How to Clean Corroded Chrome

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Things You'll Need

  • Rags

  • Dish soap

  • Salt

  • Plate

  • Lemon

  • Knife

  • Spray bottle

  • White vinegar

  • Toothbrush or nylon scrub brush

  • Baking soda

  • Sponge

  • Aluminum foil

  • Cola

  • White toothpaste

  • Orange- or lemon-flavored powdered drink mix

  • #0000 steel wool

  • Chrome polish

Protect chrome from water exposure to limit corrosion.

Chrome offers a shiny, mirrorlike finish on car wheels, bicycle spokes, household appliances, faucets, furniture or vintage car bumpers. Manufacturers apply a thin chrome layer over metals, usually steel, to produce a chrome-plated item. Chrome may look rusted and corroded, but it is actually the underlying metal that produces the rust. Cleaning corrosion off a surface requires a gentle hand to prevent abrading the chrome off the surface or leaving scratches in the finish.


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Step 1

Wash the chrome surface with a rag and mild dish soap to remove dust and dirt. Rinse the chrome and dry it with a rag to reveal all corrosion.

Step 2

Pour a layer of salt on a plate. Cut a fresh lemon in half and dip the lemon into the salt. Scrub the chrome corrosion with the salted lemon, reapplying salt as necessary, until the corrosion is no longer visible. Wash the chrome surface with dish detergent and water, rinse and dry with a towel.

Step 3

Fill a spray bottle with undiluted white vinegar. Generously spray the corroded chrome and let the vinegar sit on the surface for 10 to 15 minutes. Dip a toothbrush or soft-bristled nylon brush into vinegar and scrub the corrosion off the surface. Wash the chrome with soap and water, rinse and dry it with a towel.


Step 4

Mix baking soda with water to create a creamy paste. Pick the baking soda paste up with a damp sponge and scrub the chrome corrosion until it disappears. Rinse the chrome surface with water and dry it with a towel.

Step 5

Fold a sheet of aluminum foil in half with the shiny side facing out. Crush the foil in your hand to form a crumpled ball. Rub the corroded spots until they shine.

Step 6

Dampen a rag with cola. Dab the cola onto the chrome corrosion and let it sit for one to two minutes. Rub the chrome with the wadded aluminum foil until the corrosion disappears. Wash the chrome with hot, soapy water and dry it with a towel.


Step 7

Spread white toothpaste over the chrome corrosion with your finger. Scrub with a damp rag until you remove all corrosion. Rinse the chrome surface with water and dry it with a towel.

Step 8

Mix powdered orange- or lemon-flavored drink mix with water to form a paste. Pick the paste up with a nylon scrubbing sponge and rub it over the corroded areas of chrome until the corrosion is no longer visible. Wash the chrome with dish soap and water, rinse and dry it with a towel.

Step 9

Dip a rag or #0000 steel wool into a commercially available chrome polish. Rub the polish into the chrome until the corrosion disappears. Buff the polish off the chrome surface with a rag.


Keep chrome items dry to protect them from corrosion. Paint a coat of clear epoxy over chrome faucets and spouts to keep them free of corrosion.


Do not use a wire brush, rough sandpaper or harsh abrasive cleanser to remove corrosion from chrome.


Sal Marco

Sal Marco began writing professionally in 2009. He has written many online home improvement articles based on his more than 20 years of experience in the home improvement and building industries. He has worked as both part of a team and as a site supervisor. Marco has a Bachelor of Science in management science from Kean University.