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Old 04-16-2003, 01:49 PM   #1
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Question propane cylinders need cleaning

I never thought our name and "how to clean aluminium" would appear in the same post. Makes me feel really weird.

OK. here it goes:

the propane cylinders on our 1990 are a bit scuzzy. Pretty vague? That's all I can get out of Mike. He has washed them with Super Clean, but they still need a bit more.

We do not intend to give them a mirror polish. We are just looking for something to use that will do the job in no more than 15 minutes.
Sorry if we are going to be ostracized from the "Polish & Shine Club".

Has any of you spent no more than 15 minutes cleaning aluminium?

If so, we would like to hear from you.

Thank you
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Old 04-16-2003, 03:13 PM   #2
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We tried a couple of aluminum-wheel liquid-type cleaners as a "test" on some portions of our trailer prior to starting to do our polish. These would be appropriate for a "better, but not mirror" finish on your tanks. The one we found that worked really well is "Goose's" but I'm not sure if it is a nationally distributed product. I'd check at an auto supply store for a similar product....good luck!

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Old 04-16-2003, 03:46 PM   #3
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Tomorrow is our monthly trip to the "big" city. We'll look for that.
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:00 PM   #4
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On one of my trailers I used the Dri-Wash stufff on the tanks and it gave them close to a mirror shine with very little work. You would need to find a rep. as I don't think it will be on the shelp at Wally World
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Old 04-16-2003, 04:07 PM   #5
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If you are wanting to maintain the "brushed" look, try using a green scotchbrite pad and soapy water. Scrub with the existing "grain" of the tanks.

It should leave the finish smooth with a little shine.

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Old 04-16-2003, 08:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips.

In the end, I think we'll go for the scotchbrite pad, as it is the easiest to obtain. We were afraid to "scar" the finish, but I think it does not have any finish,
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Old 04-17-2003, 11:52 AM   #7
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If you want a quick and easy way to clean them go to your local truck stop and get some dilutable aluminum cleaner. Yes, it is an acid but will smoke them clean in no time and then just hose them off. The tanks are pretty thick and durable so as long as you are sure to rinse them well when done it won't hurt them. Keep it away from the valves. I used it on mine and it gave them a curious silver frosty look, a good basis for my Cyclo and Nuvite project which I am currently losing interest in.

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Old 04-17-2003, 06:11 PM   #8
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I had read about your trying acid on your tanks, and we were waiting for feed back on that before trying it ourselves.
The part that slowed us down was the "curious silver frosty look". Like in pitted aluminium? Our 4 1970's bottles have what Mike describes to me as "lacy look of a crystal lattice" (?) (what ever that means). Is it what you mean too?

Talking about meaning: your "Cyclo and Nuvite project" ? Is it some kind of a code ? Are you talking in tongue? : no idea what you are talking about, but it sounds interesting.
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Old 04-19-2003, 09:07 PM   #9
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He must have a dual head Cyclo orbital polisher which is needed to give that Airstream a great shine (unless you have gorilla arms). Nuvite has a number of grades of polish (as well as Rolite polish) to bring out that mirror shine we all dream about. My Cyclo came in last week as well as the Rolite polish. I'm just waiting to find the time to get down and dirty to get the mirror shine.

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Old 04-19-2003, 09:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the clarification.

We were a bit confused by all these new words (for us). As you may have guessed, buffing and polishing is not too high on our list.

With 3 AS, we wouldn't know where too start. So, in doubt, we just clean the bottles and leave it at that.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
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I know this is an old post being moved to the top again, but so far in my reading no one has mentioned a product I use to clean and shine aluminum.

For quick removal of aluminum tarnish try Bar Keeper's Friend. It's a polishing powder like Bon Ami. You can find it at supermarkets and hardware stores. It's also available at:

You won't get a mirror finish, but it will look much better than before. I use it with a small scrub brush. It may take a couple of applications to clean up a tarnished aluminum LP bottle. I'll be able to tell you for sure in a couple of weeks, after I have done mine.

As a bonus, it also removes rust, and it's reasonably priced. Try it on wheels.

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