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How to fix chrome rust

Updated July 19, 2017

Chrome is a commonly used plating process that gives a highly reflective finish to metal objects. Chrome plating is used on everything from car wheels and bumpers to bathroom faucets. Though chrome is pretty durable, it can rust if moisture is allowed to stay on it. Eventually, this will cause the chrome to flake and pit, which requires that the piece be re-chromed. However, minor rust can be removed from chrome.

Wash the chrome item thoroughly with soap and water. Dry it with a clean, lint-free terrycloth towel so that you can get a good idea of where the problem areas are.

Polish the chrome with a high quality metal polish like Gord's. Place a small amount of the polish on a clean rag, and work it into the rusted areas, buffing and polishing the rust out.

Scrub the rusted areas with steel wool. After using the rag, place a small amount of polish on a piece of very fine steel wool. Gently rub the steel wool into the rusted areas, particularly areas that have minor pitting. Rinse the loosened rust and excess polish off with water. Dry the chrome.

Remove the remaining rust with white vinegar and aluminium foil. Fold the foil into a hand-sized square and then soak the foil in the vinegar. Rub the foil and the vinegar over the rusted areas with the foil in the palm of your hand.

Polish the chrome again with the metal polish, using a clean, dry rag to buff out the shine.

Warning

If the rust has worked its way into the chrome and caused it to flake and pit, the piece will probably have to be re-chromed or replaced for the best appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap and water
  • Metal polish
  • Terrycloth towels
  • White vinegar
  • Aluminium foil
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About the Author

William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.