How to Polish Stainless & Aluminum on Semi Trucks

Polishing the aluminum and stainless steel on a truck helps it look new.
Polishing the aluminum and stainless steel on a truck helps it look new. (Image: Semi image by Andrew Breeden from

Semi trucks undergo tremendous wear and tear from all the time they spend on the road. Trucks travel across the country on a regular basis, resulting in high mileage and dirt and dust accumulation on the truck exterior. Maintenance and cleaning should be performed regularly to keep the semi running properly and looking new. The aluminum and steel components of a semi are particularly susceptible to showing dirt. Polishing stainless steel and aluminum on a semi truck is a simple process that improves your truck's overall appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Damp rag
  • Metal cleaner
  • Dry rag
  • Aluminum polish
  • Steel polish or flour

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Clean the aluminum and metal parts of the truck with a damp rag to remove all the dirt and dust that has built up from driving. Spray a metal cleaner on the parts if need be to remove any deposits. You want both your stainless steel and aluminum components to be completely clean before you polish them.

Dry the truck components thoroughly with a dry rag. Water can interfere with the polish so you want the truck to be dry.

Apply aluminum polish to a soft rag and work it into the fabric. Rub the rag over the aluminum parts of the semi truck. The rag will likely turn black even though you just cleaned the aluminum, but this is normal.

Use another dry rag to buff the aluminum and remove any remaining traces of polish. Repeat adding polish and buffing as necessary.

Apply steel polish to a rag or pour flour on the steel itself. Flour woks very well as a stainless steel polishing agent.

Rub polish or the flour into the metal vigorously and then buff it with a dry rag.


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