Thread Number: 13372
Polishing my Kirby 561
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Post# 142338   7/8/2011 at 10:39 (4,621 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Pocatello, ID)        

If I use Johnson Polish in the yellow container to polish my Kirby 561, will I get a mirror shine or close to it?

Post# 142341 , Reply# 1   7/8/2011 at 10:48 (4,621 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Paste wax is great for putting a shine on many things but I wouldn't consider using it on aluminum.  It won't do anything to remove the oxidation which is what dulls a Kirby over time.  A good quality metal polish and lots of elbow grease is what you need.  Many metal polishes now have an anti-tarnish additive which leaves a layer of protection  and slows down the oxidation process a little bit.

Post# 142342 , Reply# 2   7/8/2011 at 10:53 (4,621 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Pocatello, ID)        

I've heard Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish works really good on Kirby's. Is there any other polish or polishing alternative to use in place of Mother's Polish?

Post# 142343 , Reply# 3   7/8/2011 at 10:59 (4,621 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

I think you'll find a lot of agreement here that Mother's is a good choice.  That, a supply of #0000 steel wool, rags for buffing, some strong fingers and lots of patience will get you a gleeming finish.  Be sure to spread a drop cloth, wear gloves and old clothes....the black oxidation you remove will leave smudges everywhere!

Post# 142345 , Reply# 4   7/8/2011 at 11:03 (4,621 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Pocatello, ID)        

Okay. Do I need to get the steel wool or rags wet at all?

Post# 142356 , Reply# 5   7/8/2011 at 11:15 (4,621 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        

Nope, no water involved.  The metal polish is creamy as it is.  When you've worked over a little spot really well, wipe it off and buff it with a dry rag and you'll see the results.  Sometimes I go over a spot several times to get better results and then one last time with the polish and a rag, not the steel wool. 

Post# 142390 , Reply# 6   7/8/2011 at 17:53 (4,620 days old) by Kirbyrama (Pennsylvania)        
Or you could

use another Kirby if you have the Handi-Butler with the buffing wheel on the flexible shaft and one of the polishing compounds; it does a great job.

Post# 142405 , Reply# 7   7/8/2011 at 19:38 (4,620 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

to get a chrome-like mirror shine you will be hard pressed to get the results you want by hand. For aluminum a stiff buffing pad (either on a buffer/grinder or hand drill bit attachment) with emery (black) or tripoli (brown) compound followed by white rouge compound on a soft buffing pad and you will have a very shiny part.

Here is my G5 after emery/Tripoli/white rouge. I followed it up with Flitz which dulled it a bit for some reason :\
so it's not as mirror shiny as I'd like (likely looks better in the pic than real life).

Post# 142406 , Reply# 8   7/8/2011 at 19:43 (4,620 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

The G5 I did with the grinder, it was a messy job!

Here is something a little cheaper and easier (less messy, more time consuming), using a hand drill with buffing kit! It may not be totally mirror shiney, but it's nice and clean looking.

(similar to this: )

Right side of the nozzle buffed with drill (left side I just experimenting with some flitz by hand) :

Post# 142422 , Reply# 9   7/8/2011 at 20:47 (4,620 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

blackheart's profile picture
That is what the kirby repair center up here uses, their used kirbys always have that mirror like shine, gotta find some of that it seems to work wonders

Post# 142427 , Reply# 10   7/8/2011 at 21:28 (4,620 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

Blackheart: Do you know how they apply it? (by hand I'm assuming, it's the only directions on the container). I would call it a nice satin shine, not really chrome-mirror shine. Unless I'm doing something wrong...

Post# 142456 , Reply# 11   7/9/2011 at 06:04 (4,620 days old) by thermokid (Casper, Wyoming)        
I use

Never dull, it is a wadded up type material with a solvent on it.( you can find it in the automotive section at walmart next to mothers mag polish) I use this first to take off the blemishes and oxydation. Then I use #0000 stell wool with mothers mag polish, let it set a few minutes then wipe it off with a little elbow grease and it comes out almost as good as bench grinding them... Dan

Post# 142459 , Reply# 12   7/9/2011 at 08:19 (4,620 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

blackheart's profile picture
I recall seeing one of them using steel wool on one i know they do have a bench grinder...i'm not quite sure how they do it i just remember asking what they used

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