a brush to a power tool. “If you have a 4.5-in. grinder, don’t automatically think that any 4.5-in. accessory will fit on it,” Gaspich said, “even if the brush will fit within the guard clearance.”

A 4-in.-diameter cup brush, for instance, may be rated at a slower MSFS (like 8,500 or 9,000 RPM), much slower than the maximum speed of a typical 4.5-in. angle grinder. At excessive RPMs, the wire brush filaments flare out, become less effective, and will break in short order. The excessive speed also puts tremendous strain on the filament, where it meets the edge of the cup, because of excessive flare. “That’s why knowing the RPMs on your grinder and the RPM rating on your brush is so important,” Gaspich said.

Pressure. No matter how perfect the brush choice or “tuned in” the speed, the brush won’t perform well under excessive pressure. According to sources, excessive pressure remains the most common cause of wire brush problems (see Figure 3).

“If people see that they’re not removing the material they need to remove, they feel the need to bear down and put a lot of pressure on the brush,” Gaspich said. “But it does the totally opposite of what they want. It makes the wires heat up, become fatigued, and prematurely break.”


As Mills described it, “You create a swiping action, and you no longer have the peening action to knock the burrs down.”

All this reduces the brush’s effectiveness, so again the operator bears down, and the power tool groans. A groaning power tool is probably the easiest telltale sign that an operator is bearing down too hard on a wire brush. Other signs include premature tool wear, bluing of the wires themselves (from the frictional heat buildup), and, of course, premature wire breakage.

“This creates a safety issue,” Mills said. “The wires can begin to break and become projectiles.”

Still, excessive pressure isn’t always about operator error or lack of training. In fact, an operator pushing harder might be a result of some other, larger causes. He may have the wrong brush or power tool for the job. “If you need to push with more than 10 pounds of pressure to get the job done,” Mills said, “you probably have the wrong brush for the job.”

Orientation. Similar problems arise with orienting the brush incorrectly. Operators usually hold brushes so they approach the workpiece at an angle (see Figure 4). In a cup orientation, the tips of the wires naturally flare up, so holding the brush at an angle helps ensure that the wires make full contact with the workpiece.

“The angle of approach really depends on the speed of the tool and the cup length being used,” Pavlek said. “Different brushes will flare out more or less depending on the wire size, trim length, and other factors.” For proper usage, he added, the operator really needs to look at how the brush tips flare. “Remember, the tips do the work.”

Certain brushes have rings, or bridles, that prevent the brush from flaring up as much, and are designed to create greater surface contact. “And if you want more contact,” Gaspich said, “you can use a double-row cup brush”—effectively, two rows of twist-knotted filaments, used for heavy-duty cleaning.

Similarly, the brush should travel in a direction that can effectively clean or deburr the material. “If the brush is rotating in the same direction as the burr, it’s just going to swipe the burr and not really knock anything off,” Mills said, adding that, for maximum effectiveness, the brush direction should travel perpendicular, and not parallel, to the burr direction.

Brushes sometimes can be reoriented to expose fresh wires. “As a brush wears, it becomes dull after being run continuously in the same direction,” Mills said. “Wheel brushes can be rotated 180 degrees to expose new, sharp tips.”

Time. Optimize the first three variables and the final variable—time—shortens dramatically. As sources explained, when it comes to finishing, time is everything. After all, no matter how quickly machines upstream—from laser cutting and punching to bending to robotic welding—churn out parts, a shop can complete a job only as fast as its constraint process. Quite often that constraint occurs in finishing.


Better brushes, better technique, better cleaning? ›

Choosing proper abrasives for aluminum

For pre-weld cleaning, such as removing corrosion or oxide from the workpiece, it's recommended to use a stainless steel wire brush. Wire brushes also eliminate concerns about product loading since there are no abrasive grains for the aluminum to stick to.

Is it OK to use wire brush on aluminum? ›

Choosing proper abrasives for aluminum

For pre-weld cleaning, such as removing corrosion or oxide from the workpiece, it's recommended to use a stainless steel wire brush. Wire brushes also eliminate concerns about product loading since there are no abrasive grains for the aluminum to stick to.

What kind of wire brush to use on aluminum? ›

Stainless Steel Scratch Brushes

It is the recommended stainless steel wire brush for welding when working with aluminum. Like carbon steel, stainless steel can cause sparks against some metals and is not recommended when that can become an issue. Stainless steel brushes are recommended for use with: Aluminum.

