1. #1
    northcounty09
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Cleaning Diamond Plate

    Here in Spokane, Washington we have extremely hard water. The diamond plate on some of our older trucks has accumulated a great deal of hard water deposits that will not come off. We have tried steel wool and 3M pads but they scratch the aluminum. Rubbing compound, aluminum polish, orbital buffers have all been tried with very limited success. Does anyone have a solution for us?

    Lt. Jeffries
    SCFD#9

  2. #2
    firecat1524
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Check with a local auto dealership and see if they use the acid to clean aluminum wheels and where they get it. You spray it on, it eats off the oxidation, and then rinse it off. You might also try a truck stop. Don't waste your money on the stuff you get at parts houses, it's nowhere near strong enough.

  3. #3
    RxFire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    The dealer may have some good stuff, but it'll probably run you a few $$ for not that much. What about good old white vinegar? After all, it is dilute acetic acid. Cheap too. Another idea is bath/shower cleaners designed for water deposit removal. Just make sure to read the label, not sure if some would react to the aluminum, or take off the paint.

  4. #4
    northcounty09
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Thanks for your replies. I will try the white vinegar and see what happens.

    I had a similar idea for using CLR, but it of course reacts with aluminum. I will check further.

    I will let you know what my results are.

  5. #5
    Hammerhead338
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    When I worked in a auto parts store, there was a product called Mothers ( I think ) it comes in a small red can and it works great. It does take some time to put it on, but it does look good after.

    Joe

  6. #6
    RJE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Truckers with those aluminum skin trailers (the shiny, unpainted ones) usually use dilute Nitric acid. Dilute is relative, though. Concentrated Nitric will eat right through aluminum, dilute is a 5-10% solution. Vinegar is a 5% solution of a weaker acid.

    If vinegar works, great. If it doesn't, go talk to the truck stop and get some Nitric. Test spot with it, and dilute further if necessary.

    Wear your goggles and rubber gloves. Rinse thoroughly. And don't get it on the paint.

    I used it on the aluminum block and cooling fins on my motorcycle years ago, and it worked great. But I had to touch up paint the frame underneath where some dripped!

  7. #7
    391HD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Glad to hear someone else has the same problem. Seems to be a never ending task to keep the diamond plate looking good. I remember when steel diamond plate was used, and you would be forever painting it, as it would often wear and rust.

    I have heard that some manufacturers are putting an anodized finish on aluminum diamond plate to help keep it looking good. Anyone have any experience with this?

    Thanks for all the tips for cleaning the stuff.

  8. #8
    ashes
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Lightbulb

    A product called Wenol (reddish -orange package) works Great!. It take a lot of elbow grease, but the shine is worth it. It would be easier if you had a buffer to apply..

  9. #9
    ENG 6511
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Lt. Try Metal Magic. The only place I know where you can purchase it is Micro Fire Apparatus, Allentown, Pa. Ph.610 264 4256 Fax 610 264 1516. It is advertised in the Pa. Fireman Mag. each month. I used it on a 1977 ALF I am restoring and it worked magic. Money back guarantee. Get a sample and try it.

    ------------------
    Bob Compton

  10. #10
    Gychief
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    I have used both Metal Magic & Mothers in the past & they work great. Use acid wash to take off most of the stains & dullness first, then use the wax with a buffer for best results. The best acid wash to obtain is from a truck stop.

  11. #11
    northcounty09
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    We tried the vinegar and it worked very well. For best results use a good stiff new brush and be prepared to put some elbow grease into the project. We will be applying a polish to it such as Mother's which several of you mentioned in your replys. Thanks everyone for the help.

  12. #12
    R. KETTLE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    Just a word of caution. If you plan on using aluminum cleaner, don't get it anywhere near your SCBA cylinders. The cleaner can permeate the outer wrap and weaken the aluminum tank. With 4500 lbs. constantly wanting to get out, the bottle will fail with catastrophic results.

