How to Clean Water Spots off of Aluminum Tumblers

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Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Spray bottle

  • Soft rag

  • Toothpaste (optional)

  • Borax (optional)

Add distilled white vinegar to the rinse water to reduce water spots.

Aluminum tumblers offer a dose of nostalgia and a colorful complement to patio dining, picnics, events and daily meals. With their jewel tones, easy to hold shapes, and nearly indestructible construction, aluminum tumblers provide an alternative to glassware for all ages. A challenge arises when water spots form on the colorful tumblers. Learn techniques to reduce the risk of water spots and to clean any water spots that form. Make your own non-toxic cleaners to solve your water spot problems and protect the environment--and protect the aluminum tumbler finish from abrasive cleansers.


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Step 1

Measure 2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle. Shake to mix the homemade water spot remover. Spray on the aluminum tumbler count slowly to 10. Rub the aluminum tumbler with a soft rag.

Step 2

Apply undiluted distilled white vinegar with a rag to remove any remaining water spots. Test on the bottom of the tumbler. Rub lightly.

Step 3

Try toothpaste on stubborn water spots. Apply a dab of toothpaste to a moist soft rag and rub it on the water spots, advises Michigan State University Extension. Test on the bottom of the tumbler first. Rub lightly to make sure you don't scratch the colorful finish on the aluminum tumbler.


Step 4

Wash the aluminum tumblers by hand to remove residue from cleaning off the water spots.

Step 5

Measure 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar into the rinse water to help prevent water spots when you wash the aluminum tumblers. Alternatively, dissolve 1 tbsp. borax in the rinse water to reduce water spots.


Avoid using abrasive cleansers on aluminum tumblers as these products may scratch the colorful finish. Avoid metal polishes for the same reason. Wash and dry the aluminum tumblers by hand. Drying them right away helps prevent water spots. Polish them with the dishtowel immediately following the vinegar-water rinse to keep them shiny and spot-free.