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.
Things You'll Need
- Soft, clean cloths
- Toothpaste (not gel)
- Distilled white vinegar
- Baby oil
- Liquid dish soap (not detergent)
Spread a thin layer of toothpaste on the surface of the chrome plating. Use the opaque white toothpaste, not one of the gel varieties.
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.
Take a fresh cloth and wipe away the toothpaste, revealing a shining, clean surface.
Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into a spray bottle.
Spray the surface of the chrome plating with the undiluted vinegar.
Wipe down the surface with a clean cloth.
Baby Oil Method
Dampen a portion of a soft cloth with baby oil.
Rub the baby oil into the chrome plating in the same manner as you did with the toothpaste.
Wipe off excess baby oil with a fresh cloth or a still fresh portion of the same cloth.
Wipe down the newly cleaned area with soapy water to remove any greasy feeling from the baby oil, if desired.
Tips & Warnings
- 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.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
How is Plastic Chrome Plated?
Traditionally, plastic is plated with chrome in an electrolytic process after being pre-treated in an electroless process. In another process, vacuum metalizing,...
How to Clean Chrome
Classic cars and motorcycles have lots of chrome that needs to be cleaned regularly to keep up their appearances. The good news...
How to Clean Nickel Plated Metal
Nickel-plated metal provides an attractive finish--when it is clean and free of tarnish. Nickel-plated metal was a popular choice in the past...
How to Clean Tarnish on Plastic
Plastic has made its mark by being one of the most versatile materials available. It is inside and outside your home in...
How to Clean Plastic Chrome
Plastic chrome is a vacuum-metallized chrome finish applied to many auto and motorcycle parts to create the appearance of real chrome. Plastic...