How to Polish Chrome Plating

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft cotton cloths

  • Soap

  • Chrome polish

A good polish restores the shine to chrome-plated pieces.

Nothing shines like chrome plating when it is well polished. If your chrome has become dull, has water spots or other signs of tarnish, it's easy to bring it back to life. Once cleaned, a good polish will restore it to its former glory. Use a high-quality polish specifically for use on chrome. Before you apply it to the entire piece, test it on an inconspicuous spot on the chrome plating to make sure it does not scratch or abrade the surface.

Step 1

Wash the chrome with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth (an old cotton t-shirt works best). Be sure to do a thorough job. Any small granules or debris left behind on the chrome can scratch and abrade the surface while you are polishing it.

Step 2

Dry the chrome with a dry soft cloth.

Step 3

Apply the chrome polish to a soft polishing pad. A dab the size of a quarter will do. You'll want to polish the chrome one small section at a time.

Step 4

Rub the polish into the chrome with long strokes. It takes a little elbow grease to apply a thin coating. But keep pushing and rubbing until you have an even film over the surface of a small section of the chrome. Once the polish is used up, add another quarter-sized daub to the polishing pad and move on to another section.

Step 5

Wipe the film of polish away with a clean, soft cotton cloth.


Pitted and rusted chrome needs to be refinished, not polished. Do not attempt to polish chrome damaged in this way. You must first remove the rust or re-coat the part with chrome.

A soft cloth is the key to a good polishing job. Rough material can scratch or abrade the surface.

Only polish chrome when it truly needs it. Every time you polish chrome plating, you wear away a thin layer of it. Often a good soap and water wash is enough to restore its shine.


Meg Butler

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.