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How to Clean Black Chrome

by William Zane

Black chrome is an alternative chrome plating process that has become increasingly popular in a number of applications, including medical equipment, audio equipment and aftermarket automotive applications, where it is used on items like trim and wheels. As the name implies, black chrome has a dramatic dark, smoky look. Cleaning and polishing black chrome parts is similar to normal chrome parts, though black chrome is a little more susceptible to scratching, stains and fingerprints.

Step 1

Rinse off the black chrome parts with water from a hose or a towel that has been soaked in water. Dry the chrome immediately with a clean, dry micro-fiber rag. It is recommended to use lint-free, micro-fiber detailing towels so that lint does not get left on the chrome.

Step 2

Wash the chrome using a mild cleaner and a clean, micro-fiber towel. A mild cleaner can be dish soap that has been mixed with water or something like Simple Green that has been diluted 10 parts of water to one part Simple Green. Spray or wipe the cleaner onto the parts that you are cleaning and then gently scrub them with a micro-fiber towel. For larger items like wheels, you can use a soft wheel-cleaning brush to scrub between the wheels and hard-to-reach areas.

Step 3

Rinse the chrome off with water and dry thoroughly with a clean and dry micro-fiber towel.

Step 4

Remove any fine scratches and swirls with a good quality chrome polish like the kind from Mothers (see Resources). Mothers claims that their chrome polish is safe on black chrome as well as regular chrome. Spray or wipe on a small amount of the polish and then buff it off with a clean towel.

Finish the detailing process by applying a high-quality automotive type of wax to the surface of the chrome. Apply the chrome with a rag and then polish it with a clean towel until the wax is gone. Be sure and use a wax that is safe for clear coats to avoid damaging the black chrome plating.

Warning

  • When cleaning black chrome parts, make sure you do not clean and polish them when they are hot. Let the parts cool down before cleaning them. Do not use abrasive polish on black chrome surfaces, as this may scratch or mar the finish.

Items you will need

  • Water and hose (hose for car parts)
  • Micro-fiber towels
  • Mild cleaner (dish soap or Simple Green)
  • Soft bristle brush (for wheels)
  • Chrome polish
  • Automotive wax safe for clear coats

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