Your dazzling Chrome shine on your motorbike, or car, or watch (or something else) started to rust because it wasn’t properly maintained, or maybe you simply are looking for a simple way of cleaning that won’t scratch the chrome surface.
This article will ensure that you don’t use the wrong methods to get the actual look you desire for your Chrome plated machines and equipment.
Will Scotch Brite Scratch Chrome?
Scotch Brite, due to its abrasive nature, is very likely to scratch Chrome if used the wrong way for cleaning purposes. However, many people want a dull matte finish on their chrome finishes and scotch brite will be able to give that look.
Chrome is extremely hard, as long as you stay with Scotchbrite, it will take you days to scratch through it by hand.
If you intend to clean your chrome of rust and dirt, there are many other alternatives to using scotch brite, such as a piece of foil and soapy water, or a dried coolant and a water-based degreaser.
In addition, you can use a carbide scraper or brass. These will hardly hurt or scratch your Chrome compared to Scotch brite that consists of mostly abrasives.
If you intend to dull or age the look of your Chrome on your bike engine, wheels and pipes, using scotch brite wrongly will not give you your desired result.
However, using scotch brite correctly on Chrome is not rocket science, you only have to be gentle about it, make use of lots of water with the scotch brite pad, and particularly use a less abrasive one.
The points below outline how to use scotch brite on Chrome.
How to Use Scotch Brite on Chrome?
People who work on their chrome using scotch brite do so most times because they want to change the chrome from being too shiny into a nickel look.
CAUTION: If you sand your chrome finish with a scoth brite, keep in mind that these marks will not be easily removed.
There are 2 ways of using scotch brite on Chrome:
- The hand or manual way
- The scotch brite wheel way
The Manual Method
1- Scotch brite pad (less abrasive, such as light grey)
4- Face mask
STEP 1: Wear a face mask to protect your eyes, nose, and ear because of the chromium particles.
STEP 2: Use the scoth brite pad to start gently scrubbing the chrome finish in either circular or up-and-down motions. In this case, use the Light gray colored scotch brite with 800-1000 grit.
Depending on the size of your Chrome, you might need to use lots of water to lessen the effect of the scotch brite while using it on chrome.
Note: The higher the grit of the scotch brite, the more water you'll need to pour on Chrome, not on scotch brite because water doesn't reduce its effectiveness.
Alternatively, pour the degreaser on the chrome and rub carefully with the scotch brite moving back and forth in one direction.
The Scotch Brite Wheel Method
The air-powered scotch brite wheel works better because it is easy to control.
1- Dry cloth/rag
2- Face mask
3- Air scoth brite wheel
4- Chrome Polish
STEP 1: Clean the Chrome’s surface with a dry cloth or rag.
STEP 2: Wear a face mask to protect your eyes, nose, and ear because of the chromium particles
STEP 3: Power your air scotch brite wheel to grind the chrome gently
STEP 4: While in use, do not grind through the chrome. This is because too much grinding may cause damage that cannot be undone.
STEP 5: To protect the metal behind your chrome, after using the scotch brite, apply a chrome finishing polish (like Flitz).
How to Select Scotch-Brite Color for Chrome Finishes?
Here are the colors and their best uses.
For heavy-duty cleaning, it works best in removing oxide from metals and chrome.
Works best in cleaning, equipment maintenance, blending, and intermediate finishing. Its grit is specifically 600.
Good for fine finishing, cleaning, paint keying, light deburring, and blending. Its grit is 360-400.
Perfect for excellent finishing, light cleaning, die polishing, and denibbing. Its grit is 600-800.
Very similar to the Light grey scotch brite. For improved finishing. Its grit is considered to be 1000
Best Ways To Clean Chrome
Don’t be too surprised that the best way to clean your Chrome is a very simple way. Due to the nature of its components, it doesn’t require technical ways of maintenance to make it and keep it clean.
1- Everyday Cleaning
If you dedicate some amount of time to cleaning your chrome’s surfaces regularly, you won’t need to do a serious cleaning or “scotch-briting” late on.
Make sure no moisture, oil, or grease settles on the chrome surfaces for too long which causes stains.
Whether the chrome item is inside your home, workshop, on your bicycle, or on your car, a normal degree of dirt can be removed almost immediately with a few drops of dish soap, a toothbrush (to penetrate places where the cloth may not), water, and a clean dry cloth – a microfiber cloth is best.
1- Prepare a solution of soap and water and apply it to the chrome surface in circular motions.
2- Use a spray bottle to wash away the solution.
3- After washing, make sure to wipe dry.
2- Occasional Cleaning
You can use a multipurpose Cleaner with water to clean your chrome. If that isn’t handy, get a lemon, some vinegar, and mix these with warm water.
Wipe the chrome with the solution prepared.
If the above does not help, use baking soda or baking powder.
1- Spread the powder evenly on a damp cloth, dab the surface with it, let it sit for about 2-3 hours.
2- Thoroughly rinse with warm water.
3- Afterward, rub the surface dry with a soft cloth.
3- Rust Removal from Chrome
Discovering rust has appeared on your chrome might be disheartening, however, it can be cleaned if you have some cola close by. Cola has phosphoric acid; this acid reacts with the rust and makes the stain disappear.
1- Take an absorbent cloth or sponge and pour the cola generously over it.
2- Then wipe over the rust stain.
3- After about an hour, check whether the stain is still visible. If there‘s still something there, repeat the procedure.
We have explained how scotch brite pads will behave when used on chrome surfaces.
We have also listed the best ways to clean chrome surfaces with easy methods. Give the methods a try!