Aluminum car components often require a polish to restore lost shine as well as to clean tough dirt, tarnish and oxidation. Luckily, there are plenty of aluminum polishes on the market that are dedicated for automotive use and can also be applied straight onto the metal surface by hand or power tool.
If you require a quick answer, the best aluminum polish is the Mothers Mag and Aluminum, which is strong enough to restore even the most neglected of metal surfaces. However, if you want to use a dedicated aluminum polish, the Autosol Tube is the best alternative.
In order to rate the aluminum polishes within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing, hours of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included their effectiveness, compatibility, protective qualities, ease of application, formulation and value for money.
Table of Contents
Aluminum Polish Comparison
|Zephyr SXX Super Shine
|Aircraft Tool Supply P100 Ultra
|Blue Magic 400
Certain metals require different polishes to remove oxidation and other defects. For example, a chrome polish will be too weak for polishing aluminum surfaces such as wheels due to the fact that chrome is a softer metal.
Below is a list of the best aluminum polishes that easily clean, protect and remove defects such as oxidation and dullness from aluminum surfaces.
The Best Aluminum Polish
1. Mothers Mag And Aluminum Polish
By far the most popular aluminum polish is the Mothers Mag & Alumnium Polish. They claim that their secret polishing formula is easy to use and is strong enough to restore even the most neglected of metals. From aluminum wheels to stainless steel, this formula is able to restore the surface back to its original form.
Other features of the Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish include:
- Can be used for headlight restoration
- Gentle enough for regular usage
- Can be applied by hand or using a polisher tool
- Suitable for a range of automotive metals
- Cream polish as opposed to paste
Compared to the alternatives, the Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish does come with a premium price tag. However, the results that you can achieve and the variety of applications it can be used for makes it a worthwhile investment that won’t disappoint.Check it Out
2. Autosol Aluminum Polish Tube
Autosol produce a wide range of metal polishes but this polish is specifically designed for aluminum surfaces. We have been using this with great success on wheels (as shown in the main photo above) and it leaves an excellent shine every time.
Features of the Autosol Aluminum Polish include:
- Cleans and polishes uncoated aluminum surfaces
- Ammonia-free formula
- No scratches or hazing after application
- Made in Germany
- 75 ml of high concentrate polish
- Used by NASA
In terms of the application, Autosol state that it’s as simple as rubbing the polish in a circular motion with a soft cloth. Once the formula turns into a black residue, it’s then ready to be removed with a clean microfiber cloth.
We used this as an aluminum wheel polish but it can be used on a range of different applications too. For peace of mind, the brand have been producing various metal polishes since 1929 and we’ve had excellent results after using it upon oxidized wheels.Check it Out
3. Busch 44016 Aluminum Cleaner and Polish
The Busch Aluminum polish is designed for uncoated surfaces and it’s available in a large 16 oz bottle for large applications. For people that drive large semi trucks, the way the formula spreads and removes with ease is highly desirable. The brand even states that this polish is suited to RV’s, big trucks and pick-ups too.
Other features of the Busch 44016 Aluminum Cleaner and Polish include:
- Cuts through even the toughest of oxidation
- Black residue is easily wiped off
- Transform dull aluminum to a showroom shine
- Thin formula allows for easy application
- Application by hand or buffer
Overall, the Busch 44016 is the best aluminum polish for semi trucks that require an easy to use and wipe clear formula. If you are a member on any trucker communities, you will notice that this is the most talked about aluminum polish on the market and for good reason too.Check it Out
4. Zephyr SXX Super Shine Aluminum Wheel Polish
For tackling tough aluminum surfaces such as wheels, opting for a complete kit is the best option. The Zephyr SXX Super Shine is exactly that and it includes 3 buffing wheels, 3 rouge bars, 1 safety flange and the polish.
