How to Clean Aluminum Engine Parts: 4 Ingenious Ways!

Aluminum engine parts are not a joke to not be cautious about while cleaning. Maybe you want to just get your car ready for the sale. Or else you just want the next mechanical operation to go really well. Or perhaps it’s because you want a cringe free setup once opening the hood.

No matter what’s your purpose, a DIY cleaning will literally give you a reason to smile looking at your car engine.

How to Clean Aluminum Engine Parts: 4 Ingenious Ways!

DIY Clean up: How to Clean Aluminum Engine Parts

Components of engine are really complicating thing to handle. It’s one of the biggest tasks for engine rebuilding as well. From very old time, cleaning the hot tank and solvent sink is known as a job of responsibility. It’s something you don’t want to take a chance with.

Long-time ago, it was only the cast iron and steel components mechanics used to clean inside a car. However today, aluminum is a huge part of maximum engine construction.

With the change, cleaning aluminum parts has bought a necessity for knowing more for such complicating tasks. Equipment that was great at cleaning older parts is no more useful to deal with aluminum components.

There are a lot of composites inherent that won’t work with methods used for cast iron. However, there are still some regular and common ways to clean minimal mess out of aluminum parts.

So, breaking down about this really serious issue needs to go through the most expert person of our community. I finally have some great methods that can work wonders for you. Let’s go for it!

But First!

  • Wear a good eye protection glass.
  • Dress up in suitable protective wear.
  • Get a face mask or breathing equipment.
  • Make sure the area you’ll be working in is well ventilated.
  • No solvent should be in touch with flames.

Once you assure these few things, we are good to go.

The Traditional Way

If the aluminum part has only some dirt and light oil, better rinse it with water. Get your favorite cleaner (it’s okay to use dishwasher detergent) for this.

You don’t want to apply anything harsh like an automotive cleaner. For pure dirt removal, a strong detergent is more than enough.

If the Dirt is Heavier

Now let’s assume the dirt isn’t as easy to go with mere detergent. It’s quite heavy and also there is oil residue. However, there’s no strong corrosion in view. For such a case, try pressure washing. These are only suitable for the whole engine, though.

Be careful of spots such as countershaft or exhaust header seals. These should not be dealt with spraying method. Avoid any open seals totally. You can try using normal gasket for the purpose.

Blasting Methods

There are three types of blasting methods to try. One is known as sandblasting. This needs you to use silica or carborundum particles. With the technique, you’ll be able to get a rough surface that’s completely uncorroded.

Don’t use too much speedy air to perform this method. This might make particles get stuck in aluminum. Don’t make this process affect any oil/water tank at all.

The next blasting method uses small glass beads. This is used to shatter over the aluminum surface. This leaves the aluminum looking clean afterward. However, be cautious of keeping it out of any passages just like the sandblasting method.

The final blasting method uses grounded walnuts. These shells are gentle to shatter over aluminum components. You can get rid of crud and corrosion effectively with this method. It gives a new-like look at the very end.

Using Wire Brush

Get a soft wire brush for aluminum cleaning. You can get a toothbrush size wire rush for this task. In the welding section of a hardware store, you can easily grab one. Mounting wire wheel into some grinder will also do the trick as well.

This technique can get rid of any corrosion easily with a little bit of effort. Don’t just force the motion, go for slow strokes. You’ll need to give enough time to gradually get rid of any dirt and corrosion from aluminum.

This is isn’t the best way to get rid of problems from corners. But it does work nicely on making the surface look bright and spotless. You can try using a solvent to keep smearing crud around.


Avoid steel wool for aluminum. A lot of you might believe in using this instead of a wire brush. But that’s going to give you awfully negative results. Steel wools will break off and stick with the aluminum. Really soon they’ll form into rust to totally spoil the material.


Looks like it’s time to say goodbye for today. I hope now you have more than a few ideas for cleaning aluminum parts.

I strongly believe anybody without mechanical and automotive-related knowledge should not take the risk of dealing with engine parts. There are professionals who can do it for you and charge a small fee. You can also stay connected with Royal Mechanic to get out from such problems.

On That Note, I’ll Be Signing Off for Today. Good Luck!


While cleaning your engine, don’t put the wastewater into sewer gutter. This is risky and dangerous. If you do so then any possible ominous accidents will be your own responsibility. Clean engine somewhere safe and collect wastewater to dispose the right way.

About Jeremy

Hello! My name is Jeremy Bloomberg. I have been passionate about carpentry and DIY. Over the years, my passion slowly turned into expertise and wider knowledge about electronics. I’ve been involved in numerous projects, both professional and personal. I want to share all I have learned with you. Welcome!

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