Aluminum Care and Maintenance

Aluminum Care and Maintenance

You have purchased a quality Freeman product.
Proper care and maintenance will insure optimum performance.

Aluminum exhibits excellent corrosion resistance characteristics, however, marine grade alloy aluminum is not entirely maintenance free.


Aluminum oxidizes as a means of self-protection. While unsightly, many times oxidation is relatively harmless in the short-term. If oxidation has started and appearance of the metal is important to you, a de oxidant may be appropriate.

Aluminum is normally cleaned with a deoxidant prior to application of undercoats such as chromates or primers. A good source for an aluminum metal cleaner is a paint supplier specializing in aluminum painting.

The main ingredient in this type of cleaner is usually phosphoric acid. It is usually supplied either in powder or liquid form, and is usually highly concentrated. While the stronger concentrate works well on the surface of the metal, special care during its use must be taken to avoid contact and injury. Carefully follow the cleaner manufacturer ‘s instructions. Proper use of a deoxidant normally results in a soft and nearly-white appearance. An annual washdown is usually suitable, but this is a matter of preference & application.

More Serious Problems:

The many times when corrosion first appears, it is a warning of problems in the cathodic protection system in your boat. Specialists should be consulted immediately. An indication is observed when inspecting your vessel’s zinc anodes during routine maintenance. It is normal that zincs would need to be replaced annually. Zincs that do not corrode are not working properly, and chances are that corrosion has been transferred to another part of the boat. This sometimes shows in the aluminum or other metal components. If you suspect a problem related to the cathodic protection system in your boat, contact your boatbuilder or local repair yard as soon as possible.

 Items needed to complete this job:
  • Aluminum metal cleaner
  • Clean rags
  • Disposable gloves
  • Protective clothing as indicated by chosen metal cleaner instructions
  • Zinc anodes


ISO 755-02-08
REV 27OCT2003
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