Best Chrome Polishes: Create a Brilliant Shine for Your Ride

These high-quality formulas will ensure your car or motorcycle looks good and stays protected.

byNoelle Talmon| UPDATED Feb 11, 2022 11:16 AM
Best Chrome Polishes: Create a Brilliant Shine for Your Ride
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Chrome is a popular metal coat on motorcycles and vehicles because shiny trim is cool. If your car, truck, or motorcycle has chrome components, such as the wheels, it's a good idea to clean those parts regularly with a chrome-specific polish in order to prevent rust formation. Over time, rust can spread and damage metal surfaces. 

You have to do a little bit of work to ensure that the chrome sustains that glossy, shiny appearance. In order to remove streaks and make sure the chrome doesn't rust or tarnish, you need to maintain it with a high-quality polish. Chrome polishes also remove stains and water spots. There are a variety of chrome polishes, but they're not all created equally. Check out our buying guide for some of the best options available.

Our Methodology

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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We took several factors into consideration when compiling our list of the best chrome polishes. Whenever possible, we selected brands that were specifically designed for automotive applications, however, there are several brands that are all-purpose orientated that do a good job. We looked at polishes that clean chrome, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and copper. We made sure to include products at various price points to suit a variety of budgets. We also checked user feedback to see how these polishes perform in real-world conditions. For more information on our methodology, go here

Best Chrome Polish Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Brand: 3M
  • Size: 10 ounces
  • Works on: Bronze, brass, copper, stainless steel, metal

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Removes rust, spots, stains 
  • High-quality performance

Cons

  • Container may not be full
  • Rough and gritty
  • Too abrasive for some applications

This metal polish is a good all-around polish that can be used on a wide variety of metals, including chrome, copper, bronze, steel, and brass. Work the polish in a circular motion over the metal, then buff it off with a microfiber cloth. It will remove rust, oxidation, stains, pitting, corrosion, and spots. You’ll find this polish easy to apply. All you need is a cloth to apply and another to buff. When other polishes fail to restore the look of your chrome, this polish performs. 


Unfortunately, the container you receive may arrive not full. This can make the size of the container seem misleading. This polish also feels quite rough due to the grit in it. It can be too abrasive for some high-quality chrome.

Specs

  • Brand: Mothers
  • Size: 12 ounces
  • Works on: Automotive chrome

Pros

  • Gently cleans
  • Repairs and preserves
  • Safe to use near glass
  • Protects chrome from fingerprints

Cons

  • May leave swirl marks
  • Can make chrome look cloudy
  • Unpleasant aroma 

This polish has a thick, rich, and creamy feel to it. When you use this polish, it will gently clean and polish your chrome. Advanced polymers will go to work repairing and preserving your chrome to prevent future corrosion and wear. It’s also a polish that’s safe to use around other materials, such as mirrors or glass. When you use this polish, it goes beyond just making your chrome shiny. It will protect it from fingerprints, spotting, and rust. 


If you’re not careful with this polish, however, it can leave swirl marks and make your chrome look cloudy. It also has an unpleasant smell to it. It’s best to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Honorable Mention
Quick-Glo Chrome Cleaner

Specs

  • Brand: Quick-Glo
  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Works on: Chrome, silver, brass, porcelain, steel, copper, mirrors, and windows

Pros

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Works on chrome and other surfaces
  • No harmful fumes
  • Not abrasive

Cons

  • Must be stored properly
  • Requires some elbow grease

Quick-Glo is a chrome cleaner and rust remover that is suitable for cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, furniture accents, appliances, and anything else with chrome on it. In addition to chrome, Quick-Glo also works on silver, brass, porcelain, steel, copper, mirrors, and windows. The non-toxic, environmentally friendly formula is strong enough to handle tough restoration jobs involving lots of rust and tarnish. Using a decades-old formula that is completely safe and all-natural, Quick-Glo cleans and polishes dull chrome while leaving a protective barrier in its wake. It is non-abrasive and will not harm either the surfaces you intended to polish or any others it may accidentally get on.


Storage can be an issue as high temperatures and/or humidity can cause Quick-Glo to revert to its liquid form. Also, it may take a little elbow grease for the product to effectively clean chrome.

Best for Classic Vehicles
Simichrome Metal Polish

Specs

  • Brand: Simichrome
  • Size: 8.82 ounces
  • Works on: Any metal

Pros

  • Produces a bright, shiny look
  • Leaves behind a protective coating
  • Long shelf life
  • Works on a variety of metals

Cons

  • Contains toxic chemicals you shouldn’t inhale

One can of this chrome and metal polish will have your metal looking tarnish-free, bright, and shiny. This polish is made in Germany and comes as a thick paste made of a unique blend of compounds that buff your metal to a deep luster with a protective coating. Each can contains 8.82 ounces of polish. It also comes in a tube as paste. Apply this polish with a clean cloth, clean, buff, and then wipe off the excess. Use a clean cloth to buff and bring out the chrome’s shine. Simichrome polish has a long and stable shelf life. The paste is also easier to work with than a liquid polish. This polish can be used on a wide variety of metals, which makes it quite versatile. And it cleans better than anything else we’ve tested. Avoid breathing in fumes and getting the polish on your skin.

