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Aluminum Wheel Polish

The Best Aluminum Polish 2020

Using an aluminum polish will clean away tough dirt, tarnish and oxidation with a single application. Most can be rubbed into the metal surface by hand but also by using a polishing tool 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 will eventually begin to lose its shine overtime but using a suitable polish can help bring the surface back to its original form. It will also reduce oxidation and tarnish that will result in a showroom finish with very little effort required.

Best Aluminum Polish Compound

Aluminum PolishMetalsSize
Mothers 05101Multiple10 oz
Autosol TubeAluminum Only2.6 oz
Busch 44016Aluminum Only16 oz
ATS Met-AllAluminum Only16 oz
Blue Magic 400Multiple7 oz

Certain metals require a different type of polish to fully remove the oxidation and other defects safely. For example, using a chrome polish will be too weak due to chrome being a softer metal compared to aluminum, which may require a stronger polish.

For this reason, you should ensure that the polish is suitable for aluminum for the best results. Below is a list of the best aluminum polishes that will easily clean, protect and remove defects such as oxidation and dullness from aluminum surfaces.

Mothers Mag And Aluminum Polish

By far the most popular aluminum polish is by Mothers, who are a reputable detailing brand. They claim that their secret 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 And 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.

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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 is 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 had excellent results after using it on oxidized wheels.

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Busch 44016 Aluminum Cleaner and Polish

The Busch Aluminum polish is designed for uncoated surfaces and is available in a much larger 16 oz bottle for bigger applications. People that drive large semi trucks will appreciate how the formula spreads and the ease of removal. The brand even states that this polish is suited to RV’s, big trucks and pick-ups.

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 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.

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Aircraft Tool Supply Aluminum 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.

Features of the Aircraft Tool Supply Aluminum Polish includes:

  • 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

Overall, the Aircraft Tool Supply’s polish for aluminum is a great all-rounder that offers excellent value for money. The brand claim that it is most effective when removing accumulated dirt and stains found on anodized aluminum.

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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 is 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 to 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 buying guide regarding aluminum polish.

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 shine once it has started to face. By using any of the polishes above, you can restore the shine with ease.

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 is not always required for most surfaces but more for those 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 is 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 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 will allow you to easily spread the polish more evenly. This is desirable as you will be working on much larger surfaces and working the more concentrated paste polish would take much more time.

For smaller surfaces, using the paste alternative will allow 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.


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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