What is the most important factor for choosing the correct cleaning brush bristle size? ›

Bristle diameter – bristle diameter is important because using a brush with a short bristle in a larger lumen will result in lack of contact with the inside walls of the lumen, resulting in improper cleaning.

What should you not use on aluminum? ›

Lightweight aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, but it's also highly reactive with acidic foods such as tomatoes, vinegar, and citrus juice. Such items can cause aluminum to leach into food, imparting a metallic taste and leaving the cookware with a pitted surface.

Can you use a stainless steel brush to clean aluminum? ›


A stainless steel brush should be used on any type of stainless steel or aluminum. Using a carbon steel brush on those materials can cause contamination or after-rust and will require rework. It's also important to consider the size of the surface to be cleaned.

Can you leave brushes in Gamsol? ›

To extend the life and strength of your tools, don't leave them sitting in liquid during your paint session. Over time Gamsol will weaken the ferrule and any glue that holds the brush together. Wipe excess paint with a paper towel, then rinse and lay aside.

Should I soak my brush in mineral spirits? ›

For oil-based paints, stains and varnishes, soak the bristles in a cup of mineral spirits or paint thinner in a well-ventilated space for a few minutes. Swirl the bristles through the solution and then remove and lay the brush flat on a rag.

Can I clean aluminum with brass brush? ›

Brass bristles are easy on aluminum surfaces.

Why not to use aluminum wire? ›

Aluminum wiring is dangerous for numerous reasons — this material can frequently separate from the screws on electrical outlets, switches, or lights and create a poor connection that leads to the wire heating up. This abundance of heat can cause the aluminum to oxidize and potentially lead to an electrical fire.

How do I know if my brush is good quality? ›

Consider Quality

The bristles should vary in length, allowing the brush to come to a point for more detailed work. When shopping, run your hand over the brush and pull gently; you shouldn't find more than a couple of loose bristles.

What to look for when buying a brush? ›

It is important that you choose your brush based on the length and texture of your hair. If you have long and thin hair, a paddle brush or flat brush with boar bristles can work smoothly. For straight hair styles, a paddle brush is an ideal choice. For curly hair, most hair experts suggest using a brush sparsely.

Does WD 40 clean aluminum? ›

Step 1: Clean The Aluminum

Using WD-40 (or a degreaser, or paint thinner) on the sandpaper, helps to remove debris and grease build up. Household applications may only require dish soap or a water and vinegar solution to clean the surface. A stainless steel wire brush can be used on heavily corroded aluminum surface.

What is best for cleaning aluminum? ›

Vinegar is an effective resource to clean aluminum. Mix one part white vinegar with one part water to create an acidic solution. The solution can then be used in different ways depending on the object being cleaned. To clean and shine an exterior, dip a cloth into the mixture and scrub the object clean.

What is the best way to clean aluminum? ›

Mix one part of vinegar or lemon juice with one part of warm water in a bowl to create a cleaning solution. Next, dip a clean cloth into the mixture and use it to wipe down the aluminum. Be sure to scrub any areas that are particularly dirty or stained.

Can you use Windex to clean aluminum? ›

This easy clean comes in a blue bottle: Windex cleans all types of outdoor furniture, including aluminum, resin, plastic, and glass pieces. Just lightly mist the surface, let stand for a few minutes, and wipe clean.

Why can't you use CLR on aluminum? ›

CLR will take the finish off of aluminum and copper.

Can you use apple cider vinegar to clean aluminum? ›

Other common metals in the kitchen that you should keep away from vinegar include aluminum and copper. The best cleaning option is dishwashing liquid and warm water.

Can you use wd40 to clean paint brushes? ›

Once the brushes have been washed with water, put some WD-40 multi-use on the bristles and the ring nut. Then wipe clean to get rid of any paint and rust. If using natural bristle brushes, use WD-40 on the bristles to keep them from drying out after cleaning.

Is paint thinner better than mineral spirits for cleaning brushes? ›

For cleaning brushes, paint thinner is best since it's half the cost of mineral spirits and basically works the same. Other than the price, the differences between the two solvents are subtle: Both are petroleum products. Both can be used to thin oil-based paints and varnishes and to clean paintbrushes.

