DIY Enthusiast Come and See How to Remove Rust from Chrome

Want to learn how to remove the gross, and unsightly rust from chrome parts? It is very easy to do with the help of a few DIY steps. There’s no need to call a professional! Seriously!

Chrome rust in spanner on white background

Rust not only looks bad, but it also damages your metal garden furniture, bathroom fixtures, your car, your metal garage door, your bike, or any other thing made of chrome. We have put together a list of ways you can follow to clean chrome surfaces without worrying too much! Without further ado, let’s get started!

How does chrome rust?

Whenever any metal comes into contact with air or water, it starts to rust. Although, we think that only things made of iron rust, aluminium, copper, chrome, and other metals rust as well. Usually, chrome plating is referred to as chrome. Although chrome corrodes slowly and therefore is great for outdoor furniture, it does corrode over time. 

As time passes, metal comes into contact with water and oxygen which cause it to oxidize. This results in rust.  The chrome plating itself has little cracks. When the cracks expand over time, the metal starts to corrode.

Step-by-step guide: How to remove rust from chrome

Now that we have established that every metallic object, even chrome-plated ones, are going to eventually rust, comes the million-dollar question: How to remove rust and most particularly from chrome?

Aluminum foil method

This is one of the most effective ways to clean, enhance, and protect your chrome. When you clean rust using aluminium foil, it results in a chemical reaction due to which the rust is removed.

Things you will need

  • Sponge
  • Clean cloth
  • Aluminum foil
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Salt

Steps

If you gathered all the necessary materials, here’s what you need to do:

Aluminum foil

  1. Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear.
  2. Mix a little bit of dishwashing liquid with water.
  3. Soak a sponge in the cleaning solution and wipe the surface of the chrome thoroughly. This will remove all the dust, dirt, and debris.
  4. Get another sponge and dip it in clean water and wipe the chrome surface again.
  5. Now take some aluminium foil and crush it into a ball.
  6. Take some water with a little bit of salt in it and dip the foil into it. The salt will speed up the chemical reaction
  7. If the rust is very stubborn, you can dip the foil in Cola drinks instead of water. The carbonic acid in the drink will help remove the rust easily.
  8. Rub the crushed ball of foil over the rust spots, scrubbing thoroughly. 
  9. The aluminium not only files away from the rust but also seals the rust spots which keeps your chrome safe and protected for a long time.
  10. Once all the rust is removed, use a clean, wet cloth to wipe the surface
  11. Use a dry cloth to dry the chrome surface completely.

Metal polish method

You can use chrome polish to remove as well as prevent rust. It works effectively in cleaning other metal surfaces in your home as well.

Sponges and stainless steel sponge on a black table

Things you will need

  • Water
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Vinegar
  • Chrome polish
  • Sponge
  • Brass wool/Stainless steel wool
  • Clean cloth

Steps

Now follow these steps:

  1. Take some water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to create a soapy water mixture.
  2. Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear.
  3. Dip a sponge in this mixture and clean the chrome surface
  4. Once all the dust and dirt is removed, clean the chrome with a soft cloth dipped in plain water
  5. If there are stubborn rust stains on the chrome, you can add a little bit of vinegar and baking soda to remove them.
  6. With the help of a soft cleaning cloth, apply the polish on all the rusted areas
  7. With the help of brass wool or fine steel wool, rub the polish in a circular motion. Make sure that you are not applying a lot of pressure.
  8. Wait for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Rinse the metal with clean water and you will have a beautiful, clean, polished, rust-free chrome finish on your hands. 
  10. Chrome polishes not only clean the rusting on the metallic surface but also seal the pores to slow down the corrosion process and future rust.

Rust penetrating products method

Things you will need

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Rust penetrant 
  • Sponge
  • Metal wool
  • Plain cloth

Steps

Ready? Let’s see what you have to do:

Bicycle with chrome rust

  1. Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the water.
  2. Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear.
  3. Take a sponge and dip it in this cleaning mixture.
  4. Thoroughly clean the chrome surface with the sponge and remove all the dirt, dust, and grime.
  5. Spray a rust-penetrating product on the surface directly.
  6. Use a ball of fine metal wool to scrub the chrome surface. This works really well if the rust is in hard to reach places.
  7. Clean the surface with water and a plain cloth.
  8. Dry the surface thoroughly and apply a protective coating.

Rust-penetrating products reduce your cleaning effort as well since you don’t have to scrub very rigorously. 

Vinegar Method

Things You Will Need

  • Vinegar
  • Spray Bottle
  • Water
  • Metal Wool
  • Clean Cloth
  • Car Wax

Steps

This is what you need to do to get rid of rust:

Vinegar and spray bottle

  1. If you prefer to clean using natural cleaners, then vinegar is a great cleaning product for you. However, you need to keep in mind that you will have to put in a little bit more effort if you go with this method.
  2. Wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear.
  3. Take a spray bottle and apply undiluted vinegar in the rusted areas
  4. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Take a ball of metal wool and scrub the area.
  6. Repeat as many times as necessary until the rust is completely gone. 
  7. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth.
  8. Once you remove all the rust, use car wax to seal the surface. This will fill any scratches or cracks and will prevent rust formation in the future.
  9. Other than vinegar, you can also use lime juice to clean the rust from the surface.

Chrome rust prevention tips

We know that cleaning rust from a chrome surface takes a lot of time. Will all that effort go to waste since metal ends up getting rusted anyways? Not necessarily. With the help of a few rust prevention tips, you can make sure you don’t have to go through the rust removal process over and over again.

A metal door with chrome rust

  • Keep the metal clean and dry

The number one reason for rust is water. Make sure that your chrome surfaces are dry and clean. If the object is present indoors in a humid environment, like a basement or garage, you should get a dehumidifier.

In the case of outdoor objects, make sure that they don’t come into contact with water. Apply a water-resistant coating if you can. Otherwise, keep cleaning them regularly to prevent the formation of rust. 

We suggest that you wipe the surfaces down with a clean cloth at the end of each day. It will take you less than five minutes to do so but will save you a lot of effort in the long run.

  • Prevent scratches

If there are scratches on the metal surface, or if there are any cracks, the metal is more likely to rust as it is more exposed to oxygen and water. Make sure that your chrome surfaces are not getting scratched by covering them with protection items when they are not in use. 

If you have kids around, the metal surfaces are bound to get scratched, Therefore, keep applying polish regularly to fill any scratches or cracks in a timely fashion.

  • Apply protective coating

There are various rust prevention products available commercially. Apply a layer of these protective coatings to prevent the formation of rust. You can also make a DIY protective coating at home as well.

Create a solution of potassium nitrate, sodium hydroxide, and water and dip your metallic objects in this solution. This will give excellent corrosion resistance to the metal.

Regular cleaning and maintenance

Since rust spreads very quickly, it is essential that you scrape it off as soon as it starts to form. After removing the rust, scrub the metal with dish soap and lukewarm water. Moreover, apply a protective coating to stop further damage.

We recommend cleaning the chrome surfaces thoroughly every two weeks. If the conditions are bad, for instance, if it has been raining and you have chrome outdoor furniture, you can clean more often as well. 

Forks ,spoons and knives with chrome rust on a grey table

Metallic surfaces are not only practical but they give off a nice look and vibe as well. However, all metals – even sturdy chromium – are subject to rust and corrode over time. With regular care and maintenance, you can prevent rust formation. In case rust has already started to form, you can use one of the methods which we have detailed above to keep your chrome surface as good as new.

Happy Cleaning, Folks!

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