How to Clean an Aluminum Ice Cream Scoop (8 Methods!)

Often times many people are not made aware of the specific cleaning needs of their aluminum kitchenware. More specifically their aluminum ice-cream scoops, and toss them in the dishwasher along with their other dishes.

When people make this mistake, they find their ice-cream scoop tarnished. The scoop appears flaky, darkened, and rusty. You might see white powdery spots, or your aluminum ice-cream scoop may appear to be fine but it doesn’t seem to work the same as before putting it in the dishwasher.

Here, I have lots of different methods you can try, along with a ton of helpful information and tips.

But first, let us uncover what happened to your ice-cream scoop in the first place, and why it being aluminum matters.

What Happened to My Aluminum Ice-cream Scoop?

When you put anything aluminum in a dishwasher, the detergent used often contains chlorine bleach and sodium hydroxide. These two things tarnish aluminum giving your aluminum ice-cream scoop the horrible appearance that you see.

1- If your aluminum ice-cream scoop is DARKENED then it just means that the scoop was oxidized.

2- If you see WHITE POWDERY SPOTS on your scoop then it means that the detergent and the scoop had a complex reaction.

3- If your aluminum ice-cream scoop appears fine but DOESN’T WORK THE SAME, then it may have had liquid in it. Some ice-cream scoops have heat conductive liquid inside, and when you put yours in the dishwasher, the liquid could burst.

If the heat from the dishwasher wasn’t enough to make the liquid burst, then the liquid could have hardened. This makes using your aluminum ice-cream scoop more difficult.

How to Clean an Aluminum Ice Cream Scoop (8 Methods)

Alright, now you know what happened to your aluminum ice-cream scoop. But how do you fix it, and make your scoop look nice again?

Here we have a list of different methods that you can try. A lot of these methods can be used interchangeably and can include some of the same products.

Method 1: Vinegar and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great natural cleaner that can help get rid of the bacteria on your scoop. The Citric acid in lemons and Acetic Acid in Lemons would help to break down all the black rust on your aluminum ice-cream scoop.


1- Lemon
2- White Vinegar
3- Scrub pad


STEP 1: Make a solution with equal parts of Vinegar and Lemon juice.
STEP 2: Apply the solution to a scrub pad and use it to scrub your ice cream scoop.

Method 2: Wire Wool Sponge

A wire wool sponge is very abrasive and can help to get all of that soot off. A wire wool sponge paired with lots of water could do the trick for those white powdery spots left on your aluminum ice-cream scoop.


1- Wire wool sponge
2- Water
3- Towel


STEP 1: Scrub the aluminum ice cream scoop under running water with your wire wool sponge.
STEP 2: Once the white powdery spots are gone, rinse with water and dry with a towel

Method 3: Dish soap and Sponge

For those white powdery spots, it may just be as simple as using dish soap and a sponge. This method requires harshly scrubbing your ice cream scoop.


1- Sponge
2- Dish Soap
3- Towel


STEP 1: Pour some liquid dish soap onto your sponge and use it to scrub the aluminum ice cream scoop. You might have to scrub for 15-20 minutes to get the stains off.

STEP 2: Once the white powdery spots are gone, rinse with water and dry with a towel.

Method 4: Toothpaste

As long as your aluminum ice-cream scoop isn’t deeply pitted you can just use toothpaste and a scrubber. Toothpaste has a great polishing effect which makes it ideal for cleaning and polishing aluminum products like your ice-cream scoop.


1- Toothpaste
2- Dish scrubber
3- Towel


STEP 1: Apply toothpaste to your ice aluminum ice cream scoop and scrub with a regular dish scrubber for 5-10 minutes.

STEP 2: When the stains start to come off and you can see the aluminum shine coming back, rinse with water and dry with a towel.

Method 5: Scrub, Tartar, and Vinegar

cream of tartar

Cream of tartar mixed with vinegar has the cleaning power of bleach but is gentler. So, you can effectively clean your aluminum ice-cream scoop without further damage. Scotch brite leaves scratches on aluminum but they’re subtle and an ice cream scoop is not an item to be shown off.


1- Cream of Tartar
2- Vinegar
3- Scotch Brite scrubber
4- Towel


STEP 1: Make a paste with cream of tartar and vinegar.

STEP 2: Apply the paste to your ice cream scoop and use your Scotch Brite scrubber to scrub it thoroughly.

STEP 3: Rinse with water and dry with a towel.

Method 6: Plastic Mesh Scrubber and Butter

This is a rather strange but effective method. It can be used to remove that tarnish and white powdery spots from aluminum ice cream scoops.


1- Butter
2- Plastic mesh scrubber
3- Towel


STEP 1: Rub butter on both sides of your aluminum ice-cream scoop, then leave it for a few hours.

STEP 2: After that use a plastic mesh scrubber and then try to scrub off all the white powdery spots and black tarnish away.

Method 7: Vinegar and Plastic Bag

This is one of the more convenient and easier methods.


1- Plastic bag / ziplock bag
2- White Vinegar


STEP1: Fill up a plastic bag or ziplock bag with some vinegar (preferably white because it’s more acidic). Make sure that there aren’t any holes in the bag to avoid leakage.

STEP 2: Then place your aluminum ice-cream scoop in the bag and seal the plastic bag from the top with a string. Now leave it for 12 hours. It should be good as new!

Method 8: Bar Keepers Friend and Steel Wool

Bar Keepers Friend has oxalic acid which is great for getting the rust off of your aluminum ice-cream scoop. Use this with a steel wool pad and the rust and black tarnish should come right off.

Steel wool is many times used to polish aluminum surfaces as well, though it might leave scratches behind, if not used gently.

Should You Throw Away Tarnished Aluminum Ice Cream Scoop?

Now that you’ve been through all the methods, hopefully, your aluminum ice-cream scoop came out good as new. Even if it didn’t, don’t worry, you don’t have to throw it away. It’s still perfectly safe to use.

General Maintenance and Key Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1- By now you already know that the proper way to clean your scoop is not to throw it in the dishwasher but to just handwash it.

2- For regular cleaning, use a sponge and some mild dish soap, clean thoroughly, and rinse it off.

3- Be careful to never let your aluminum ice-cream scoop sit in a sink full of water and dish soap for too long. As that can be damaging as well.


You are now fully equipped with all that you need to successfully clean your aluminum ice-cream scoop. Go ahead and get that tarnish out of it.


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