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The Best Aluminum Polish 2020

Aluminum Wheel Polish

Using an aluminum polish allows you to clean tough dirt, tarnish and oxidation with a single application. Most can be rubbed straight onto the metal surface by hand but also by using a polishing tool or drill attachment for a more thorough job.

The best aluminum polish is the Mothers Mag and Aluminum, which is strong enough to restore even the most neglected of surfaces.

Aluminum eventually begins to lose its shine overtime but using a suitable polish can help bring the surface back to its original form. It also reduces oxidation and tarnish which can result in a showroom finish with very little effort required.

Aluminum Polish Comparison

Aluminum PolishMetalsSize
Mothers 05101Multiple10 oz
Autosol TubeAluminum Only2.6 oz
Busch 44016Aluminum Only16 oz
Zephyr SXX Super ShineAluminum Only16 oz
Aircraft Tool Supply P100 UltraAluminum Only16 oz
Blue Magic 400Multiple7 oz

Certain metals require different types of polishing formulas to fully remove the oxidation and other defects safely. 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

Mothers Mag And Aluminum PolishBy far the most popular aluminum polish is by the Mothers brand, who are highly reputable in the detailing industry. They claim that their secret polishing formula is easy to use and is strong enough to restore even the most neglected 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.

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2. Autosol Aluminum Polish Tube

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) and it leaves an excellent shine.

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. 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.

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3. Busch 44016 Aluminum Cleaner and Polish

Busch 44016 Aluminum Cleaner and Polish
The Busch Aluminum polish is designed for uncoated surfaces and is available in a large 16 oz bottle for big 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.

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, it’s 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.

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4. Zephyr SXX Super Shine Aluminum Wheel Polish

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 include 3 buffing wheels, 3 roughe bars, safety flange and the aluminum 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.

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5. Aircraft Tool Supply P100 Ultra Polish

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.

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6. Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream

Blue Magic Metal Polish Cream
The Blue Magic polish is suited for a wide variety of metals and is one of the most rated worldwide. It works especially well for chrome, aluminum and mag wheels that have heavy oxidation and tarnish that require 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.

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Aluminum Polish Buying Guide

Aluminum is found on most vehicles on the road and requires regular maintenance to keep it in excellent condition. Neglecting the surface can result in oxidation, tarnishing and other defects that begin to ruin the aluminum aesthetics.

Most aluminum polishes are concentrated formulas that are designed to be rubbed into the defective surface. Most are available in small bottles or tubes but a small amount of the polish can go along way.

In order to help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding aluminum polishes.

Best Way To Polish Aluminum

Regular polishing of your aluminum is the best way to ensure the part remains shiny and defect-free. Due to the softness of the metal, it can be fairly easy to bring back to it’s 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:

  1. Use a car pressure washer to blast off all debris.
  2. Thoroughly clean the surface with soap.
  3. Sand down areas where defects remain.
  4. Apply aluminum polish to the work area.
  5. Wipe off the residue and analyze the surface
  6. 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 into properly restoring aluminum wheels.

Paste vs Liquid vs Cream

Three main types of aluminum polishes include paste, liquid and cream with many people having a preference to each type. For larger vehicles such as semi trucks, choosing a liquid or cream allows you to easily spread the polish more evenly.

For smaller surfaces, using the paste alternative allows you to tackle more direct areas that requires a stronger formula. The cream alternative is the best of both worlds and is by far the most popular polish for ease of application.

aluminum wheel polish

Additional Protection

Some of the more premium aluminum polishes come with the added benefit of leaving a protective coating after application. This helps extend the long lasting shine and all your hard work after you have 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 use a suitable wheel sealant that is designed to withstand brake dust and other elements.

Conclusion

Investing into a quality aluminum polish will help restore the original finish without having to replace the component. 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.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always like to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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