How to Clean an Aluminum Fence

Not only will an aluminum fence give an outdoor space a clean, modern look, it's easy to clean and maintain. Since aluminum fences are rust proof and moisture resistant, they're ideal for use around swimming pools and hot tubs and in humid climates. Although the durable fences are simple to care for, you'll still need to clean them every once in a while so they look their best and last as long as possible. 

Tips for Cleaning an Aluminum Fence

1. General Maintenance 

If you live near an ocean, rinse the aluminum fence off with plain water from a hose to remove any salt residue, which could cause the metal to corrode over time. Rinsing the fence will also get rid of any unsightly dirt or grime before it has a chance to build up. 

For a more thorough cleaning, mix a mild detergent, such as dish soap, with warm water. Dip a clean, soft sponge or cloth into the soapy solution and rub it over the fence to remove dirt and grime. You may need to go over any especially dirty areas a few times to remove it all. If the aluminum fence is "powder-coated" as many are, you may notice a white chalky powder on the surface every once in a while. Cleaning the metal with the soapy water will also remove this coating.

After washing the fence, rinse the soap off with a hose. If you don't have one, you can dip another sponge or cloth into plain water and rub it over the fence, rinsing as needed until all soap is gone.

2. Waxing the Fence

You can apply car paste wax to your aluminum fence to give it an attractive shine as well as protect it from natural elements, such as salt water and rain. Test a small, inconspicuous area of the fence before using the wax to see how it reacts. 

Apply a small amount of wax to a soft sponge or cloth and rub it over the fence, allowing it to dry per the manufacturer's instructions. Not only will the wax add sheen, it will also restore the aluminum fence to its natural hue as the metal can discolor and darken over time. 

3. Cleaning Products to Avoid

Even though aluminum is a hardy metal, you'll still need to avoid using certain products on it. Don't use any cleaners featuring harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia, or solvents, which can damage the metal.

Also, don't use abrasive cleaning materials, including steel wool or rough-textured scrubbing pads, when cleaning the fence.