How to Clean Chrome Plated Plastic

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft, clean cloths

  • Toothpaste (not gel)

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Baby oil

  • Liquid dish soap (not detergent)


Substitute apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for the distilled white vinegar, if desired.


The rough side of aluminum foil can also be used to clean chrome, but it may be too abrasive for chrome plated plastic in some cases. Test a small area first to make sure that no damage is done.

Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Any chrome surfaces actually consist of an extremely thin layer of chrome plated onto another material. Regardless of what that other material is, from plastic to steel to aluminum, this chrome plated is what needs to be addressed when the time comes to clean it. You can always buy a special chrome cleaner, but there are several items in your home that work just as well and are far less expensive.

Toothpaste Method

Step 1

Spread a thin layer of toothpaste on the surface of the chrome plating. Use the opaque white toothpaste, not one of the gel varieties.

Step 2

Rub the toothpaste-covered chrome plating with a soft, clean cloth in small circular and swirling patterns. There is no need to apply a lot of force.

Step 3

Take a fresh cloth and wipe away the toothpaste, revealing a shining, clean surface.

Vinegar Method

Step 1

Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle.

Step 2

Spray the surface of the chrome plating with the undiluted vinegar.

Step 3

Wipe down the surface with a clean cloth.

Baby Oil Method

Step 1

Dampen a portion of a soft cloth with baby oil.

Step 2

Rub the baby oil into the chrome plating in the same manner as you did with the toothpaste.

Step 3

Wipe off excess baby oil with a fresh cloth or a still fresh portion of the same cloth.

Step 4

Wipe down the newly cleaned area with soapy water to remove any greasy feeling from the baby oil, if desired.


Antonia Sorin

Antonia Sorin started writing in 2004. She is an independent writer, filmmaker and motion graphics designer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has completed work for the Long Leaf Opera Company, the former Exploris Museum and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.