How to Clean a Rusted Chrome Shelf in a Bathroom

Written by april dowling
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How to Clean a Rusted Chrome Shelf in a Bathroom
Simple materials can be used to clean a rusted chrome shelf. (rust image by Dubravko Grakalic from

Chrome is a type of soft metal that can be used for a variety of household products, including shelves. Although chrome is very durable, it needs to be cleaned regularly. The longer rusted chrome goes without being cleaned, the more force you will need to use to clean it, increasing the risk of damage or even removal of the chrome finish. Chrome shelves should be cleaned the moment they become slightly dull, and proper techniques should be used at all times. You can clean and remove rust from chrome shelves with basic cleaning materials.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soft rag
  • White vinegar
  • Fine-grade steel wool pad
  • Chrome polish
  • Soft, dry towel
  • Chrome wax
  • Micro-fibre towel

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  1. 1

    Mix liquid dish detergent and water together in a bucket. Dip a soft rag in the solution and then gently scrub the chrome shelf. Cleaning the chrome will remove any dirt and debris, thus making the rusty spots easier to identify.

  2. 2

    Continue removing any tarnish from the chrome shelf by using white vinegar. Pour some white vinegar onto the soft rag, and gently rub the chrome shelf. The acid from the vinegar will finish removing any residue the dish detergent could not.

  3. 3

    Remove the rust from the chrome shelf using a fine-grade steel wool pad and chrome polish. Apply the chrome polish to the shelf and the steel wool, and then lightly rub the steel wool in circular motions over the rusted areas.

  4. 4

    Rinse the shelf with water, and then dry the entire shelf thoroughly with a soft, dry towel. Drying the chrome will prevent water spots, which can easily form on chrome. Polish the chrome shelf by buffing it with two coats of chrome wax, using a microfibre towel.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of using a steel wool pad, you can crumple up aluminium foil and moisten it with vinegar.

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