keeping your aluminum poles blemish-free

keeping your aluminum poles blemish-free

What should you do if you find stains and scratches on your aluminum pole? Let’s break down the common causes and their solutions.

the causes

Many elements can cause stains on an aluminum pole, including natural debris (like dirt and grass), water, chemicals and paint.

Scratches are typically caused by improper handling.

removing natural debris stains

Mild dirt, grass and other debris can typically be removed with a garden hose. If that doesn’t work, try a wet cloth or mild soap.

removing water stains

Water stains only happen when moisture can’t evaporate efficiently. They’re commonly seen on poles that are left wrapped outside in the elements — the combination of moisture and heat is especially damaging in this circumstance.

Try this formula for water stains:

1. Mix 2 teaspoons of lye with 1 cup of water.
2. Pour the solution over the stained area. Let it sit for several minutes.
3. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 as needed.
5. When the stain is gone, apply a vinegar wash to neutralize the lye. Otherwise, the lye will continue to etch away at the finish.
6. Rinse with clean water.
7. Dispose of any containers and mixing sticks that touched the lye solution.


Avoid cleaning on hot days. Heat accelerates chemical reactions, which can cause cleaners to become overactive or evaporate too quickly.

Never mix lye with other cleaners. Wear rubber gloves and goggles when applying the solution. If lye touches your skin, wash with vinegar and rinse thoroughly with cold water. If lye gets in your eyes, flush with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention.

Always spot test on an inconspicuous area. Check painted and anodized poles for softening of color.

removing paint and chemical stains

If a harsh chemical or paint is spilled on your pole, try the solution above first. If that doesn’t work, apply paint thinner or sand the area. Do not sand any painted or anodized pole unless prepared to use a touchup finish.

removing scratches

If your pole is scratched, sand it with an aluminum oxide sanding belt, 80 grit or higher. Break the belt at one spot to give yourself one long sheet. Pull the belt back and forth (as if you’re shining a shoe) on the scratched area in the same direction as the existing sanding lines. Again, do not sand any painted or anodized pole unless prepared to use a touchup finish.

Working out the details for your next light pole project? We’ll be glad to help.

About Us

Lyte Poles was founded to meet the continued focus on partner demands for high-quality, low-cost, and technologically advanced products. Our commitment to superb partner service and quality makes us the manufacturer partner for today and tomorrow.

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