Tips to Restoring and Maintaining the Chrome Finish on Your Car

There is nothing more perfect than a well-maintained chrome finish that makes your car look fresh and new, as if you bought it today. Sometimes the chrome gets rusted because of the underlying material that causes it to rust. But if that happens, don’t worry because you can restore the chrome’s original shine if the chrome on your car’s bumper, wheel rims, hubcaps, or trims are rusted or oxidized.

A high-quality chrome plating is excellent for your car as it prevents rusting for a long time, but with a passage of time, the chrome material gets corroded. You also need to maintain this material because if you leave it without treating it for a long time, it can get permanently pockmarked. But the good thing is that you can prevent it from permanent and irreversible damage. It is one of the most useful car-care things to know and learn because the bright and shiny chrome surface on the car can make a big difference in its looks.

A Guide to Restoring the Chrome Finish on Your Car


Restoring the chrome material of your car is a quick and DIY project. Here are some of the best ways in which you can fix the shiny look of your car’s chrome finish:

1. Isolate the Chrome Part

Firstly, you should try to take off the chrome part of your car. You may need to search the internet to learn how to disassemble the bumper on your car, or you can have a mechanic do it for you. Doing this will allow treating the rusted areas on the part’s underside.

If you want to restore rims or trim on the car, you can use the painter’s tape to separate the chrome material from the rest of the vehicle. It is best to use a wider tape. The tape’s simple margin can help protect the car paint from the polishing and steel wool scratch.

2. Remove the Rust By Scratching

You can remove the rust by scratching it off with the help of a wire brush or sandpaper. Scratch as much as you can until all the rust comes off the metal surface. After that, clean the left out dust with soap or water to the point where it looks nice and shiny.

3. Treat the Metal

You can use an automotive rust treatment product like POR to paint on the metal surface. Doing this will help a lot in protecting the metal surface from getting corrosion in the future. Before using the paint, follow all the product instructions on applying it and its drying time, which will complete the process on the metal part’s non-visible area.

4. Cleaning the Chrome Surface

You can thoroughly clean the outer surface of the chrome material by using a simple glass cleaner and a paper towel. With these things, clean off any dust or grime that has been building up on the chrome surface. While cleaning the chrome surface, you may feel that the rust spots have become more apparent.

5. Cleaning the Tough Spots With Vinegar

Sometimes the spots or marks don’t go away when you wash the chrome surface with soap and water. You can clean the surface with a mildly acidic vinegar solution. To clean the surface with a vinegar solution, take a bucket and mix vinegar and water in equal amounts. Soak the steel wool sponge, squeeze it, and try cleaning the tough spots with the solution.

6. Using a Toothbrush

You can use an extra toothbrush you have at home that you don’t use to clean the hard to reach spots. You can use a soft-bristle toothbrush for this purpose. It helps a lot in delicately scrubbing the hard stains without removing the car’s chrome material.

7. Treating the Rusted Chrome Material

Once you have cleaned the chrome surface by clearing off all the debris and dirt, you should treat the rusted spots that are present on the chrome. It is best to use metal polish or fine steel wool to clean the area. You can also ask your local automotive supply store for advice.

You need to dip the sponge steel wool in the metal polish product then scrub it onto the chrome surface. Make sure to use a back and forth motion to move all over the chrome’s surface. You can also try adding a small amount of polish over the entire body.

8. Letting the Metal Polish Dry

Give the metal polish some time to dry completely. You should give it enough time to dry as the product instructions say; otherwise, it will stick to your hand and make the surface look crappy if you touch the chrome surface.

9. Rubbing the Chrome Material

Once the metal polish has dried up, you can use the steel wool sponge’s dry side to rub it off. It would be best if you took your time to rub off the chrome’s entire surface and remove all the dried metal polish particles. Rinse any remaining polish off the metal with clean water.

10. Applying Wax

You can apply chrome wax that contains carnauba oil to keep the chrome surface of your car bright and shiny as it helps a lot in layering multiple coats of polish and making sure to rub between applications. Your first coat will fill dents or chips, and the second will add a polished layer for protection.

