Using a polish upon a chrome surface can make a huge difference because it cleans the surface and restores any lost shine. Chrome can be found on many classic cars but other modern vehicles also use the material on trim, exhausts and wheels. Chrome is electroplated and soft so that it can be used to coat other metals and give them a shiny finish. However, it’s important that you use the correct polish in order to maintain the finish.
If you require a quick answer, the best chrome polish is the Simichrome 390050. It’s a versatile formula that removes surface rust and defects from the chrome as well as adding a clear protective coating to prevent any further damage. However, if you require additional protection, the Quick Glo Cleaner is the best alternative.
To rate the chrome polishes and cleaners within this article, we based our recommendations upon plenty of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included the ease of application, protective qualities, compatible surfaces, finish and value for money.
Table of Contents
Chrome Polish Comparison
|Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner
|Turtle Wax T-280RA
|Eagle One Nevr-Dull
|Blue Magic 400
|Chemical Guys Heavy Duty
Irregular maintenance of your car’s chrome may cause issues to its finish. Due to the softness of chrome, you can achieve excellent results by using a quality polish that’s designed for automotive applications.
Some manufacturers produce all metal or aluminum polishes that may also be used on chrome surfaces. This may be a great benefit if you have a mixture of different metal components on your car. However, it’s important to note that these are to be used upon real chrome and not plastic chrome components.
Below is a list of the best chrome polishes that clean and restore the shine to your car’s chrome trim, exhaust, wheels and other components.
The Best Chrome Polish
1. Simichrome 390050 All Metal Polish Tube
Simichrome is a highly popular chrome polish that’s suitable for both automotive and domestic use. The 390050 formula in particular can be used on all sort of metals such as chrome bumpers to alloy wheels. It also works well for removing surface rust and restoring shine, which is a very desirable trait.
Unlike other polishes, this product takes less than 30 seconds before you see the faded, dull or oxidized metal turn into a mirror finish. Not only that, the unique formula provides a protective layer to prevent further tarnishing.
Other features of the Simichrome 390050 include:
- Can be used on all metal surfaces
- Results in 30 seconds of usage
- Provides a protective layer
- Paste rather than a spray
- Concentrated formula
Overall, the Simichrome polish is one of the best car chrome polishes on the market that’s highly effective. The speed at which it turns dull metal to a metal finish is truly remarkable.Check it Out
2. Quick Glo Car Chrome Cleaner
The Quick Glo Chrome Cleaner is a unique formula because it’s a water based polish, cleaner and wax “all-in-one” product. According to the brand, it provides excellent results when buffed into cars, bikes or boat chrome surfaces that are heavily oxidized.
In terms of application, you can use a cotton rag or microfiber applicator to buff the product into the work area. If you are a fan of Jay Leno you would have seen this chrome polish talked about a lot and for good reason too.
Other features of the Quick-Glo Chrome Cleaner include:
- Cleans, polishes and waxes in one application
- Eco-friendly formula
- Removes corrosion and designed for heavy use
- Excellent at removing water sports
- Concentrated formula that lasts
Unlike many of the other chrome polish alternatives, the Quck-Glo also waxes the surface too. This is something to consider for those that are planning on buying another product just for waxing the chrome after polishing it.Check it Out
3. Turtle Wax T-280RA Chrome Polish For Rims
Turtle Wax are a huge detailing brand and their chrome polish is one of the best options for chrome rims. Whether you want to keep on top of your wheels or want to protect them against the salt on the roads during the winter season, the T-280RA formula will do exactly that.
Features of the Turtle Wax T-280RA include:
- Works great on rusted or tarnished chrome
- Leaves a protective layer after usage
- Easy to apply with a cotton, microfiber or foam pad
- Can be used on wheels, bumper and other trims
The Turtle Wax T-280RA formula is the best chrome wheel polish that restores rims to their original gleaming luster. The only drawback is that Turtle Wax only provide this polish in small 4oz bottles, which you may go through quickly.Check it Out
4. 3M 39527 Chrome Cleaner and Polish
The 3M Chrome and Metal Polish is a refined formula that removes surface rust, stains, corrosion and oxidation with ease. It’s best suited to chrome or stainless steel but they do provide an alternative for magnesium or aluminum surfaces.
Other features of the 3M 39527 Chrome Cleaner and Polish includes:
- Suitable for a range of automotive metals
- Removes pitting or spotting defects
- Recommended for wheels, trims and bumpers
- Enhances shine and sparkling effects
- Application by hand or polishing tool
3M is a reputable brand and you do have to pay the premium price for their polish but the results speak for themselves. It’s easy to apply and it’s an excellent cleaner as well as a polish, which allows you to achieve a “showroom shine” fairly easily.Check it Out
5. Eagle One Nevr-Dull Wadding Polish
The Eagle One Nevr-Dull is one of the most expensive chrome polishes within this article, so you would expect it to provide excellent results. The brand claim it has been the “go-to” metal polish for over 70 years, so this would indicate that it certainly works well.
Other features of the Eagle One Nevr-Dull include:
- Restores and protects most metal surfaces
- Removes rust and tar without leave scratch marks
- Mirror-like reflection after usage
- Non-abrasive formula
- Leaves zero residue or deposits
Overall, the Eagle One Nevr-Dull is a great option to consider with it 3-in-1 formula that promises to clean, protect and maintain chrome and other metal surfaces within one application. Apart from the premium price tag, it’s one of the most rated chrome polish and cleaner products available and it won’t disappoint.Check it Out
6. Mothers California Gold Chrome Polish
Mothers is a detailing brand that’s loved by many car enthusiasts in the US. Their chrome polish is one of the best polishes they produce and it contains an advanced formula that’s easy to apply and produces an excellent shine.
