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How to Restore Rusted Chrome

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How to Restore Rusted Chrome

Chrome has many applications both inside and outside of the home. Chrome adds shiny accents for furniture, such as onchairs and barstools, while vehicle wheels and parts, such as those for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles, all get their shine from chrome or chrome-plating. Chrome-plating serves many purposes including adding to the look of an item, allowing for ease of cleanup, and serving as a protective barrier to metal and plastic items. However, chrome can break down slightly in the presence of moisture, which allows rust or oxidised metal to build up on the chrome's surface. Restoring rusted chrome to its original sheen is a simple process using everything from chrome restoration products to something as simple as aluminium foil.

Prepare the Surface

Before starting any rust removal project for chrome or other surfaces, it is a good idea to clean the surface first. This serves two purposes: one, it makes it easier to access the rust spots; and two, it prevents any grime, sand, or dirt from scratching the surface of the chrome when cleaning. Any mild dish detergent mixed with a ratio of 10 parts of water to one part of soap works. Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to clean the surface gently. Rinse any soap residue away before moving on to the next step.

Remove the Rust Spots

The best way to remove rust spots from chrome surfaces is with steel wool. Lightly moisten the steel wool in a bowl of water or acid-based liquid, like cola, vinegar, or lemon juice. Gently scour the surface of the chrome to remove any surface rust stains. Areas that have rust pitting require a little more pressure to remove them. While severely pitted surfaces can end up looking better overall, they may not be completely removable and may need recoating.

Rinse and Repeat

Especially when working with large chrome items, such as barstool legs or vehicle bumpers, it is a good idea to wipe the surface of the chrome item with a clean, moist rag or sponge. This allows for seeing how the process is progressing and where additional effort is necessary. After rinsing, go over any areas where rust spots remain and repeat the gentle scrubbing process until all spots are gone.

Apply Cleaner or Polish

Once the rust spots are gone, it is a good idea to apply a chrome cleaner to the surface to remove any residue that remains after the cleaning process. Another good tip is to apply a thin coat of chrome polish, to the chrome surface, especially for items exposed to the elements. This adds a protective barrier to the item, making it so that such a vigorous cleaning process is not necessary again anytime soon.

Alternative Cleaning Methods

For those who live a more eco-friendly existence, the idea of using chemicals, such as those found in many polishes and cleansers used for cleaning chrome, is not an option. In these situations, there are a number of products available around the home that are non-toxic and do the trick as well. For example, when removing the rust, oxidation, or even pitting that occurs on the surface of chrome-plated items, simply cutting pieces of aluminium foil, crumpling them up, and dipping them in water or cola can do the trick. Then, follow up with a mixture that has an equal amount of lemon juice and salt to rub onto the surface. This helps to remove any light rust stains and serves as a non-toxic cleaner as well. Make sure to rinse the item's surface completely after cleaning as any leftover lemon juice can eat through the chrome surface.

How to Buy Chrome Restoration Products on eBay

Finding the products needed to restore chrome-plated items to their original lustre is as simple as searching eBay. Consumers can use the search bar on every eBay page to find these products easily. Entering the right search terms, like "chrome cleaner" and " metal polish", returns choices for the user to consider. Special offers on these products and more are also available on the eBay Deals page.

Chrome restoration products, used for chrome-plated items exposed to the elements or age, help the items get back to their original sheen with little effort by the owner. Using these products can make the item look new and, once again, serve as a source of pride in one's home or garage.

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