Things Not to Do While Restoring Chrome Finish


Although chrome materials last longer if you take proper care of them, chrome is very soft and easily damageable. Chrome plating is essential as the metal components are plated with the chrome finish instead of being made entirely from chrome material.

You should keep one thing in mind, and that is not to not use abrasive cleaners, scouring pad, or brushes that have stiff bristles as they can damage the chrome material. It would be best to be careful in selecting the cleaning tools; otherwise, you might face problems while cleaning.

Where to Buy
POR-15 45404 Rust Preventive Coating Semi-Gloss Black - 1 quart
Noxon Multi-Purpose Metal Polish Liquid, 12 oz
Chemical Guys SPI_402_16 - Heavy Metal Polish Restorer and Protectant (16 Ounce)
3M Chrome and Metal Polish, 39527, 10 oz
Mothers 05101 Mag & Aluminum Polish - 10 oz
Renovator's Supply Metal Polish Simichrome Polish 250 Grams/8.82 Ozs
3D Metal Polish (Deep Blue) - 16 oz. | Wheel, Mags, Rim Cleaner, Metal Cleaner, Heavy-Duty Cleaning of Tarnished Metal, Diamond Plate, Polishes Brass, Silver, Chrome, Gold, and Copper
Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome & Metal Polish - 11 oz. Size: 11 Ounces Model: T-284 Car/Vehicle Accessories/Parts (1)


Best Chrome Polishing Liquids


1. Noxon Multi-Purpose Metal Polish Liquid

Noxon is a multipurpose metal polish liquid. It is one of the best fluids for cleaning and shining metals. It is a thick formula that is easy to use. You can use it on stainless steel, aluminum, chrome, pewter, brass, bronze, and cooper. However, it cannot be used on silver and on lacquered, painted, or antiqued-finished surfaces.

2. Chemical Guys Heavy Metal Polish Restorer and Protectant

This one is a heavy metal polish that is great for cleaning and restoring metal surfaces. It is suitable for chrome bumpers, stainless steel exhaust tips, and aluminum trim. You can use it to remove the lightest stains of rust and oxidation from the metal surfaces, including billet wheels. It cleans and shines diamond plate metalwork.

3. 3M Chrome and Metal Polish, 39527, 10 oz

3M is one of the most trusted companies that provide high-quality products in different industries and here is its offering for cleaning chrome and eliminating rust on your car in no time. Its formula works perfectly on hard surfaces like chrome, brass, stainless steel, sinks, glass, and whitewalls. You can use this polish where there are signs of oxidation and rust. You don’t need to use gloves to use this polish because it doesn’t contain any harmful fumes.

4. Mothers Mag & Aluminum Polish

This magnesium and aluminum polish is great for protecting your car’s shiny chrome surface. It is easy to apply. You can use it onto your car’s chrome surface with a clean cloth and a small amount of elbow grease to give it a shine; if you want a long-term benefit that you can also use it regularly as it will allow the polish to last longer on the chrome surface.

5. Renovator’s Supply Simichrome Metal Polish

This one is a high-quality metal polish made in Germany. It is perfect for cleaning, polishing, and protecting metal surfaces of your car. It has a unique compound that leaves a shiny finish and a protective film. It comes in a 250-gram tin with a long shelf life, and you can apply it in a small amount to get the job done.

6. 3D Deep Blue Metal Polish

3D Deep Blue Metal Polish is suitable for heavy-duty cleaning of metals that are worn out. It is best for cleaning metal cars. It is very versatile and great for brass, silver, chrome, gold, and copper. It is also easy to use and allows you to clean the area without scrubbing and electric buffers.

7. Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome and Metal Polish

Turtle Wax T-284 is an excellent metal polish that gives a fantastic shine to metal surfaces like chrome, aluminum, and other metal surfaces. It is perfect for removing rust and transforming tarnished rusty chrome to its original form. In simple words, this polish is all that you need for shining all types of metal surfaces.


Every car owner must know how to take care of their car and its looks by simple steps that are easy to perform at home. The car’s condition and exterior tell a lot about its owner and how well they keep their vehicle maintained and good looking.

If you want to restore and maintain the chrome finish on your car for a long time, don’t forget to use one of these metal polishes that we have recommended above. Many car enthusiasts use these polishes.