How to Clean Chrome Bumpers

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Many people think the only way to get chrome bumpers shiny again is to have them re-plated in chrome by a professional. This can be very expensive and is not needed in most cases. There are several suggestions out there on how to clean chrome bumpers, but many of those tips can harm and scratch the chrome finish. Learn how to clean chrome bumpers the correct way to get shiny, bright chrome without scratching or ruining your chrome.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush with brass bristles
  • Bronze wool pad
  • Car soap
  • bucket of water
  • sponge
  • Rags/towels
  • Automotive chrome cleaner
  • Chrome wax

Removing Heavy Buildup

  • Remove heavy buildup, dirt and grime from chrome bumpers by brushing them with a brass wire brush. Brass is not as strong as chrome so a brass wire brush will not scratch the chrome.

  • Rub the chrome bumper with bronze wool pads to remove any remaining grime or buildup from the bumper. Bronze is also weaker than chrome and will not scratch the chrome finish.

  • Wash the chrome bumper using automotive car wash soap and water. This removes the dirt and grime loosened by the brush and wool pads and prepares the surface for the chrome cleaner.

Clean The Chrome Bumper

  • Clean the chrome bumper by applying an automotive chrome cleaner. There are many chrome cleaning products, found at any automotive parts store. Most work the same way and are safe for chrome. Using a soft towel or rag, wipe the chrome cleaner on the chrome, allow it to sit until it dries (about two mintutes) and then rub it off using a clean, dry towel.

  • Wipe or wash off any excess chrome cleaner. The chrome bumper should look clean and shiny and be free of any marks or rust.

  • Apply wax to the chrome bumper by wiping the wax in a circular motion with a slightly damp towel. Allow the wax to dry completely (about 5 to 10 minutes) and then rub it off with a clean dry towel. Waxing the chrome puts a high shine on it and protects if from future buildup.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always remove all buildup and grime before applying chrome cleaner. If the cleaner is applied on top of dirt and grime it will contaminate the cleaner and not clean the chrome correctly.
  • Do not use steel wool pads or steel wire brushes on chrome. This will scratch the chrome.

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