POLISHING DIAMOND PLATE ALUMINUM
We recently had the opportunity to repair a used Brute underbody tool box. I thought this would be a great time to test out Mothers Aluminum Polish and their Power Ball polishing ball. read more
We started by cleaning off the grime and road debris with Windex and a terry towel. Any cleaner may do the trick but we know from experience that Windex works. The fibers of the terry towel assist in removing the dirt and speed up the process. The advantage of diamond plate aluminum vs. smooth mill finish aluminum is that it began it's life as a highly polished finish so we aren't starting from scratch. With that advantage also comes a disadvantage, that is the diamond buttons. The buttons tend to snag cloths and make removing the polishing cream a little more difficult, I will address this a little later.
As you can see below, there was some pretty heavy grime on the Brute tool box so I let the Windex penetrate for a minute or so before using the towel.
According to the instructions for the Mothers polish, using a terry towel I rubbed the polish into the tarnish in small sections and then buffed with the Power Ball. Once that process was complete I then cleaned the polish off the aluminum with a micro fiber towel. Using micro fiber eliminates light scratches caused by the polishing compound. Remember to keep rotating the towel, once is is completely black you should use a clean one.
The process to polish the front and one side of the box took about 20 minutes. I wasn't looking for a "like new" finish, I just wanted it to be clean and shiny again before being reinstalled to the vehicle. The results speak for themselves as seen in the before and after pictures below.
As mentioned earlier, due to the buttons on the aluminum diamond plate, cleaning off the polish residue is a little more difficult. Once you have rubbed it off in a circular motion it is helpful to apply some more Windex with a different towel using the same motion remove the remaining residue.
Another little trick is to then apply wax just as you would an automobile, once dry use a micro fiber cloth to remove the dried wax for an extra sheild against the elements.
I am not endorsing the use of any particular product but will say the products used are capable of completing the job. The cost for the polishing ball was about $22, the compound was around $6, plus a few squirts of Windex and a couple of towels made this very economical. The ball can be cleaned and reused and held up very well for more use. We used very little polishing compound, maybe around a 1/4 of the jar. All of the towels can be washed and reused. In conclusion, polishing a used Brute aluminum diamond plate tool box was acheived with happy results.