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How do I Clean Chrome?

Soap and water may be used to clean chrome.
Applying water and baking soda to a toothbrush can help clean chrome.
Paper towels can be used to polish chrome dry.
Cola can be used as an aluminum foil dip to get rid of rust.
Aluminum foil can be used to buff off rusty spots on chrome.
A bottle of rubbing alcohol, which can be used to clean chrome.
A baking soda paste can help clean chrome.
Olive oil, which can be used to make chrome shiny.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2014
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Chromium, or chrome, is a metal commonly found in the home and garage. It is used as shiny plating on top of other metals on items such as vehicle parts and sink taps. It's necessary to regularly clean chrome, as otherwise it can become dull, stained and even rusty. There are many different products that can be used to clean it, and soap and water — along with a little elbow grease — is often enough.

Regular chrome cleaning can be as simple as soapy water for washing and paper towels for drying. Never use too much soap in the water, or the chrome may have a soap film or scum rather than turn out clean and shiny. Just a little detergent mixed with water and then scrubbed on the chrome with a cloth or sponge is likely to remove light soil from the metal. The chrome should then be polished dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.

Adding a little water to baking soda to create a paste and then applying it with an old toothbrush to clean chrome taps is often a good way to get into the small crevices around each sink tap. A baking soda paste may also be used with a steel wool pad to clean stove burner rings made of chrome. The paste should always be rinsed completely off before drying and polishing the chrome.

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Other household items that are known for their ability to clean chrome are toothpaste and isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol. Toothpaste or rubbing alcohol may remove spots, such as those created by hard water. Baby oil or olive oil can make chrome very shiny, but it's important to use only a tiny amount of it on a soft cloth. Dirt should be removed from the chrome surface before polishing it with the lightly oiled cloth.

Aluminum foil used alone may buff out rusty spots in chrome. If this doesn't work, you could try dipping the foil in cola before scrubbing the rust spots. There are also many commercial chrome cleaning products on the market. Some are all purpose, while others are made for a specific chrome item. For instance, chrome cleaner for car parts can be purchased at many auto repair shops.

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betterment
Post 4

@Monika - Cola is a pretty harsh abrasive. It's great for cleaning, but not so good for drinking. Theses days, the only reason I keep cola in my house is to clean chrome rims. I would never want to put something that can be used to clean off rust into my stomach.

Monika
Post 3

I've used aluminum foil dipped in soda to clean chrome before, and it worked like a charm. I was really surprised too, because when I started thinking, "What cleans chrome?" aluminum foil wasn't the first thing that popped into my head. However, a friend recommended the method to me, so I took her advice.

I've heard that soda works well as an abrasive cleaner before, so I wasn't surprised when she recommended that too. I've heard that cola will even dissolve teeth if you leave them in a glass overnight.

starrynight
Post 2

@dautsun - Baking soda really is amazing. You can use it to brush your teeth and clean up around the house. I've also heard of people using baking soda and water to make a paste to wash their hair with. If it's safe for human use, I'm pretty sure it will definitely be safe for chrome wheel cleaning.

dautsun
Post 1

I think it's great that you can use so many things that are already around the house if you need to clean chrome wheels or something like that. I hate having to go out and buy specific cleaning products that only work on one thing (like jewelry cleaner.)

Anyway, I think the next time I want to clean chrome, I'm going to use baking soda. I've used baking soda to clean a bunch of different things, and it usually works great. And as a bonus, I already have a big thing of baking soda in my pantry.

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