The exact procedure for cleaning will vary depending on the nature and degree of soil. Cleaning should be done on a mild, cloudy day. Method of cleaning, type of cleaner, etc., of one component of the building must be used with consideration for other components such as glass, sealants, painted surfaces, etc.
REMOVAL OF LIGHT SURFACE SOIL
An initial step of forceful water rinse from the top down is recommended prior to any cleaner application. Low water volume with moderate pressure is much better than considerable volume with little pressure. Physical rubbing of the surface with soft, wet brushes, sponges or cloth is also helpful. When a mild detergent or mild soap is necessary for removal of soil, it should be used with brushing or sponging. The washing should be done with uniform pressure, cleaning first with a horizontal motion and then with a vertical motion. The surface must be thoroughly rinsed with clean water. It may be necessary to sponge the surface while rinsing, particularly if cleaner is permitted to dry on the surface. The rinsed surface should be wiped dry with a chamois, squeegee or lint free cloth.
Mild Detergents – Mild soaps or detergents ruled safe for bare hands should be safe for coated aluminum.
Some type of mild solvent such as mineral spirits may be used to remove grease, sealant or caulking compounds. Stronger solvent or solvent containing cleaners may have a deleterious or softening effect on paint.
GENERAL CLEANING TIPS
Over-cleaning or excessive rubbing can do more harm than good.
Strong solvents or strong cleaner concentrations can cause damage to painted surfaces.
Avoid abrasive cleaners. Do not use household cleaners that contain abrasives on painted surfaces.
Abrasive materials such as steel wool, abrasive brushes, etc., can wear and harm finishes.
Avoid drips and splashes. Remove run downs as quickly as possible.
Avoid temperature extremes. Heat accelerates chemical reactions and may evaporate water from solution. Extremely low temperatures may give poor cleaning effects.
Do not substitute a heavy duty cleaner for frequently used mild cleaner.
Do not scour painted surfaces.
Never use a paint remover, aggressive alkaline, acid or abrasive cleaners. Do not use trisodium phosphate, highly alkaline or highly acid cleaners. Always do a test surface.
Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for mixing and diluting cleaners. To prevent marring, make sure cleaning sponges, cloth, etc., are grit free.