How to Get a Kirby Shiny Again


With its lustrous, chrome shell, getting a new Kirby vacuum is almost as exciting as getting a new car. Over time, however, the exterior metal parts of Kirby vacuums can become cloudy and dull, especially if the vacuum has been left in storage for a long period of time. Metal Kirby vacuum cleaner body parts are made of die cast aluminum and can be restored using traditional metal polishing techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Household cleaner and degreaser
  • Rag
  • Drill, rotary tool or grinder
  • Soft polishing bits
  • Cutting compound
  • Polishing compound
  • Wipe down the exterior of the Kirby vacuum thoroughly with a rag and household cleaner and degreaser.

  • Place a soft polishing wheel bit on a drill, a rotary tool or a grinder. A soft bit will be safe on the aluminum and is handy for getting into crevices.

  • Activate the tool to spin the bit and touch it to the cutting compound. Spin the bit briefly in the cutting compound until it is evenly coated.

  • Buff all aluminum surfaces on the Kirby with the tool and cutting compound. Work in back and forth motions and apply moderate to heavy pressure. If the metal gets warm it is OK, as creating heat is part of the polishing process. Get into all crevices. Cutting compound is slightly coarse and will help remove oxidization and scratches. As you go, add more cutting compound to the bit as needed.

  • Place a clean polishing bit on the tool.

  • Activate the tool to spin the bit and touch it to the polishing compound. Spin the bit briefly in the cutting compound until it is evenly coated.

  • Buff the aluminum surfaces with polish in the same manner as the cutting compound. Continue to polish the aluminum until you achieve a mirror-like finish.

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