Guide to Restoring Rusted Chrome

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How to Restore Rusted Chrome

Chrome is a common colour choice for visible metals. The accent and shine it gives to the surface of the metal provides a unique splash of style that can’t be matched by other colours. It gives a more modern, clinical feel to almost any furniture. However, chrome can rust quickly in the presence of moisture. Anyone who has ever owned a bicycle will realise how fast the spokes rust when the moisture isn’t cleaned quickly. Luckily, it’s entirely possible to restore chrome to its original state; it is a simple process that employs a wide range of materials - everything from specialised restoration products to aluminium foil.

Prepare the Surface

As with any restoration process, the surface needs to be cleaned off before any restoration can be done. Not only does cleaning make it easier to see the rust, but it removes dirt that may cause further damage to the surface during the cleaning process. A special cleaning solution isn’t required; any dish detergent mixed with water will do the job. A thorough rinse is necessary before starting the next step.

Remove the Rust Spots

Rust can easily be removed through the use of steel wool. A rough scrubbing can damage the chrome further. The steel wool needs to be wet when scrubbing, but water isn’t the only option. Lemon juice, Coca-Cola, or vinegar are all alternative liquids that can remove rust quickly and easily. If the surface of the chrome has small depressions in it - or ‘pits’ - it may require more force to remove than a flat surface. Unfortunately, if the damage is too great, the chrome may need re-coating.

Rinse and Repeat

If the affected surface area is particularly large, it may require quite a bit of work to remove all the rust. This process may be repeated as many times as necessary. One should rinse the chrome in between attempts and keep an eye on the progress of the removal. If a particular area seems to be resisting the cleaning, a rougher attempt on that one spot might be necessary.

Apply Cleaner and Polish

Once all the rust has been removed, a chrome cleaner can completely clean any remaining residue. After that, chrome polish can help restore the shine of the chrome to protect it better from the elements. The protective barrier provided by the polish helps to buffer it against damage, hopefully, preventing another cleaning session.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

If the idea of using chemical cleaners is unpalatable, there are plenty of other eco-friendly options. Pouring lemon juice, vinegar, or a soda onto a piece of aluminium foil and wrapping it around the rusted area can do the trick nicely, as the natural chemicals within will eat away at the rust. A rinse afterwards will be needed. Another alternative is to mix lemon juice and salt and rub that on the surface; the abrasiveness of the salt mixed with the acidity of the lemon will take the rust right off. While the latter option won’t work for severe cases of rust, any light stains will be easy to remove this way.

How to Buy Chrome Restoration Supplies on eBay

eBay provides people with all the tools they need to find exactly the product they’re looking for; it’s as simple as typing it into the search bar. The key is to enter the right search terms. Phrases like “chrome cleaner” or "metal polish" will bring up a variety of different products to choose from. However, it’s important to evaluate the seller before making a purchase. A seller’s ratings, overwhelmingly positive or negative, are extremely important. It’s a good idea to look at the reviews to get an overall feel of what kind of person the seller is. If it seems like he presents problems for his customers, someone else might be a better choice.
eBay has a buyer protection policy to protect against scams. There are some people out there who would scam buyers into purchasing products that don’t exist, so it is important to know what options are available, as well as how to identify these fake auctions.


Most homes have at least a little bit of chrome rust; it often happens without anyone noticing. However, it’s not the end of the world. Removing the rust is a simple process, and all it takes is a bit of know-how and a few products that can all be found from the ease of a computer desk.

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