Chrome is a highly touted commercial metal these days; if something is advertised as chrome, the metal’s sleek shine and elegance naturally draw consumers in. However, nearly all chrome products are actually only covered in a chrome finish. This is due to chrome’s innate softness and malleability. It’s nearly impossible for a 100% chrome product to exist and not fall apart. Even those chrome faucets, appliances and car rims are only dusted with a thin layer of shiny chrome. Because of this thin layer of the metal on chrome products, it’s extremely important to maintain your chrome and avoid the dirt that easily accumulates on chrome. Fortunately, cleaning chrome is a rather easy task that can be done with household products or using one of many specific chrome-cleaning products on the market dedicated to this very task.
Stay a step ahead of dirt. Because of chrome's famous natural sheen, dirt, grease and other unsightly residue can build up quickly and with ease upon the chrome goods you own. The best way to keep chrome clean is to never let it get dirty by allowing dirt and grime to set into the soft metal. If you see any residue building up on your chrome, it's best to address the problem immediately to save yourself some major headaches down the road.
Start with soap and water. Sure, it sounds like it won't do the trick, but a damp cloth and bucket of sudsy water can likely peel off dirt that may have accumulated. Use warm water for the best results. Simply rinse with water, apply your soap solution with a cloth and rinse all soap and water residues off. Repeat as much as necessary. Never use cleaning solutions on any metals (especially chrome!) because they will scratch the metallic finish and damage the character of the metal.
Grab an old toothbrush for hard to reach spots. Simply use the same soap and water solution, and go to work on any creases and crevices that you may have missed with your damp cloth. Make sure you rinse these hard-to-reach places and leave no soap residue behind.
Use vinegar if soap fails. A 1-to-1 warm water and vinegar solution will be a bit more potent than a standard soap and water mixture. Again, use a damp cloth to wipe off any stains; rinse and repeat as much as necessary. A toothbrush for the crevices is likely necessary again. Some people actually prefer to use soft aluminum foil when cleaning with vinegar-if your chrome is rusty, the aluminum foil and vinegar combination may be a necessity.
Dry your chrome once you are finished cleaning. Take a dry cloth or towel (microfiber towels work the best) and dry your chrome slowly, moving in small circles across to avoid smudging. Work your way slowly from one side to the other.
Polish away. You can find polishes suited especially for chrome at most home improvement and automobile stores, respectively. These polishes are specifically designed to buff chrome and give it an extra metallic shine, more so than a standard dry would do. Read the label to ensure that the product you purchase can be used on chrome.