    ------------------
    ARFDOG

  13. #13
    Capt791
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have tried many things. The best product we have use to date has been Eagle One's NEVER DULL. The stuff works great. It takes a little time and energy, but you'lll have that diamond plate shining in no time. Also, if you use this product, be aware that it removes any protection from the elements that was previously on the aluminum. After use, you must recoat your aluminum with a good protectant.

  14. #14
    engine198
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    two of the best cleaners in the world.
    well they are actually shiners, but they get rid of water spots and other marks.

    Nevrdull

    or

    Mothers Mag and Aluminum Cleaner
    with a rag or even steel wool for the bad parts.

  15. #15
    Rookie1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We use Nevr-Dull as well. Works great, but it does take a fair bit of elbow grease. Happy polishing....

  16. #16
    ChapCapt
    Firehouse.com Guest

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    Rolite or Rollite

    I can't quite remember how to spell it. We use this stuff all the time. It is hard work as you have to rub it in then rub it off. It shines up the Diamond plate beautifully and has not caused any damage to adjacent paint, decals or anything else.

  17. #17
    MB1213635
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Does anybody know if Neverdull or Metal Magic have web pages. If so, what are the addresses. Thanks.

  18. #18
    BLACKSHEEP-1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'm not sure I would recomend this, but you could try it. We had a fire in a chemical plant that messed up all of the diamond plate, it looked like it was basically tarnished.We got a product called soft-scrub, I forgot who made it but you can get it at a grocery store. It worked for us but that was 15 years ago, I'm sure there's something better out there now.

  19. #19
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    We found a product called ZEP-ALUM made by Zep Mfg. It comes in gallon jugs and needs to be diluted to 50:1 I think. It works well but you need to be careful with it. You spray it on, wait 15-30 seconds and rinse it well with water. If it stays on too long it will "FOG" the look of the diamond plate. You can contact Zep at www.zepmfg.com.
    Good Luck!

  20. #20
    District Chief
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    www.turnoutgearcleaner.com

    go to this website and look at the product there called station cleaner....

    works very well on diamond plate
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  21. #21
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    We used the acid cleaner for a while, the only problem we had was it took the clearcoat off the diamond plate. Luckily we tried it on our pickups tool box first, and not the engines. We now use Mothers Aluminun Polish, it works great. Takes a little elbow grease but hey, that's what Jr's and Probies are for!


    -Nick

  22. #22
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    Mothers mag polish I use it on the rims of my street rod and the diamond plate of the rigs. Just another hint. Any small rust
    pits that may occur use a little bit of mud.
    Regular old wet dirt takes them out extremly well.
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

  23. #23
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    There is product called FIRESHEEN. We have used it for several years on our aluminum diamond plate. It does a good job. We get it from Jim Hollands. He is a Sutphen salesman in Eastern, PA. It was about $30 per bottle. I realize this is expensive but it worked well. If you compared the ingredients it may be reletively close to a other products??
    Now, I will share a secret. Aquire scraps from a carpet installation or pieces of old carpet. New carpet pieces work better. Particurily cheap,builders grade carpet(the thinner stuff). Apartment complexs usually have access to alot of this. Polish/shine or scrub your diamond plate with this. It digs in around the edges with less effort. Your hands & fingers don't take as much of a beating. Then remove the polish with a cloth or soft towel. Good Luck!!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    We use Mothers, Rolite, and then a product called Luster Lace on top to seal in the shine. Looks great...but is a lot of work. Believe me I have tried it all and nothing is EASY with diamond plate. You are always going to have to scrub scrub scrub. Never Dull we only use on the chrome of the trucks.
    Never forget those who went before and sacrified to make us better and stronger as a fire service and a nation. 09-11-01 forever etched in time and our memories. God Speed Boys!

  25. #25
    RJE
    RJE is offline
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    Big question to check first - is your diamond plate "coated" or not.

    NevrDull is slightly abrasive, so are some of the other products others have mentioned.

    I posted about getting nitric acid from trucker's supply - this is a corrosive that quickly removes the oxidation.

    Big problem with either type - they'll wipe out a clearcoat (or a coat of wax) in a heartbeat.

    Always spot test first!

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