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How to clean plastic chrome

Plastic chrome is a vacuum-metallised chrome finish applied to many auto and motorcycle parts to create the appearance of real chrome. Plastic chrome can be detected by lightly tapping your fingernail against the chrome surface. Metal will have a ringing sound, while plastic will have a dull sound. You cannot clean plastic chrome with cleaning techniques used for real chrome as it will destroy the finish. Use an aerosol cleanser designed specifically for cleaning plastic surfaces and plastic chrome. These products usually contain a pore-filling wax to help protect the plastic chrome from dirt and debris.

Spray a plastic cleaner product directly on your plastic chrome surface.

Agitate the surface lightly with a soft-bristle brush to loosen material stuck to the plastic. Be careful not to scrub as this may leave scratch marks.

Wipe the plastic chrome clean with a soft rag. Try to wipe in one direction since swirling motions may leave marks on the surface. You don't have to buff with these products.

Tip

Wash your car normally to keep dirt and debris to a minimum. Use only a soft mitt and gentle automotive-grade soap over all exposed plastic surfaces. Rinse well before applying your plastic chrome-specific cleaner.

Warning

Avoid scratching the plastic chrome with any type of rubbing.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic chrome cleanser
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Soft rag
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.