Homemade chrome cleaner

The shiny chrome of a sports car.

Four simple household ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease will yield an inexpensive, yet effective homemade chrome cleanser and polish. Although removing rust and grime is the main purpose of a chrome cleaner, adding a polish to the project will help produce a gratifying result.


Dip a piece of aluminium foil into warm water. Holding the shiny side out, rub chrome surface. According to Robert's Cycle, as the aluminium foil breaks down and mixes with the water, tiny grains of aluminum oxide create a polish, filling in and smoothing out tiny pits and fissures. Aluminium foil will not scratch the surface of chrome. If you wad the foil up, it will help force more of the paste into areas with excess pitting. Wipe clean and dry with soft cloth such as a recycled cotton T-shirt.

Once chrome is free of rust, experts at Eartheasy.com suggest using vinegar to shine everything up. Fill a spray bottle with plain, white undiluted vinegar and apply it to a chrome surface. Wipe it clean with a very soft cloth. Using fabric rather than paper towels to wipe it down adds to the shine because it contains a small amount of oil.

If the chrome surface contains a lot of rust and grime, try washing it down with cola and scrubbing it with steel wool or even a soaped steel wool pad. Be gentle. Autotopia suggests using the finest grade of steel wool available such as superfine (#0000). Steel wool can create tiny scratches in the surface of the chrome that will have to be polished out again.

When all of the cleaning is done, use a soft cloth to rub chrome down with a thin film of baby or mineral oil. This will give the chrome extra protection and reduce the need to clean it as often.

Of course, when trying any new method of cleaning, use it on a small inconspicuous area first to make sure that it meets your needs and will not cause any unwanted damage.

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