I left my stove un-attended for 8 weeks and when I got back to using it, I noticed mould on one of the stove's knobs. I sprayed some white vinegar, let it sit for 5 minutes and wiped it off. Sadly, it has turned the knob pink in color.

What causes aluminium to turn pink in color and how can I restore this knob to its original aluminum color ? I live in a very humid coastal city in Australia if that helps. Here's a picture of the pink knob :

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  • 1
    That's something I'd expect when the knobs are just painted plastic. – ratchet freak Apr 27 '18 at 11:10
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    The finish has rubbed off. Whether plastic as @ratchetfreak suggests or cheap metal the outer finish is nothing more than a finish coating. It just wore off. – Tyson Apr 27 '18 at 11:17
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    I'd guess that those are really plastic-body knobs and that the metal finish (probably nickel) is plated on. There will be a layer of copper between the plastic and the finish, and that's what you're seeing - your vinegar etched the (probably nickel) away, exposing the copper. – brhans Apr 27 '18 at 12:50
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    @brhans: that looks a lot like an answer ... – RedGrittyBrick Apr 27 '18 at 17:06
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    I would use a metallic appearance acrylic spray paint to restore all of them. – dandavis Apr 28 '18 at 8:38

Yes, as @brhans says, that definitely looks like copper has been exposed, so there is no way to go back to the nickel/aluminum color. (Copper turns that color when exposed to vinegar.) I would personally try to use more vinegar on the non-pink parts of the knob to try to get the rest of the nickel/aluminum to "reveal" the copper and get a uniform copper color, since there would be no way to "restore" the nickel/aluminum.

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