How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

My water pump back gasket blew in 3 spots spewing the entire contents of the cooling system allover the entire engine compartment, out the cowl and up over the windshield, all over the wheels and basically covered the entire car top and bottom. Had to get towed home and finally washed it entire car about 6 hours later which happened to be about 1am - neighbor must have hated me that night! The paint and chrome washed off fine, but the brand new aluminum valve covers I just got along with the C&R Racing Rad and riddled with water droplet stains and run marks. The wheels look ok except where the hot antrfreeze pooled on the bottom of the barrels. Tried cleaning with First Kleen thinking it was polishing residue, then even tried Mother's polish - polished the aluminum elsewhere, but where the spots were did nothing. Even tried paint correction compound. Suggestions?

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 19, 09:20 AM
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

00 steel wool then mothers and rub and wipe and rub and wipe etc
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

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Originally Posted by flat tire View Post
00 steel wool then mothers and rub and wipe and rub and wipe etc
Thanks will try this next. Found online that WD-40 may work as well - gonna pick up a can tonight and give that a go before breaking out the steel wool

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 06:13 AM
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

Yes, use WD40 with the 0000 wool using it as a lube.
Alcoa makes/markets an excellent alum polish.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 11th, 19, 06:19 AM
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

Antifreeze is nasty stuff. Nothing I know of will lift it off the surface so it can be washed away. I sure you noticed that it was next to impossible to clean your windshield. You wipe and wipe and all you do is just move the antifreeze around on the glass.

Mr. Greg, you used Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish and it would not remove the stain. That polish is a very mild abrasive. That tells me the antifreeze etched the aluminum. You are going to have to remove a thin layer of aluminum to remove the stain. You are going to have to polish the metal with a more aggressive material.

I hate to tell you this but you are going to need a buffing wheel and the appropriate polishing compound for the buffing wheel and aluminum. You can buy little buffing wheels that will fit on your drill motor.

Below is link to an Eastwood kit:
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-buffing-kit.html

You can also buy buffing wheels and compound at Harbor Freight.

I hope a later post on this thread will have a better way to fix the stains. I would love to know an easier way.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 19, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

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Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Yes, use WD40 with the 0000 wool using it as a lube.
Alcoa makes/markets an excellent alum polish.
Definitely trying this 1st - thought I would have had time but during the week is tough when work 12-13 hour days - will have to wait til Sunday to tackle it. The company that Made my custom valve covers called me back last night and told me to soak a MF rag in WD-40 and wipe down the covers, buff off what I could with a clean cloth and then follow up with acetone

Quote:
Originally Posted by tp_smith View Post
Antifreeze is nasty stuff. Nothing I know of will lift it off the surface so it can be washed away. I sure you noticed that it was next to impossible to clean your windshield. You wipe and wipe and all you do is just move the antifreeze around on the glass.

Mr. Greg, you used Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish and it would not remove the stain. That polish is a very mild abrasive. That tells me the antifreeze etched the aluminum. You are going to have to remove a thin layer of aluminum to remove the stain. You are going to have to polish the metal with a more aggressive material.

I hate to tell you this but you are going to need a buffing wheel and the appropriate polishing compound for the buffing wheel and aluminum. You can buy little buffing wheels that will fit on your drill motor.

Below is link to an Eastwood kit:
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-buffing-kit.html

You can also buy buffing wheels and compound at Harbor Freight.

I hope a later post on this thread will have a better way to fix the stains. I would love to know an easier way.
Actually I did the unthinkable when it comes to washing a car - I went old school and used Dawn Ultra. I know it stripped off all the wax etc, but I wanted to make sure all the contaminates were off. The entire engine compartment and undercarriage I used First Kleen which worked amazing to clean up the "greasy, smeary" anti-freeze on the painted surfaces. Soaked a rag wiped, dried and it was perfect with no residue. Even worked amazing on the underside of the hood where it mostly got "baked" on.
Will keep you all posted on the outcome.

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 19, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

So I didn't get much garage time yesterday, but I did get to try the WD-40. Worked on the valve covers and radiator to remove all the spotting. Did nothing on the radiator where it ran down the sides and dried. Cleaned off the wheels pretty good and left ghost rings where the heavy spot was at the bottom of the wheel. Didn't have time to try polish afterward before braking out the steel wool. As said in Jamie voice Mythbusters style - WD-40 cleaning aluminum is Plausible lol

'68 Camaro with RS conversion
Moser 9" with 4:11
Martz Chassis 4-link and Front Sub-frame
Tremec T-56 Magnum 6 speed
572 BB - CM Engines
Wilwood 6 piston front and 4 piston rear disc
pittpens24 is online now  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 19, 10:28 AM
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Re: How do you get antifreeze stains off of aluminum?

Try Blue Magic Metal Polish. It is for aluminum also
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