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How Do I Clean This Gunk Off My Railing?

  •   Posted on June 11, 2019

While Superior Railing is low-maintenance, there isn't anything we can do about random dirt and messy substances getting on your products. What we can do is offer some advice for cleaning that gunk off. 

Sure, at the time of publishing this blog it is June, but it's never too late for a little spring cleaning. Aluminum railings, columns, and fence by Superior are extremely low-maintenance, but like any other object subjected to the elements, dirt, and other unwelcome substances are bound to pile up. Because of this factor, it is recommended that you give your railing or columns a periodic cleaning.

It is important to note that with the exception of extremely harsh materials, various forms of unwanted buildup on a railing or column will not deteriorate the structural integrity of the item in any way. Cleaning is purely for aesthetic reasons and while recommended it is certainly not a requirement.


Aluminum railing, especially when close to an ocean or other areas with harsh environments, is subject to the buildup of dirt, salt, and other grime. To start, gauge how tough the mess will be on your railing by using moderate water pressure to spray down the area. Try using a hose nozzle on a moderate setting. If the dirt washed away in the spray then congratulations! Put that hose away and relax with the rest of your day. If dirt still remains, a little more elbow grease will be required.

To deal with the lingering mess on your railing, use some mild detergent such as Dawn dish soap or Pine-Sol mixed with water. Clean first horizontally then vertically, making sure to not allow the detergent to pool in an area. Rinse the cleaned area with water and either dry by hand or allow to air dry (if allowing to air dry, first ensure no detergent remains). Never use steel wool, acid solutions, or harsh abrasives as these may cause finishes to be removed, compromise the integrity of the railing, and/or cause harm to the individual attempting to clean the railing.

Cleaning aluminum railing with a soft cloth


Just as standard aluminum railing can collect dirt over time, so too can the stainless-steel cables which make up the infills of Square Post Cable Railing and Pipe Cable Railing. Cables can be cleaned relatively simply with numerous common cleaners, although we recommend E-Z clean which both cleans and offers a layer of protection against future dirt buildup. The top and bottom rail components of these railing systems can be cleaned with the methods referenced above and should be done at the same time as cables. As with top and bottom rails, it is never a good idea to use steel wool or harsh/abrasive chemicals to clean cables.

Pipe cable railing guards beer tanks at Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein, Ohio


At Superior, we have a few more cleaning tips we would recommend adhering to in order for the best results. In general, try and clean the railing when the area in question is shaded. Avoid cleaning in freezing temperatures. When testing a new detergent, use it first in an inconspicuous area of your product in case the detergent reacts in an unexpected manner. In rare instances, dirt buildup or a stain may be too tough for the above methods. In those cases, consult pages four and five of this document for instructions.

Questions about cleaning Superior Aluminum Products? Need to get yourself some Superior Products to clean? Go ahead and contact us, shoot us an email at, or call us at 937-526-4065.


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