Chromium, or chrome, is a metal commonly found in the home and garage. It is used as shiny plating on top of other metals on items such as vehicle parts and sink taps. It's necessary to regularly clean chrome, as otherwise it can become dull, stained and even rusty. There are many different products that can be used to clean it, and soap and water — along with a little elbow grease — is often enough.
Regular chrome cleaning can be as simple as soapy water for washing and paper towels for drying. Never use too much soap in the water, or the chrome may have a soap film or scum rather than turn out clean and shiny. Just a little detergent mixed with water and then scrubbed on the chrome with a cloth or sponge is likely to remove light soil from the metal. The chrome should then be polished dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.
Adding a little water to baking soda to create a paste and then applying it with an old toothbrush to clean chrome taps is often a good way to get into the small crevices around each sink tap. A baking soda paste may also be used with a steel wool pad to clean stove burner rings made of chrome. The paste should always be rinsed completely off before drying and polishing the chrome.
Other household items that are known for their ability to clean chrome are toothpaste and isopropyl, or rubbing, alcohol. Toothpaste or rubbing alcohol may remove spots, such as those created by hard water. Baby oil or olive oil can make chrome very shiny, but it's important to use only a tiny amount of it on a soft cloth. Dirt should be removed from the chrome surface before polishing it with the lightly oiled cloth.
Aluminum foil used alone may buff out rusty spots in chrome. If this doesn't work, you could try dipping the foil in cola before scrubbing the rust spots. There are also many commercial chrome cleaning products on the market. Some are all purpose, while others are made for a specific chrome item. For instance, chrome cleaner for car parts can be purchased at many auto repair shops.