What is the difference between mineral spirits and Gamsol? ›

Gamsol is an excellent solvent for thinning Gamblin mediums and for general painting. It evaporates 100% and leaves no residue in paint layers. Gamsol is less toxic than other brands of OMS (Odorless Mineral Spirits), mineral spirits, or turpentine because the harmful aromatic solvent component has ...

Can Gamsol go down the sink? ›

NEVER pour solvents down the drain. This is not only illegal in most areas of the country, but also very unsafe and hazardous to the environment. You don't want solvents contaminating the ground water. Keep used solvents in a closed container and dispose of per your local government's instructions.

What is the difference between turpentine and Gamsol? ›

Gamsol evaporates evenly and completely without leaving behind any residue like turpentine can (sometimes) and it beautifully thins colours as well as mediums made by the wider Gamblin brand. Gamsol is also safer than turpentine as it does not emit so many vapours.

How long do you leave brushes in mineral spirits? ›

The brushes must soak overnight (cover the container on the left with foil in a well-ventilated area). If the paint isn't softened after 24 hours, let the brushes soak another day. You must suspend the brushes as shown or the bristles permanently bend as they soften and settle into the bottom of the jar.

What is the best solvent for cleaning oil paint brushes? ›

​Solvents, such as turpentine, paint thinner, and mineral spirits, are the most common brush cleaners for oil painters. All three options are incredibly effective, but they do have toxic properties. When using solvents to clean brushes, be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area.

What to do with mineral spirits after cleaning brush? ›

Take unwanted mineral spirits to your local household hazardous waste facility. Mineral spirits are classified as a type of hazardous waste. Many cities or counties offer a household hazardous waste facility for residents.

How do you make aluminum shine like new? ›

Simply combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply the mixture to the aluminum surface. Then use a soft cloth to wipe the surface clean. To increase the shine, you can also use a fine grain steel wool buffing pad to smooth the surface even further.

What makes aluminum look new again? ›

Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water in a bucket or use this ratio to make a larger amount, depending on what you are cleaning. Wet a cloth or non-abrasive pad in the vinegar-water mixture and then use it to clean the aluminum surface gently.

What is the fastest way to clean aluminum? ›

You can use regular dish soap and water for this. Use the soft cloth to scrub the dirt and build-up that has occurred over the years. 2. Give it a quick rinse to see if you've gotten all the gunk out.

What is a degreaser for cleaning aluminum? ›

BONDERITE ® aluminum degreasers are developed specifically for the removal of contaminates such as oils, magnesium oxide and polishing pastes. BONDERITE ® degreasers are borate and silicate-free and suitable for high gloss aluminum, such as for ultrasounds.

Does cream of tartar clean aluminum? ›

To remove stains and discoloration from aluminum cookware, create a solution of 2-3 tablespoons cream of tartar, lemon juice, or vinegar per 1 quart of water and bring it to a boil. Soak your aluminum cookware in the solution for about ten minutes, and then use a soapy scouring pad to gently remove the stains.

What year did they stop using aluminum wire? ›

In 1972, the formula for aluminum wiring changed, making it a much safer product. Aluminum wiring was used in single family homes for a few years after that, but was completely phased out by the mid-'70s.

Is it against code to have aluminum wiring? ›

Despite some misconceptions, having aluminum wiring is not illegal. Nor is it a reason to panic. Important facts to note include the aluminum can expand more than copper due to strong electrical currents. As a result, the aluminum can push on the terminal screws and loosen connections.

Why use copper over aluminum wire? ›

Copper is the preferred wiring for your home over aluminum because of its ease of use and ability to effectively conduct electricity. It is more stable, durable, and performs better than aluminum wires. Copper is known to have better Conductivity than Aluminium.

Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean my brushes? ›

If a brush is entirely caked in foundation or a sponge is soaked in silicones and oils, on the other hand, Surratt says that Dawn dish soap “works wonders” for degreasing.

Does rubbing alcohol clean brushes? ›

The Isopropyl Alcohol acts an instant brush refresher to kill the bacteria and disinfect the brush. When cleaning brushes we recommend using a 70% grade so it is not harsh on the skin. Pour the Isopropyl Alcohol into a small bowl. Dip the brush into the bowl, and move it around for about 10 to 20 seconds.

