How to get oxidation off chrome

Updated February 21, 2017

Oxidation on chrome is often found on chrome rims on cars. Oxidation leads to rust on the chrome. No matter how good your chrome is, it will eventually rust over time. It is possible to get the oxidation off the chrome and restore the original look. There are a few detailed steps involved in helping to restore the chrome on your rims, and with a few materials, you can have those old rims looking brand new in no time.

Fill up a bucket with water and dish soap. Mix it together and dip a clean rag into the bucket. Clean the chrome with the rag. Spread out the rag over the chrome in a circular motion and cover the entire area to remove any dirt and debris.

Pour a dab of vinegar onto another clean rag and rub down the surface. The acidity in vinegar will help get the tarnish and gunk off the chrome. Work in a circular motion just like the soap and water was applied.

Crumple up a small piece of aluminium foil and dip it into some vinegar. Scrub over the rusted and oxidised areas on the chrome and dip the foil back into the vinegar very often. Do not press too hard or the foil may damage the chrome.

Brush the surface with fine grade steel wool and remove any more rust that remains. Pour household cleaner into a bucket and dip a toothbrush into the cleaner. Wipe down the oxidised areas with a toothbrush. Brush off all of the remaining rust. Press down firmly on the toothbrush.

Clean the entire area with water. Dampen a clean rag and wipe down the surface of the chrome in a circular motion to remove any soap and other residue that still remains.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Clean rag
  • Vinegar
  • Aluminium foil
  • Fine grade steel wool
  • Household cleaner
  • Toothbrush
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About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.