How to Remove Rust from Chrome and Leave No Marks

Often, manufacturers will add chrome plating in order to help protect metal parts on their products. This mirrored finish makes your car, appliance, or other item look shiny and high class. Regular exposure to oxygen and water may eventually cause corrosion in the form of oxidization or rust. When rust begins to form, you may think it is the end of the road for your chrome finishes. True, deep corrosion will need professional repair. However, if the rust is found only on the surface, then you can use one of the methods in this article to get your chrome back to sparkling. Take a peek at these methods on how to remove rust from chrome and bring back not only the shine but the protection too.

Method 1 – Things you will need

• Bucket of water;
• Fine steel wool;
• Protective gloves;
• Car wash soap;
• Protective eyewear;
• Soft shop cloths or car washing towels;
• Chrome polish.

Method 1 – The Steps

1. Learning how to remove rust from chrome begins with a good, clean surface. Take your bucket and fill it with lukewarm water and car wash soap. Give the rusty chrome a gentle scrub with a soft towel or sponge to remove any existing dirt and debris. This will also give you a clear view of the rusted areas that need your attention.

2. An important part of learning how to remove rust from chrome is knowing that some things you may use to apply to the damage may be an irritant. Thus, it is important to protect your skin from contact with any chemical you may use. Wearing gloves is a good way to protect yourself, especially if you have sensitive skin. Eyewear is also a good idea for protection from splashing chemicals into your eyes.

3. Apply the chrome polish of your choice to areas beginning to rust through the chrome. Read the label to ensure proper application amount and method.

4. Place a small amount of polish to a damp piece of steel wool. It is important to make sure the steel wool remains damp through this process so that you minimize the chance of any scratching.

5. Gently rub the rusted area with the steel wool using a circular motion. Avoid using pressure so you do not scratch up the chrome. Instead, allow the abrasiveness of the steel wool to do the work of loosening the rust for you.

6. Keep adding polish and water to the steel wool as needed. Work on each area gently and in small circles.

7. Rinse the area with clean water and dry with a soft towel.

8. Use the polish according to the directions on the package and end the process of learning how to remove rust from chrome with a good shine and protection from future damage.

Note: Be sure the surface you are treating is real chrome and not simply chrome painted surface. A surface that is painted will scratch using this method.

Method 2 – Things you will need

• Aluminum foil;
• Car wash soap;
• Soft cloth;
• Bucket of water;
• Lemon juice or vinegar;
• Protective gloves;
• Salt;
• Chrome polish.

Method 2 – The Steps

1. In this next method of how to remove rust from chrome, you will begin in the same way as the first method. It is important to start with a clean and dry surface before you begin to remove the rust. Wash the rusted area gently with lukewarm, soapy water to remove debris and dirt that can scratch the surface and make it hard for you to see the spots you need to work on.

2. Wear protective gloves to keep your skin from contacting any chemicals or becoming irritated during the process of how to remove rust from chrome. Protective eyewear may also be used to protect your eyes from possible splashing.

3. Add salt to some clean water and dip a gently crinkled strip of aluminum foil into it. The electrolytes found in the salt will enhance the chemical reaction brought by the aluminum. The foil is ideal in this process since it is a soft metal and will not scratch your surfaces.

4. Again, avoiding using much pressure, gently rub the aluminum foil back and forth over the rusted spots. Keep the foil wet as you use it to loosen the rust from the chrome to avoid scratching the surface.

5. If you are working on a heavily rusted area, be sure to wipe away the rust residue every so often to make it easier to see your progress. Heavier areas will need to be rubbed longer (not with more pressure) in order to remove the rust completely.

6. Once the rust is completely removed, rinse the area with clean water and then completely dry it with a soft towel. Water is one entity that causes rust and it will also leave unsightly water spots if not dried properly.

7. Lastly, finish off the area with a protective coating of wax or chrome polish to help keep future damage from occurring.


Over time, your shiny chrome surfaces may fall victim to the effects of the environment and begin to rust. When you see rust marring that beautiful surface, it can be an eyesore. Even worse, it is also damaging to the metal below since chrome is often used as a protective coating. Deeper rust will need extra help to repair. However, surface rust can be taken care of easily at home using one of the methods above and you can restore that lovely finish back to your vehicle.

Scroll to Top