How to Remove Rust from Chrome

Remove Rust from Chrome

Everybody likes the shine of chrome, and yes, it should feel that way. Besides using chrome for an aesthetic finish, it is mainly focused on prolonging the metal’s life. Though the chrome does not rust but the metal under the surface is the main culprit behind its untidy appearance. The little microcracks pave the path for water and hence the metal sitting under the hood start showing its true color. But you don’t have to worry, I have found some tricky ways to put life back into the dull chrome and make it shine again.

How to Remove rust from chrome? First, make sure it is true chrome. Then clean the surface with soapy water. Once the surface is clean, rub it with Aluminum foil, a kitchen sponge, or steel wool. Adding household acids will ease the rust removal. Once the surface is clean, apply special sealants and chrome protectors to limit rust’s spread.

As is said that every shiny thing is not gold. This also stands true for chrome. You might think of a surface to be chrome-plated, but there are chances that it may be a painted one. Therefore before you start removing rust from chrome, always be cautious not to scratch it.

A. Household Methods to Remove Rust from Chrome

There are plenty of in-hand items in a home that can come quite handy for rust removal from chrome. Following is the list of items that are usually needed.

  1. Sponge or dishwashing scrub
  2. Steel wool
  3. White Vinegar
  4. Lemon Juice
  5. Soda Drink
  6. Aluminum foil
  7. Car Wax

1. Commonly Available Acids to Remove Rust from Chrome

Lemon, Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar, lemon juice, or a Soda Can are all quite good at removing rust from the chrome surface. Due to their mildly acidic nature, they will not destroy the chrome finish. Follow these steps for excellent results

Step 1 Always clean the surface with soapy water before applying rust removers so that they act efficiently.

Step 2 Apply a good amount of acid on a sponge and rub it on the chrome-plated surface. Wait for about 15 minutes.

Step 3 Once you are done with applying the acid, scrub the surface with a Dishwashing scrub. Scrubbing with steel wool can also be quite handy but avoid applying excessive pressure.

Step 4 After the rust is removed, clean the surface with water and mop it dry with a cloth.

Step 5 For a good shine, apply car wax to a sponge and scrub the whole surface with the wax. Once the wax is dry, mop the surface with a dry cloth to remove excessive wax.

2. Aluminum Foil Method to Remove Rust from Chrome

Aluminum foil ball

Before we jump onto the steps, always ensure that the surface in true essence is chrome-plated, or otherwise, you may end scratching the surface. We got you two methods to confirm it.

  1. Rubbing a key onto the surface of true chrome will not leave a mark, but it will be visible on a painted surface.
  2. Tapping the same key will produce a sharp resonating sound on a chrome surface but a dull note on a painted one.

Using Aluminum is the method of choice for removing rust from chrome due to two reasons.

  1. Aluminum foil is soft, so it has the least chance of scratching the surface.
  2. Aluminum has got the property of chemically reacting with rust, thus affectively removing it.

Follow these steps for best results

Step 1 Wash the surface with soapy water and a scrub to remove any dust particles away because they may interfere with the process.

Step 2 Once the surface is dry, apply household weak acid to the surface of rusted chrome. Wait for 15 minutes and then mope the surface dry with a clean cloth.

Step 3 Apply a layer of oil to the chrome surface. This adds further in preventing the scratches. Now make a ball out of Aluminum foil and start scrubbing the surface gently. Scrub for at least 15 minutes. During the process, if aluminum foil shreds into pieces, make a new ball out of foil and carry on the scrubbing.

Step 4 Once you are done with the scrubbing, apply a layer of chrome or metal polish.

3. Oil and a ToothBrush to Remove Rust from Chrome

Tooth Brush

You can use oil and a toothbrush to clean off the surface for a mildly rusted chrome surface. Once you are done with the cleansing, the procedure is simple: apply a layer of oil to the chrome and rub the surface with a toothbrush. Scrubbing should be carried out for at least 20 minutes.

In between the process, try to mop the surface with a clean cloth and start the procedure again by applying oil. Once the surface is clean, use car wax to polish the surface.

B. Best Available Chrome Rust Removers

Although we got many products that are readily available at home for rust removal, some stains are hard to the point that they may need a commercially available high-strength rust remover.

From my personal experience, I will be discussing the products that are most effective at removing rust. Furthermore, I will also discuss how to use them. So let’s jump straight into it.

A. Flitz Multi-Purpose polish can be found pretty easily in your hardware store, or you can get it straight from Amazon. As the name indicates, it not only polishes but also helps remove rust. The best thing about it is its affordability, fast and effective action. Due to its non-toxic nature, it can be used safely.

