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Old 03-20-2019, 08:01 PM   #1
Phungki
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Cleaning vintage chrome?

What have you guys used to clean up your 60 plus year old chrome pieces?
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Old 03-20-2019, 08:48 PM   #2
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

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Originally Posted by Phungki View Post
What have you guys used to clean up your 60 plus year old chrome pieces?
It depends on how bad they are. If they're not showing pock marks or corrosion I use Simichrome. If they're significantly deteriorated I use 0000 steel wool followed by Simichrome.

WARNING: The steel wool helps for a while on damaged chrome, but will put micro-scratches in the chrome, so don't use it on good chrome.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

0000 steel wool.

What I've always wonders about and never tested is if it's really old and dull, would a serious attempt at re-polishing under a buffer with rouge help or make it worse? This of course assuming the plating isn't flaking or pitted badly just faded.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

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It depends on how bad they are. If they're not showing pock marks or corrosion I use Simichrome. If they're significantly deteriorated I use 0000 steel wool followed by Simichrome.
Simichrome, never heard of that. Glad I asked. Iíll look into that.
Thank you
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

Simichrome works petty well, it comes in a tube and is a bit spendy but does a great job. After you polish it lay on a coat of car wax. The guys at the chrome shop that belonged to friends of my dad and uncle coated all freshly chromed pieces with a coat of Rally Wax and didn't polish it off. They suggested on keeping the chrome waxed to protect it.

When I lived in Texas and Waco Plating did what chrome I needed and could afford to have done he told me about a customer with a sports car that he had redone the chrome for a couple of times because the guy polished the chrome so much he actually wore it out. The guy at the chorme shop said no matter how much he fussed at the guy or told him he was polishing it too much he just kept on polishing it on an all too regular basis.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:21 PM   #6
Phungki
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

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Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
Simichrome works petty well, it comes in a tube and is a bit spendy but does a great job. After you polish it lay on a coat of car wax. The guys at the chrome shop that belonged to friends of my dad and uncle coated all freshly chromed pieces with a coat of Rally Wax and didn't polish it off. They suggested on keeping the chrome waxed to protect it.

When I lived in Texas and Waco Plating did what chrome I needed and could afford to have done he told me about a customer with a sports car that he had redone the chrome for a couple of times because the guy polished the chrome so much he actually wore it out. The guy at the chorme shop said no matter how much he fussed at the guy or told him he was polishing it too much he just kept on polishing it on an all too regular basis.
Good tip. Iíll be sure to do that.
Thank you
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:22 AM   #7
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

Not sure when chrome replaced stainless so are you sure it's chrome?
Regardless, start with soap and water and work your way up from there. Autosol is a great ,fine polish that you might consider...it won't hurt any finish that I'm aware of.
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Old 03-21-2019, 12:27 AM   #8
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan in Pasadena View Post
0000 steel wool.

What I've always wonders about and never tested is if it's really old and dull, would a serious attempt at re-polishing under a buffer with rouge help or make it worse? This of course assuming the plating isn't flaking or pitted badly just faded.
WARNING: The steel wool helps for a while on damaged chrome, but will put micro-scratches in the chrome, so don't use it on good chrome.

Rouge is a mild abrasive. If the chrome is in good shape, without pits, I wouldn't use it. If the surface is already damaged, use whatever you'd like to try. It's shot anyway, and maybe it'll look better for a while.

For chrome that is intact, I'd clean it with mild soap and water and then use a product made for polishing chrome. A lot of people use Mother's, but I've never been impressed with it. I have a 1000 gram (2.2 lb.) can of Simichrome that cost me a fortune 20 years ago. Amazon still has it, along with other sizes:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=simichrom...nb_sb_ss_i_3_4

A tube lasts longer than you would think. Simichrome is also a mild abrasive, but it's made for chrome. It can be sued with a buffing wheel or ball. Just don't get carried away.

I don't mean for this to sound like an ad for Simichrome. It's just what I've used. There are other great products out there. I've tried several but come back to S...
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:59 AM   #9
Phungki
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot Stomper View Post
Not sure when chrome replaced stainless so are you sure it's chrome?
Regardless, start with soap and water and work your way up from there. Autosol is a great ,fine polish that you might consider...it won't hurt any finish that I'm aware of.
Yeah Iím sure itís chrome. Itís easy to see the difference between the two.
Iíll look into the autosol.
Thank you
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:10 AM   #10
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

I have an old bottle of Revere Stainless Steel Pot and Pan cleaner and a container of Bar Keeper's Friend that I use for polished and chromed surfaces. The Revere product is liquid and it's good for first time cleaning on old chrome. Bar Keeper's is a powder that's used with a damp rag and I like to use that for touch up but it's pretty powerful stuff and will clean well with elbow grease. Both products use a combination of abrasives and acid to clean and create the finished effect. Revere's packaging is different so I can't really tell if today's version is the same, but you should be able to find them at local box retailers as well as Amazon.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:43 PM   #11
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

truk chrome was rough, but i managed to save the grill and headlight rings.
lots of rust and pitting on the grill over the turn signal lights.
i tried the soft polish methods and ended up using 0000 steel wool and a lot of elbow grease.
steel wool didn't remove the dent at the H and it couldn't save the rusted out ts bezels.
old oem chrome was pretty tough and thick
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:00 PM   #12
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

someone told me at the swap meet that wetted tinfoil cleans rusty/old chrome. I havent tried, but I bet you have some tinfoil already, have water, and we know you have some chrome that needs help.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:36 PM   #13
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

tin foil?

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Old 03-22-2019, 09:20 PM   #14
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

No, not for chrome. Keeps the internet from knowing what you're thinking.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

As mentioned before do not use steel wool and I would not recommend to use tin foil either . Both will scratch the plating . I would use a ultra fine rubbing compound followed up with paste wax.
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Old 03-24-2019, 06:18 PM   #16
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

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Originally Posted by vics stuff View Post
As mentioned before do not use steel wool and I would not recommend to use tin foil either . Both will scratch the plating . I would use a ultra fine rubbing compound followed up with paste wax.
Vic
Agreed, except in the case of already-damaged chrome. It will spruce up pitted and generally screwed up shiny stuff.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:42 PM   #17
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

I have been using Flitz for a long time. Also pricey, but non abrasive. Actually good for a lot of stuff.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:06 AM   #18
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Re: Cleaning vintage chrome?

Chrome cleaner and buffer work great, follow up with nice paste wax.Nice shinny chrome, Buffer works wonders.
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