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How to Protect Chrome From Rusting

by Caroline Baldwin

Nothing enhances the look of a car, truck or motorcycle like the shine of chrome. It can cover everything from tire rims and headlights, to front grilles and exhausts. However, these parts will get exposed to oxygen and water and begin a chemical reaction known as oxidation and create what we know as rust. Chrome is a very strong metal and known to be very resistant to rust, but it is still susceptible. Proper cleaning and maintenance will remove small, unseen rust and protect new rust from forming on your chrome parts.

Mix a car wash solution with water. Wash the chrome with a clean, non-abrasive cloth and soapy water.

Dry the washed area completely with a clean towel. Make sure there is nothing in or on the towel that might scratch the chrome.

Apply a small amount of the chrome metal polish to a clean cloth and rub the polish over the entire surface of the chrome.

Apply additional polish to the cloth to dirty or rusted spots and continue rubbing until the area is clean or the spot has disappeared. It is normal for the cloth to show a black residue as you clean.

Wipe away the polish residue with a new clean cloth.

Spray the corrosion protectant over the entire surface of the chrome. Most chrome polishes leave a layer of protectant on the chrome, but this will increase that level of protection.


  • Application procedures and warnings vary among polish and protectant products. Make sure to read the labels on these products prior to using them.

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About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.

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