When using Flitz Multi-Purpose polish always clean the surface prior to application. Once you are done with cleaning, apply a layer of polish cream on the surface and let it sit for 5 minutes. For less rusty chrome surface scrub it with a toothbrush or a tough piece of cloth. Repeat the process as needed.

Once you are done with the application on heavily rusted chrome, scrub the surface, preferably with steel or brass wool.

B. Krud Kutter Rust Remover MR086 is a water-based, non-toxic rust remover that can be ordered online from the Amazon store. Personally, this is an excellent economical choice to give your rusty chrome a new life.

Application is easy. Pour an estimated amount on the surface of a clean cloth and apply it to the rusty surface. Scrub the body for about 5 minutes. Once you have waited long enough, mop the surface clean. For best results, polish the surface with car wax.

C. Power Cone is a handy tool for giving your chrome an excellent finish. It is best for removing rust from chrome rims. My personal trusted brand is Mothers. Power cone is simple to use. It can also be used in difficult to reach areas. When using it, you will need a drill for attachment.

Once the cone is mounted onto the drill, make sure it’s not loose. Wear safety glasses if needed. Apply a layer of car wax on the power cone and scrub the surface, keeping the RPM low to 30-50.

How to Prevent Rust on Chrome?

Car Wax

As said earlier, chrome is resistant to rust, but the undersurface’s metal is the main affectee. The micro-cracks that form over the surface allow water and moisture to reach the metal sitting underneath. The following methods will help retain the shine of chrome.

  1. Timely cleaning the surface is critical. The dirt sitting on chrome may seem innocent, but it is actually not. It attracts a lot of moisture and provides fuel for the fire.
  2. Always keep the surface dry. Every time you wash the chrome-plated body, make sure that it’s dry. An ordinary piece of cloth or a towel can help you.
  3. Chrome surfaces should be polished regularly, at least after 15 days. You can use your car wax or can find commercial grade polishes for the job. The wax helps fill the cracks and hence keep away the moisture.
  4. Refrain from cleaning chrome with an abrasive material. The abrasive material will remove the dirt but create micro-cracks that will pave the path for the moisture.
  5. Once there are signs of rust, try removing them fast. Otherwise, it will work as a catalyst.

How to Remove Rust from Chrome Parts of a Motorcycle?

Rusty Bike

Everybody is attracted to a motorbike having glistening chrome parts. But we do know that a rusty chrome on a bike also looks a lot terrible. In my personal opinion, no other vehicle is more exposed to environmental stress than motorcycles.

Whether it be rain, fog, or high humidity, bikes have to bear them. In this article, I will be discussing a stepwise approach on how to remove rust from the chrome parts of a motorcycle.

Step 1 Identify the rusty points. Due to their position, some parts are affected more than others. Components heavily influenced are the Silencer, front and the back fender, and grooves of the air-cooled engine.

Step 2 Disassemble the parts if possible. Heavily rusted chrome parts need disassembly for proper curing. If that’s not possible, don’t worry. We can still remove rust.

Step 3 Wash the surface with soapy water. Thorough cleaning will help remove the dirt. Removing it is important because it may interfere with the action of acids.

Step 4 Apply a household (Vinegar, Lemon, or Soft Drink) or commercial-grade ( Rust Kutter, Rust-Oleum) rust remover on the rusty surface and scrub it with Aluminum foil (most preferred), steel wool, or a hand brush for about 10 minutes.

Step 5 Once the area is clean, apply a protective layer of chrome polish (Car wax will also do the job).

How to Remove Rust from Chrome Furniture?

Chrome Furniture

Chrome furniture is mostly kept inside the house, so it is usually less likely to get rusty. But a high level of humidity or regular cleaning with a wet cloth might make them rusty. We have found a pretty easy hack on how to remove rust nicely and easily from chrome furniture.

Step 1 With a piece of cloth, apply a layer of WD40 onto the chrome. Wait for at least 15 minutes for the rust to soften.

Step 2 Make a ball out of Aluminum foil or rub the surface with steel wool for at least 10 minutes. The rust should come off by now.

Step 3 Polish the chrome furniture with car wax to seal off cracks and restore shine. Repeat these steps if necessary.

Note: For heavily rusted furniture, I personally prefer using industrial strength rust remover instead of WD40.

To prevent rust on chrome furniture, always clean them with a dry cloth and polish them regularly with wax.