How to Clean Your Aluminum Flagpole

May 14th, 2015

Although aluminum flagpoles are almost maintenance free and rain will generally wash it clean, any outdoor object will experience a buildup of gunk such as dirt, grass and other debris over time. In addition to dirt and debris, poles may also experience oxidization that leads to surface staining and pitting. This is especially true of satin finished poles that do not have a protective coating to protect it from the elements. Anodized and painted flagpoles will not experience oxidization because there is a durable protective barrier between the pole and the outside elements. A problem can occur when the paint or anodized pole is damaged due to objects that scrape the protective barrier from the pole. When any of these conditions occur, it will be necessary to take additional steps to clean your flagpole to keep it looking beautiful.




General Cleaning – Flagpole Has No Signs of Oxidation If your flagpole does not show signs of oxidization, remove debris such as dirt and grass shavings from the pole by spraying with a garden hose. If all of the debris does not come off, you may need to use a soft cloth and wash the pole with a mixture of mild soap and warm water. The soapy water should be rinsed from your pole after cleaning. If tar or resin is stuck to the pole, you may use a solvent that is made to remove that substance. When using solvents on a painted flagpole, always apply a small amount in an unobtrusive place such as the base of the pole below the ground, to ensure that it will not damage the paint. After cleaning, you should apply a new protective coating to help protect the pole.


Oxidation - If your flagpole has oxidized, you will see pitting and/or a black discoloration. To remove pitting, use a 400-grit sandpaper to sand the pitted areas smooth. Rinse the smoothed area with water and allow to dry. To remove discoloration, you can clean the pole with a mixture of soap and water with an acidic household product such as lemon juice or vinegar added.


Once your pole is clean, you should apply a quality aluminum polish to the surface and then apply a new protective coating. Clear lacquer, car wax, or beeswax work well. Flagpole Cleaning Assistance In addition to mild soap and water, there are commercial cleaners designed to clean aluminum poles that are available.


Flagpoles Etc. would be happy to answer any questions you may have about cleaning your flagpole. Contact us at 888-735-5591 or click on the Contact Us link at the top of this page. Please Like, Follow and Comment on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and join us on Linkedin and Google+ for special promotional offers. We look forward to hearing from you!