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How to Remove Rust from Chrome Fixtures

2024-06-03 22:00


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  • Cleaning a rusty or dirty chrome shower head or bathroom faucet can be challenging. SERVPRO has some tips to help make the job go

    Chrome is a very popular choice for vehicles and homes due to its timeless, reflective finish. However, its aesthetic appeal can become tarnished by rust over time. Fortunately, with the right tools, techniques, and a bit of elbow grease, you can successfully remove and prevent rust from reappearing on your chrome fixtures.

    Why Does Chrome Rust?

    Technically, chrome itself cannot rust, because it has a protective coating. However, when the chrome plating becomes damaged or scratched, the metal underneath can rust over time. The rusting of the metal beneath is primarily due to exposure to water or humidity in the air.

    Not only does rust diminish the sleek appearance of chrome fixtures, but it can also damage and weaken the underlying metal. According to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, “Rusting has a number of effects on metal objects. It makes them look orange and rough. It makes them weaker, by replacing the strong iron or steel with flaky powder.” To protect your chrome fixtures and restore their natural shine, below are a few easy and affordable methods for removing rust.

    Removing Rust from Chrome Fixtures

    • Try dish soap and a toothbrush to scrub the rust away. The toothbrush allows access to those hard-to-reach areas, and if the bristles aren’t too stiff, it will not scratch the chrome surface.
    • If soap and water are not effective, try a paste made from baking soda and water. Apply the paste to the tarnished area and let it sit for five minutes before wiping it clean.
    • Vinegar’s acidity also makes it an excellent rust-removing method. Use a spray bottle to cover the rusted area with equal parts vinegar and water and allow it to rest on the fixture before scrubbing it off.
    • Family Handyman states that aluminum foil is a good tool for combatting rust. Dip a piece of aluminum foil in saltwater and scrub the tarnished area until the rust is removed. If this method is not effective, try using cola instead. The carbonic acid in cola causes a chemical reaction that can assist in the cleaning process.

    Once your chrome fixtures are rust-free, it is recommended to follow these next steps to prevent rust from reappearing.   

    Preventing Chrome from Rusting

    To prevent rust from reappearing on your home’s chrome fixtures, take note of these steps:

    • Wipe your home’s chrome fixtures with a towel when water is present. This prevents water from lingering on surfaces and rusting over time.
    • Routine maintenance and cleaning are essential in helping remove rust before it builds up or becomes noticeable.
    • It is also very important to increase ventilation in your kitchen or bathroom if rust continues to appear on your home’s chrome fixtures.

    To help preserve the structure and aesthetic appeal of your vehicle’s chrome fixtures:

    • Use a high quality, commercial chrome polish to prevent future rust and help maintain your chrome fixture’s shine.
    • Polish the chrome with a penetrating oil or fluid to keep water out of the underlying metal.
    • Create a protective layer by using wax on your vehicle’s chrome fixtures.

    By following these recommended methods, you can restore the visual appeal and prolong the durability of your chrome fixtures. Remember to routinely clean and address rust promptly to keep your chrome fixtures spotless and rust-free.

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