Aluminum trays are often used to serve food and drinks in a party. These trays are commonly carried by waiters or servers with the plate of food or glasses sitting comfortably atop them. Now, often, these trays will be abused with various liquid and solid spills that may lead to staining especially if these trays are not washed and cleaned after the event. When this happens, these spills become dry and hard leading to stain and clumps of unwanted residue buildup that can be tough to remove. It can be quite a pain to remedy these unwanted blemishes and make your tray ready for reuse again. Fortunately, these steps will help you deal with these problems.
- Soak in hot water. The first step in rehabilitating your aluminum trays will involve soaking them in a pot of boiling water. Boil some water and once they reach the desired temperature, place the trays in and let them sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. This will help loosen up the entire collection of various residues on the trays, which will make it easier for you to remove.
- Apply the cleaning solution. If you scour the lengths of all the aisles in your local hardware supply store, you should come across a number of aluminum and stainless steel cleansing agents. Choose one that is aluminum-friendly and effective. You may want to ask the hardware supply store staff for recommendations on this matter. Once you decide on which solution to go with, make sure to read the instructions on the bottle or box on how to prepare it for application. Some mixtures may be ready to apply while others may require some mixing. In any case, prepare the mixture and apply it on the tray. You may need a sponge to work the cleaning agent onto the tray. This will remove any stains caused by beverages, food, and heat. When applying the solution, make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your skin. Some cleaners and solutions may be harsh on the skin. Some may even be quite acidic in nature that could prove really painful if even a drop lands on your skin.
- Rinse the trays. After applying the cleansing solution and letting it sit for about 2 to 3 minutes, wash it off with warm water. Make sure to scrub the trays with a clean sponge while rinsing it off with water to ensure that no unwanted particles are still clinging on it.
- Repeat the whole process. After the rinse, you may want to repeat the cleaning process a number of times since some stains and residue may not come off in just a single run. After 2 or 3 more cleaning runs, you should have a nice and clean set of trays.
To avoid having to apply this whole cleaning technique often, it is advisable to wash your aluminum trays as soon as you are finished using them in order to prevent the stains and residue from setting. Leaving your trays to be cleaned the next day is not really recommended however, if you have no other choice then be confident that with these steps in hand, you can prepare your aluminum trays for reuse in another event or party.