Specs

  • Brand: Town Talk
  • Size: 8.5 ounces
  • Works on: Chrome

Pros

  • Makes chrome shiny
  • Removes dirt and smudges
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not great for outdoor applications
  • Not ideal for tough water stains

When you use this chrome polish, you’re doing more than making your chrome shine. You’re also removing dirt, smudges, and grease. This will help keep it looking brighter and shinier for longer. This polish is made in England by the Town Talk Polish Company. You’ll get a squeeze bottle with 8.5 ounces of polishing product. You’ll enjoy that this chrome polish doesn’t require any hard work. The directions are to apply, rinse, and lightly buff. The formula uses advanced polishing agents that are specially blended to work better than other polishes. 


Unfortunately, this product is best when used indoors, so be careful where you apply it. The bottle also specifically states that it won’t work on hard-water stains, so it may not do the job when using it on your car’s chrome wheels or other chrome trim.

Specs

  • Brand: Turtle Wax
  • Size: 12 ounces
  • Works on: Chrome

Pros

  • Restores shine and luster
  • Good-sized bottle
  • Safe to use near rubber and plastic

Cons

  • Won’t remove serious rust spots
  • Requires a lot of elbow grease

If you have rusty or tarnished chrome, this cleaner claims it will restore it to its original shine and luster. You can apply this polish with either a foam pad, cotton cloth, or microfiber cloth. You’ll get a 12-ounce bottle of polish from one of the most well-known companies in car detailing and care. This polish stands out for being able to remove rust. It’s also safe for your car’s black rubber and plastic trim. Once applied, it’ll leave a protective coating to help prevent your chrome from further rust. 


Unfortunately, claims of removing rust aren’t exactly accurate. This isn’t a miracle polish that will take any old rusted chrome and turn it to shiny and new. Even on chrome that it does restore, it will take a lot of effort and work on your part to buff and scrub the tarnish and rust away.

Specs

  • Brand: Killer Chrome
  • Size: 16 ounces
  • Works on: Metal surfaces

Pros

  • Great for restoration projects
  • Non-abrasive formula
  • Easy to use
  • Works fast

Cons

  • Not great for removing rust
  • Container may leak
  • Consistency is watery

This automotive chrome polish will clean and polish your car’s aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome. It won’t scratch or degrade your metal. The liquid polish comes in a squeeze bottle of 8 or 16 ounces and is made in the United States. This polish is meant for restoration projects. The non-abrasive formula makes it safe for repetitive application in an area with stubborn oxidation or rust. If you have chrome with surface rust, this polish will help remove it and bring back the shine to your chrome. You’ll find this polish easy to use because it requires less effort and work from you and works twice as fast as other chrome polishes. This polish is safe to use either by hand or with a polishing machine. 


Unfortunately, this polish may not remove rust from chrome as well as you’d hope. The container isn’t very secure and may leak. You may also find the polish to be a bit watery, which can make it hard to work with. 

Our Verdict

Our pick for the best chrome polish is the 3M Chrome and Metal Polish. We like this option because of its versatility. You can also use it on steel, copper, brass, and other metals. The formula removes rust, oxidation, pitting, and spots on your chrome components. It's also easy to apply. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Mothers California Gold Chrome Polish.

What to Consider When Buying Chrome Polish

Chrome polishes are available in three types: liquid, cream, and paste. Liquid polish is very popular because it is very cleansing and easy to use. It won't, however, restore faded or rusty chrome components. Cream polish is better for tougher jobs with surface-level rust or heavy fading and is commonly used by professional detailers. Paste polish is the strongest option, but it can be too abrasive for some applications, so it's recommended for only the toughest restoration tasks. Once you choose what type of polish you require, there are several factors you should consider before making a purchase. 

Chrome Polish Key Features

Ease of Use

Some chrome polishes are easier to use than others. You may find a brand that doesn't require any buffing, while another needs a lot of elbow grease in order to be effective. Some formulas last longer than others, so you won't have to reapply them as often. Creams, liquids, and pastes have different methods of application, so make sure you read the instructions before application in order to make the process as seamless as possible. 

Versatility 

Some polishes are designed for specific purposes, such as chrome wheels. Others can be used for a variety of applications or on a variety of different surfaces, such as stainless steel, aluminum, and even porcelain. While automotive-specific polishes may do a great job, you can also get some excellent all-purpose polish that cleans and protects different types of metals. This is advantageous because you can use the product for multiple projects, which could potentially save you money. 

Size

Chrome polishes can come in anything from small tin containers to large liquid spray bottles. If you plan on using the polish on a regular basis, you probably want to invest in a product that has more volume. However, it's important to keep in mind that some products have a longer shelf life than others, and the formulas may break down if they sit around for too long. 

Pricing 

Chrome polishes come with a variety of prices to suit a wide range of budgets. You can find some brands that cost less than $10, but the containers are usually fairly small. Polishes that cost between $10 and $25 typically have more volume, so the product will last longer. You may be able to secure 20 ounces of chrome polish within this price range. Polishes that cost more than $25 may include several containers or be specialized with longer shelf lives.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How long does it take for chrome polish to work?

A: In most cases, you should notice an immediate effect when polishing. In cases of extreme wear, you may need to apply two or three coats before returning your chrome’s luster.

Q: What other metals will chrome polish work on?

A: Many chrome polishes will also work on stainless steel, aluminum, brass, silver, gold, and copper. There are some cases where a polish may be harmful to certain metals, so make sure to read the instructions first.

Q: Do I need a microfiber cloth?

A: It's a good idea to use a nonabrasive sponge or soft cloth when cleaning chrome to avoid scratching the surface area. Microfiber cloths are a good option. We recommend the 3M Microfiber Detail Cloth.