Other features of the Zephyr SXX Super Shine include:
- Complete kit
- 16 oz bottle of polish
- 3 buffing wheels to best match the surface
- Ideal for polishing aluminum wheels
- Professional results each time
- Optional Signature Series available (additional components)
Although expensive, the Zephyr SXX Super Shine is the best aluminum wheel polish formula that comes with everything you require out of the box. When used correctly, you are able to achieve professional results with just a single application of the polish.Check it Out
5. Aircraft Tool Supply P100 Ultra Polish
When a product is used within the aviation industry, you know that it has been thoroughly tested. Considering that this aluminum polish has been manufactured by Aircraft Tool Supply, you can rest assure that it’s going to work well for most automotive aluminum surfaces.
Features of the Aircraft Tool Supply P100 Ultra Polish include:
- Environmentally safe formula
- Cleans, polishes and protects in one application
- Suitable for a range of other metal surfaces
- Non abrasive, non-toxic and non-flammable
- Remove and protects against oxidation
- Long lasting and maintains luster
The Aircraft Tool Supply’s polish for aluminum is a great all-rounder that offers excellent value for money. The brand claim that it’s most effective when removing accumulated dirt and stains found on anodized aluminum.Check it Out
6. Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream
The Blue Magic polish is suitable for a variety of metals and it’s one of the most rated worldwide. It works especially well for chrome, aluminum and mag wheels that have heavy oxidation and tarnish and requires a stronger formula for removal.
Features of the Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream include:
- Non abrasive but include ammonia
- Long lasting protective coating
- Application by hand or polisher
- Suited to a range of metal
- Extra shine compared to some alternatives
Although it’s not a dedicated aluminum polish, it still works wonders and cleans, shines and protects all in one application. If you have multiple types of metal that require polishing, the Blue Magic formula is the best option.Check it Out
Aluminum Polish Buying Guide
Aluminum is found on most vehicles and it requires regular maintenance to keep it in excellent condition. Neglecting it can result in oxidation, tarnishing and other defects that can ruin the aluminum’s aesthetics.
Most aluminum polishes are concentrated formulas that are designed to be rubbed into the surface. They are also available in small bottles or tubes but it’s important to note that a small amount can go along way.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we’ve produced the below guide regarding aluminum polishes.
Best Way To Polish Aluminum
Regular polishing of your aluminum is the best way to ensure it remains shiny and defect-free. Due to the softness of the metal, it can be fairly easy to bring back to its original shine. Depending upon the severity of the defects upon your aluminum surface, you may require a small amount of sanding.
Below are the steps for polishing automotive aluminum:
- Use a car pressure washer to blast off all debris.
- Thoroughly clean the surface with soap.
- Sand down areas where defects remain.
- Apply aluminum polish to the work area.
- Wipe off the residue and analyze the surface
- Repeat until you achieve the desired finish.
With regards to sanding, it’s not always required but it’s more for surfaces with heavy oxidation and defects. Whilst polishing, you may even notice that the cloth turns black but this is as expected. Without going into too much detail, the black residue is aluminum oxide that’s removed during polishing.
Of course, there are many different types of aluminum components to your vehicle and you will want to apply the polish appropriately. If you are fully refurbishing wheels, this Mobil 1 tutorial goes into great detail on how to properly restore aluminum wheels.
Paste vs Liquid vs Cream
The three main types of aluminum polish include paste, liquid and cream and many people have their own personal preference to each type. For larger vehicles such as semi trucks, choosing a liquid or cream formula allows you to easily spread the polish more evenly and quickly.
For smaller surfaces, using a paste allows you to tackle direct areas that require a stronger formula. The cream alternative is the best of both formulas and is by far the most popular polish for ease of application.
Many premium aluminum polishes come with the added benefit of leaving a protective coating after application. This helps extend the long lasting shine and all the hard work after you’ve rubbed the polish into the surface.
Depending upon the type of surface, you can use a protective car wax to ensure the shiny finish is long lasting. If you have polished the wheels, you can also use a suitable wheel sealant that’s designed to withstand brake dust and other elements.
Investing into a quality aluminum polish will help you to restore the original finish to aluminum components without having to replace it altogether. Aluminum requires a lot of maintenance to keep up with the shiny appearance but due to the softness the metal, it can be easily restored.
All of our recommendations cover a range of polishes that are suited for all surfaces, wheels and even semi trucks. With regular cleaning and polishing, you can easily keep your aluminum in showroom condition.