How to Clean Chrome on a Car

Published by Jeff Torres

Published on

How to Clean Chrome on a Car

How to Clean Chrome on a Car

Chrome elements on your car’s exterior and interior give an aesthetically pleasing and luxurious look. But what happens if it gets dirty? With some expert tips from car detailers like us, you don’t have to worry. We will teach you how to clean chrome on a car and make it look as good as new in just a few steps.

With our effective methods, you can achieve a showroom-worthy finish for the chrome on your vehicle. Let us give you some practical advice to return the shine of the chrome on your car.

What Can I Use to Clean Chrome?

Your chrome cleaning journey should start with gathering the needed supplies. Chrome is a delicate material and you should carefully pick the products you use to clean it. From our experience, you should use non-abrasive cleaning agents that won’t damage the chrome’s finish, such as:

  • Soap, mild detergent, or automotive soap
  • Vinegar
  • Lightweight cleaning solutions like rubbing oil, baby oil, and ethanol
  • Special cleaning solutions for chrome

When it comes to the other products you will need during the process, we recommend getting:

  • A toothbrush for hard-to-reach places
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Aluminum foil
  • Bucket
How to Clean Chrome on a Car
Source: / Photo Contributor: whatwolf

How to Clean Chrome on a Car

Start by rinsing the chrome surfaces with water. Your goal in this step is to remove the loose dirt and eventually prevent scratching the chrome surfaces during cleaning.

Once you have rinsed the chrome, you should continue by mixing soap and water into a bucket. You can replace the soap with a mild detergent or automobile soap if you want to. Then, dip the soft cloth or the sponge into the soapy water and clean the chrome.

Use gentle movements to remove the dirt from the chrome. You might have trouble reaching some of the places. That’s when you need to get the soft toothbrush and thoroughly clean the chrome. When you are done, use another dry cloth to give the chrome an extra shine and remove any watermarks.

Additional method

Another way how to clean chrome trim on a car is to use vinegar instead of soap. Pour some vinegar on the cloth and use it to wipe the chrome on your car. If you don’t like the strong smell of the vinegar, we don’t recommend using it in your car’s interior.

You can do the same with other remedies such as rubbing oil, baby oil, and ethanol. The next step is optional, and you can do it if you want your chrome to have an extra shine. 

Apply a small amount of chrome cleaner or metal polish. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to polish chrome by hand. You can also add a thin layer of chrome wax and give the surface extra protection.

Tips for Keeping It Clean and Protection From Rusting

Now that you know how to restore chrome on a car, it is time for us to teach you how you can keep it that way. Plus, we have some expert tips on how to protect it from rust.

The first and most obvious one is to clean it regularly. While doing that, never use harsh chemicals because they can easily damage the chrome. You might notice discoloration or deterioration. 

Always dry the chrome thoroughly after cleaning it. That way, you can wave the water spots and rust goodbye.

Furthermore, you should use only high-quality polishing and waxing solutions. Don’t risk permanently damaging your chrome to save some money. Eventually, you might end up paying more for its replacement.

Ultimately, store your car properly. Use a car cover to protect it from the elements whenever you get the chance, or park it in the garage.

Tips for Keeping It Clean and Protection From Rusting
Source: / Photo Contributor:


It is your job to regularly clean and maintain your car, including the chrome surfaces. If you don’t have the time to follow the steps on how to clean chrome on a car, you can get in touch with us, and we can make you an offer for car detailing. 

Remember, whether you choose to do it yourself or bring the car to us, cleaning your chrome may prevent corrosion and damage.

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