The best chrome cleaner for your car

Chrome needs something special to keep it sparkling, find our top choices right here.

The chromed front end of an original Mini

by Ryan Gilmore |

There used to be a time where chrome was featured on pretty-much every car, even the lowliest of city cars could be specified with a fair amount of brightwork. And while chrome has fallen out of fashion in previous years, squint and you'll see it affixed to a fair few cars.

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If you have chrome trim on your car you may be aware that a specialised cleaner is required to keep that chrome sparkling, regular products can leave swirl marks and streaks. Chrome can look stunning when it's looked after which is why we've found the best chrome cleaners currently on sale.

The best chrome cleaner

Autosol 250ml Liquid Chrome Cleaner

The best chrome cleaner
Autosol 250ml Liquid Chrome Cleaner
Amazon

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One of the most revered chrome cleaners on the market, Autosol Liquid Chrome Cleaner is our top choice for maintaining shiny chrome, tackling surface rust and fighting tarnishing. It can also be used to clean steel, brass, copper, chrome and aluminium

Autoglym Metal Polish

The best chrome cleaner for more than just chrome
Autoglym Metal Polish
Amazon

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If your car features other metals that require polishing then Autoglym's Metal Polish could be your all-in-one solution. It's perfect for use on brass, copper, stainless steel, chrome and aluminium, is really fast acting and even leaves a protective layer of wax that should prevent the metal from tarnishing as quickly. And while other chrome cleaners here can be used on multiple metals, the protection offered by this cleaner makes it our top choice for cleaning metal.

3M Chrome and Metal Polish

The best chrome cleaner for heavily tarnished chrome
3M Chrome and Metal Polish
Amazon

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The most abrasive option for cleaning metal, this metal polish may dull your brightwork if you're a little too aggressive with the polishing, but for restoring heavily tarnished metal nothing gets close. It's also a paste which means less chance of spillage and wasted product, important considering it's the most expensive option here.

Jenolite Liquid Metal Polish

The best chrome cleaner for light cleaning
Jenolite Liquid Metal Polish
Amazon

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This chrome cleaner is a foam that's easy to apply and wipe away. It's our top choice for light cleaning duties as it's not abrasive and won't dull chrome as it cleans it. That being said, it's not much use on surface rust or tarnished chrome which means it's best used on good condition metals only. It does at least provide a little layer of protection as it cleans.

Simoniz SAPP0090A Chrome Cleaner

The best chrome cleaner for more than just metal
Simoniz SAPP0090A Chrome Cleaner
Amazon

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If you're after a real all-in-one solution for polishing trim pieces, this polish from Simoniz can treat the metals mentioned above and chromed plastic trim too. It'll help remove stains and marks and restore lost shine. It can also protect your chrome from rusting.

What if my chrome is too far gone?

If even the most abrasive of cleaners aren't cutting through the worst rust, or the finish is starting to pit or flake away, there are still a couple of options of restoring the lost shine without needing to find the part number and shell out on a new part.

  • One option is using a stiff brush (a good nylon brush should be enough) to scratch away the worst of the rust and hope an abrasive chrome cleaner will be enough to bring it back, even if it's a little duller.
  • The other option is to head to a specialist and pay for it to be rechromed. The cost will depend on how large the piece is (a door handle will cost less than a bumper) but will have the chrome looking better than new.

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