How to Properly Polish Metal Window Trim

What You'll Need
Aluminum cleaner
Lemon juice
Baking soda
SOS pads
W-D 40
Steel wool
Paint thinner
Castrol Super Clean

Over time, unpainted metal window trim can become grimy, dusty, dirty or rusted. Without the proper attention and care a mental window trim will look worn. In order to prevent this unsightly condition from happening, periodically polishing the metal trim around your windows is a great idea. The entire process is relatively quick and painless.

Step 1: Rinse and Dry Area Thoroughly

First, mix a solution of water and strong detergent. Thoroughly wash and rinse the area you will be working on. After cleaning the window trim, dry the area completely with a dry cloth. In order to remove grease spots, you will need a special cleaner that is designed to be used on aluminum, such as aluminum jelly. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the product packaging to eliminate all grease spots on the metal window trim.

Step 3: Apply Homemade Cleaning Solutions

For this next step, you will be creating two homemade cleaning solutions from common household ingredients. Mix a solution of ½ cup vinegar, ½ cup baking soda and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution into window tracks and allow a few minutes for cleaning solution to set in. After waiting for a few minutes, wipe dry with a clean cloth. 

Next, you will need to create a paste out of ¼ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of lemon juice. Mix the two ingredients until you have a smooth paste to work with. Then, apply the paste solution to the window trim and allow a few minutes for it to set. After waiting for several minutes, wipe the solution off of the window trim with a damp sponge. Next, use a dry cloth to make sure all of the cleaning solution has been removed and that the area is completely dry.

Step 4: Apply Commercial Cleaning Solution

Purchase a bottle of Castrol Super Clean from your local home improvement store. Although this should be a safe and effective product to use on virtually any metal window trim, apply a small amount of the product to a corner of the trim first, just to make sure no discoloration occurs. After testing the product, apply a small amount to a clean cloth and spread it evenly across the metal window trim. 

Step 5: Scrub Window Trim

Next, you will need to scrub the metal trim with a slightly dampened SOS pad. Avoid using a Brillo pad for this step because this may cause scratching along the trim. After thoroughly rubbing the trim, rinse and dry the area once again.

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Finally, spray WD-40 on the window trim and wipe dry with a clean cloth. If any particularly tough stains remain after this process is complete, you can try using paint thinner and fine grit steel wool to remove these stains. Be careful, however, and use this technique only as a last resort because scratching can easily occur if you rub too hard with steel wool.