Other features of the Mothers 05212 California Gold include:
- Abrasive formula deeply cleans and remove corrosion
- Doesn’t streak, scratch or smear
- Easy to apply
- Restores dull surfaces to a showroom shine
- Can also be used on glass and mirrors
Application of the Mothers chrome polish is as simple as using an applicator pad and rubbing it into the neglected surface. It’s able to cut through most poorly conditioned chrome surfaces but its gentle enough to be used of a regular basis.
Overall, the California Gold chrome polish by Mothers is one of the cheapest chrome polishes available and it’s great for tough dirt such as brake dust and tough road grime.Check it Out
7. Blue Magic 400 Metal Polish
The Blue Magic brand isn’t the most well-known but their chrome metal polish is certainly a very popular option in the US. For heavily oxidized metals, the Blue Magic is the leading polish cream that will reveal a shiny finish to any chrome surface.
Other features of the Blue Magic 400 Polish Cream include:
- Includes ammonia for stronger cleaning power
- Non-abrasive formula
- Excellent for use on wheels
- Leaves a long lasting protective coating
- Can be applied using a car polishing machine
Whether you use this polish for automotive or domestic applications, it works great on all metals. Once applied, a silicone film is left over the metal surface that protects and increases the shine. It’s an excellent all-rounder but it’s more suited to those requiring a strong chrome polish.Check it Out
8. Chemical Guys Heavy Restorer and Protectant
For tackling extensive damage to automotive chrome surfaces, the Chemical Guys formula is another great option. It’s suitable for all chrome plated and metal surfaces with the aim being to remove light rust stains with relative ease. Depending upon the severity of defects upon the chrome surface, the brand also produce a lighter polish for additional shine.
Other features of the Chemical Guys Restorer and Protectant include:
- Application by hand or machine
- Restores shine to all metal parts
- Removes and protects against tarnish
- Cleans and brightens the surface
- 16 or 4 oz bottles
- Made in the USA
As with any products produced by the brand, you can expect great results. Their Heavy metal polish restorer and protectant is an excellent all-round product that’s suitable for chrome and other metal surfaces. If possible, we highly advise following up the polish with their “light” formula for improved results.Check it Out
Chrome Polish Buying Guide
Car chrome that’s clean, defect-free and polished up will provide a showroom shine every time. However, when neglected and poorly maintained, they can completely ruin the aesthetics of your vehicle. Luckily, there is a wide variety of quality polishes for chrome surfaces that can provide great results in a single application.
Almost every components of your car can be chrome plated but there are many surfaces that use plastic chrome. If this is the case, you will want to use a different polish that’s suited for plastic as opposed to metal surfaces.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced a detailed buying guide below regarding chrome polishes.
Car Chrome Protection
Oxidation is a big worry when it comes to chrome because chrome has one enemy, which is rust. If oxidation occurs, so will rust spots and its important to try your best to avoid it. By placing a protective coating over the chrome, it helps to preserve the surface and increase its finish over time.
As long as the chrome isn’t flaking off the surface, there is a chance to save it without having to have it re-plated. A quality chrome polish will bring the chrome back to life once the rust has been removed. When it comes to restoring chrome, it’s important that you use a chrome polish and not a regular car polish in order to get the best results.
How To Remove Rust From Chrome
- Use aluminum foil to remove the rust (see below explanation).
- Clean the chrome free of debris and dirt.
- Dip the aluminum in saltwater.
- Rub over the rust spots.
- Remove any dust residue.
- Rinse the chrome with water.
- Dry completely with a towel.
With regards to using aluminum foil, it reacts with the chrome chemically, which allows for easy scraping of the surface. Aluminum is soft, which means it won’t damage the metal underneath.
Compatibility of the Polish
The surface will dictate what kind of polish you should buy for the entire polishing project. You can check the label to see which surfaces the chrome polish can be used on. Most will include chrome wheels, air intakes, valve covers, bumpers and other accessories. To really bring out the shine in the chrome of an old car, it’s best to first polish, then go back and use a high quality wax.
Best Way To Polish Chrome
Before you apply any chrome polish to the car, you will want to ensure the surface is completely clean. This will involve removing any debris with water first before scrubbing and then applying a car wash soap and cleaning thoroughly. You’ll also need to ensure that the surface is dry before applying the chrome polish and then follow the below steps:
- Apply chrome polish to the applicator.
- Rub into the chrome using a circular motion.
- Remove any rust with steel wool.
- Apply wax to the chrome surface.
Polishing Chrome Rims
Chrome rims will go through far tougher conditions than other chrome components of your car. Therefore it’s important that they are thoroughly cleaned and protected. We strongly recommend that you remove all the dirt before polishing. Brake dust is often left behind after using a standard soap, so it’s also worth using a wheel cleaner for brake dust that’s safe on chrome wheels.
Once fully cleaned and dried, you can apply the chrome polish to remove all the defects and increase the shine. Although many polishes have a protective coating, we recommend that you use a wheel wax afterwards for further protection.
Age of the Car
Sadly, the older the chrome gets on a car, the more likely that there will be oxidization. A metal finishing polish can be used to treat the oxidized areas of an old car to bring them back to life again. Once the oxidization has been removed, clean, then follow up with a high quality wax to protect the surface area. Whether you have an old or new car, chrome is a beautiful addition but if it isn’t cared for, it can ruin the entire look of your car.
Chrome is a valuable addition to any vehicle on the road and when cleaned, it looks great. However, many fail to keep on top of maintaining chrome surfaces and they start to suffer from oxidation and dullness. Using any of the recommended polishes above can restore lost shine and clean the chrome surface with ease.
You may already have an “all-metal” polish but unless it specifically mentions that it can be used on chrome, we would advise that you avoid it. Most polishes designed for chrome are relatively cheap and a worthwhile investment.