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Old 09-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #1
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Anodized aluminum and baby oil?

So, I'm in the office at the rv park today and one of the tent campers starts talking to my about my Streamline. Seems he's a fellow vintage kin aficionado. He's had three or four Avions and we commiserate about rotted floors, etc.

Then, he asks me if I would like to know a trick about polishing my trailer? We have the whole "it's anodized" conversation...he's very aware of that....and he tells me about using baby oil on the outer skin. Claims it shines it to a nice gleam and removes the "chalkiness" weathering causes.

Takes minutes. Does have to be reapplied. But, metal does absorb oil....so there is some sense in this I'm thinking?

Anyone have any experience using baby oil on their anodized aluminum trailer?

Julianne
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:14 PM   #2
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Curious so I Googled this. Ran across a thread in a boating forum where a guy was trying (unsuccessfully) to polish anodized aluminum.. he said

"Use "Baby Oil", it was recommended to me by the guys at Gere Marine who make the towers for MC."

Same on a car forum and an aluminum furniture forum.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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Oddly enough, he showed me what it would look like with a drop - and I do mean a drop - of motor oil from my truck. He also said transmission fluid would get the same results (but isn't nearly as friendly to the environment).

With that drop of oil (off the dipstick) on a paper towel, the results were startling. But, it seemed odd. Glad to know it's at least been heard of....guess I'll buy some baby oil.

Who'd a thunk?

Julianne
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:27 PM   #4
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I once saw a guy take a big can of mechanics' hand cleaner and use it on a blue 1970's Chevy pickup that's paint was getting chalky. It looked great afterward.

Don't know how long it lasted, though. He sold it immediately.

Most hand cleaners contain lanolin, so the effect would be the same as other oils. Of course, hand cleaner would also clean the surface at the same time.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:06 PM   #5
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I may have a crazier idea than baby oil. Has anyone tried Pledge? The reason I ask is that I have a painted front wood deck that the sprinklers spray water on. When it evaporates it leaves a white film that I assume is deposited minerals. I spray it with Pledge, wipe it off, and the film disappears leaving a nice shine.

Poppy

P.S. Don't ever paint a deck.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:06 PM   #6
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I think I would use plain mineral oil unless you want your trailer to smell like lavender!

When aluminum is anodized it forms a thick layer of aluminum oxide. This layer is porous, which allows it to be dyed with organic dyes, giving you your choice of colors.

Oil fills the porosity, brightening the surface. I suspect wax would also work well, and last longer. But I haven't tried it.
.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #7
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Question: isn't the anodizing from micro fractures?

If so, that leads me towards the wax .... But, then you get into the issue of - hard or soft waxes....buffing....etc.

Gotta admit, I really do like the idea of swipe and go.

Not adverse to hard work - just have so much other things to work on!

Roof leaks
Ants
Water heater
Black water tank
My list never endeth...
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:35 AM   #8
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I just reread what I wrote. Gosh, I'm tired....I didn't mean the anodizing itself being caused by micro fractures. I actually meant the chalkiness.

Does that make more sense to anyone?

I'm almost willing to pay for an exterminator at this point to get rid of the ants....just so I can sleep peacefully in my bed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:12 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

WDforty.... if it's stuck and don't shine, duct tape if it's loose and does.

Bob
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:13 AM   #10
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The ants like wet wood, get rid of the wet wood and I bet the ants leave.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:25 AM   #11
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Okay, knew termites did - didn't know that about ants.

Roof work begins today so that ought to help.

The morning dew is very heavy this morning. The one patch of aluminum hit with oil yesterday is shedding the dew and looks pealized compared to what's chalky around it. I actually like the soft look of it.

I'll keep watch on how it holds up.

Julianne
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:04 AM   #12
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Do a search on my screen name as we've covered some of this (exteriior skin appearance) in the past. A dealer "recipe" is one way of instant spruce-up. Anodized TT's weren't perfect even new. Walking the dealer lot in the 1970s showed variations TT to TT. But the units had well-matched panels. One wouldn't have chosen, say, a particular 28' from among others on this.

Now it is more a question of climate and storage results over a few decades.

My list never endeth...

Why we have a number of them. Progress, as was said, not "perfection". Safety first, reliability second and cosmetics last . . . but past a threshold we can move between the latter two per our satisfaction.

You've made enormous strides, so let the mind take some ease after these latest bits are solved.
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:22 AM   #13
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I have used WD-40 and it works. Got rid of the chalkiness but only lasts 3-4 days.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:36 AM   #14
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Pledge and WD work on my stainless front protectors! I can imagine that any "oil" based product would do the same.
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