Does hydrogen peroxide clean brushes? ›

To keep brushes and tools nice and clean, disinfect them every so often with a 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Let them soak in this solution for about five minutes before rinsing clean.

Are more expensive brushes worth it? ›

When you have a quality brush, it's going to stand the test of time.” According to Cristina B., a stylist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City, an expensive brush is “made with better, with quality materials and lasts longer. I've had some of my $150 brushes for about five years!”

Are more expensive brushes better? ›

Cheap brushes don't work as well because they're less durable and need to be replaced more often. Marcia Williams, founder of Embellish Beauty, also prefers pricier brushes. However, she tells me that Real Techniques brushes are good and won't break the bank.

Is it better to dry brush or wet brush? ›

Dry exfoliating is considered to have more benefits because the removal of dirt and dead cells is more efficient when the skin is dry. Water pumps up the skin, which makes wet brushing a bit less effective.

How often should you buy a new brush? ›

How often you should replace your hairbrush can vary depending on the type of brush and how you care for it, but a general rule of thumb is about every six months. You can tell it's time to say goodbye by inspecting your brush when you clean it each month.

Why are boar bristle brushes good? ›

A boar bristle brush gently removes dead hair strands without pulling or breaking. The bristles close the hair cuticle to create greater shine by reflecting the light that shines upon strands. The brushes don't tear or split hair.

Can you use a brass wire brush on aluminum? ›

Brass bristles are easy on aluminum surfaces.

Can you use a wire brush on metal? ›

Wire brush applications and benefits

Wire brushes are a good choice for a wide variety of applications. They can be used on many different materials but are most often used to prepare, clean and finish metal surfaces and parts.

What can I use to clean aluminum wire? ›

Vinegar. Vinegar is an effective resource to clean aluminum. Mix one part white vinegar with one part water to create an acidic solution.

How do you clean and polish brushed aluminum? ›

Never use abrasive cleaners, like bleach or oven cleaners, on brushed aluminum. Spray a multi-purpose kitchen or window cleaner on the surface and wipe it off with a dry towel. Apply metal polish by hand. To shine your brushed aluminum and protect the finish, use a metal polish.

What is the difference between steel wire brush and brass wire brush? ›

Brass brushes are softer and so won't scratch some grill types, such as cast iron ones. They're a softer brush, which does mean they'll wear out quicker. Steel brushes on the other hand can be used to lower cleaning times and clean hardier grills, such as stainless steel grills.

How do you protect brushed aluminum? ›

How to Protect Aluminum From Fading, Oxidation and Corrosion
  1. For architectural , painted or anodized aluminum, use Everbrite Coating.
  2. For automotive, marine, and highly polished aluminum, use ProtectaClear.
  3. For aluminum that needs antimicrobial protection like railings, use CrobialCoat.

What grit to brush aluminum? ›

In most cases, a 320-grit abrasive will do the trick, but if you're dealing with deep pits or gouges, you may need to go with a lower grit in the 180 to 250 range. Use progressively finer sandpaper as imperfections are cleared away and the aluminum surface prepared for polishing.

What is the best brush for rust removal? ›

A brass wire brush can clean rust off almost any type of metal. For iron and carbon steel tools and surfaces, you can use a carbon steel wire brush. On the other hand, stainless steel wire brushes work well on aluminum, copper, brass, and stainless steel surfaces.

What is a gold wire brush used for? ›

Used for removing rust, scale, and paint also cleaning and preparing of metal surfaces. Also for removing weld scale, rust burrs and spatter.

What type of brush is used to clean metal parts? ›

A wire brush is an abrasive tool that has stiff filaments made from a variety of rigid materials designed to clean and prepare metal surfaces.

What is the rule 12 118? ›

OESC Rule 12-118 1) states that adequate precaution shall be given to the termination and splicing of aluminum conductors, including the removal of insulation, the cleaning of the bared conductor and the compatibility and installation of fittings.

What is the best solvent for cleaning aluminum? ›

Acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, lacquer thinner, and toluene all make good solvents.

How do you make aluminum look new? ›

Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water in a bucket or use this ratio to make a larger amount, depending on what you are cleaning. Wet a cloth or non-abrasive pad in the vinegar-water mixture and then use it to clean the aluminum surface gently.


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